New York City Marathon Crowds

Over 47,000 runners participated in the 2011 New York City Marathon on Sunday, and when 47,000 runners combine with beautiful weather, it means crowds are going to be out in force. At the start of the race the Missus and I lined up with the crowds on 4th Avenue in Brooklyn to catch the professional athletes and the early wave of runners pass by.

I had grand plans to record tons of great crowd ambience, but sadly the NYC Marathon has taken to blasting music throughout the route. I know this probably makes me sound like a cranky old man complaining about the kids who play their music too loud, but personally, I feel cowbells and hooting crowds should be enough. Also when you are trying to find the perfect soundtrack for everyone, what do you do for the guy who wants Xenakis on his run? That is definitely not going to make everyone happy (rant over). I did manage to get some usable material when the guy operating the PA took a union break:

If you listen to some of the specific cheers, there were a few guys who were calling out to individual runners based on what they were wearing. It is hard not to love a crowd that cheers on a crowd of 47,000 people in a personalized way.

Recording Geek Note: The crowds were recorded with Schoeps CMC5′s setup for MS with an MK4 as the Mid. It was all tracked to a Sound Devices 744T at 24/96 with a Cooper CS-104 used a front end.

Hockey Hockey Hockey

I have one major sporting vice and that is hockey.  If you have been reading this blog, you know that there have been several hockey recordings over the last couple of years:  I recorded the pond hockey championships back in Minneapolis and a Harvard hockey game when I was in Boston. This past weekend, I decided to step in up a notch.  I went to a professional game in the area between two teams that shall remain nameless so as not to incite the ire of the NHL.  I decided to get some good crowd sounds  . . .  lots of “ooohs”, “aahhs”, and “yeahs”.  It was a hell of game; normally, I would have been yelling and screaming, but I had to really hold back so that I would not overlap the recordings.  The beginning of the recording features a couple of near misses from the home team, but, as you can hear, they finally manage to put one in the back of the net.

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Recording Geek Note:  Rig consists of a pair of DPA 4060s mounted stealthily on either side of a backpack inside of an arena with 18,000 plus fans screaming in excitement.  It was all tracked to a Sony PCM-M10, with Sound Devices MP2 as a front end while trying to avoid the the away team’s fans.