This week I sat down to a 8.5 hour flight, and in my exhausted state I was looking forward to plowing my way through a series of bad movies on the inflight entertainment. Sadly when I sat down I was met with the following sound in my headphones:
Sure, give the soundguy that seat assignment!
The ghost of Iannis Xenakis invaded my armrest. So much for hours of really bad movies. I’m sure some would argue that the dulcet tones emanating from my arm rest would be an improvement on most soundtracks, but I present them here without bias.
Recording Geek Note: I plugged the line input of a Sony PCM-M10 right into the noisy armrest.
I recently took a new job in New York, which meant a departure from the midwest and a homecoming of sorts. I grew up on the east coast and spent many years living in the Big Apple, but this is my first foray into the borough of Brooklyn. I thought it would be appropriate to document my first full weekend in the new apartment, so I set my microphones up in the window of my living room and let the recorder roll.
The first file was recorded at 5:00 PM on Saturday, May 9. It is full of the typical sounds you would expect: planes, traffic rolling by, kids playing, and city birds chirping. What I was not expecting was the sound of my neighbor’s cat purring on the floor below me (at least that is what I think it is.) It occurs about 30 seconds into the recording, so let me know if you think I am right. The Good Humor man also shows up on two occasions, but you’ll have to listen for that on your own!
The second file was recorded at 5:00 AM Sunday, May 10. It also features the same city sounds, but it is missing the kids and the cat as I suspect that neither species was up that early. I definitely wasn’t! I set the timer on my Sound Devices recorder, let it kick into record on its own and got a few more hours of sleep.
The U.S. Pond Hockey Championships took place this past weekend in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Over the course of the weekend, thousands of players hit the frozen ice and breathed in the frozen air. It was -5F or colder for most of the tournament. I don’t have much hockey sounds in my library, so I thought it would be a good time to freeze my ass off for some decent recordings. I dragged my buddy Mitch Hanley along so I wouldn’t be the only one with frostbite at the end of the day.
Before games each team had to shovel their own rink to the get the ice game ready. No Zambonis in this crowd!
The teams play without goaltenders on a much smaller ice surface and instead of a traditional goal they have to shoot the puck into two small holes on either side of a wood rectangle. It is not easy. Listen for that puck banging into wood sound.
While recording I played around with various perspectives. First, I tried a stationary perspective along the center line of the ice, and then hand held the rycote to track the action. I posted the tracked action below.
It was a challenge to stay warm and not introduce noise through my giant extreme cold mittens. I learned how quickly your hands can get cold if you don’t move them inside the gloves. There were other noise hazards to watch out for. I had to be very careful not to crunch snow with my boots once we began rolling. I was concerned about how my Sound Devices 744 recorder would hold up in the cold and it performed perfectly. The only issue I experienced was diminished battery life from the lithium-ion batteries, but I expected that. I had a bag full of spares to keep me going. The one bit of noise that I couldn’t control was airplanes flying over the lake throughout the day. Unfortunately, Lake Nokomis is right in the flight path of MSP. If you are into that sound there are plenty of houses right around the lake.
Recording Geek Note: Rig consists of Schoeps CMC5 setup for MS, with the MK4 as the mid. It was all tracked to a Sound Devices 744T at 24/96. Everything was really cold.
More photos after the jump . . .
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