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.

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Michael Raphael November 7, 2011