Paintball Marker Madness

About a year ago I did an SFX gig out in Southern California not too for from Magic Mountain in the valley.  Tucked away behind a big facility that euthanizes the county’s dog population was a paintball field full of targets and obstacles.  One of the first things I learned when I got there was not to call the paintball markers guns.  Apparently, they are not guns, but markers . . .  Once that bit of semantics was out of the way, we could move on to the recording.

Two colleagues and I spent about 12 hours recording about 5 or 6 different paintball markers.  We shot markers off pilons, metal posts, wood benches . . .   if something was on the field it was shot.  I found the sounds of the paintball markers to be on the thin side; they were more dynamic when they ran out of paintballs or when the paintballs would make contact with something interesting.

The following recording is from the two parts of the day.  The first part is a recording of bursts and then the marker running out of ammo.  The second half is a different marker firing paintballs into the dirt.  Texturally, I like the second half more because it has a granular sense to it.

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.  Thanks to Jerry Berlongieri.

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Michael Raphael June 29, 2009