Vehicle sound effects are some of the most difficult field recordings to pull off. Doing so requires having an iron grip on the location, operating (and maintaining) dozens of microphones and recorders, a pro driver, and of course impeccable technique. It’s a tricky balancing act and equipment trouble, interruptions, engine failure, and intrusive sounds are common threats.
So it was with great surprise and interest that I noticed an article from Pole Position Production with detailed tips and tricks for recording car sound effects.
Pole Position Production has long been known for their work recording vehicles of all sorts – as well as other sound effects. They have been stepping up their blog posts recently, with informative articles about their work and staff.
In this post, the team explains how they tackle vehicle field recordings:
- The precise equipment they use: recorders, microphones, and where each are positioned.
- Organizing vehicle recording sessions.
- Locations: finding driving and flying spots and getting permits.
- Vehicles: sourcing cars and planes.
- What can go wrong and how to avoid it.
The article is a rare, detailed look into this specialized field recording craft. Not every sound pro is interested or able to record vehicles on such a large scope, of course. Just the same, the team’s thoughts on logistics, equipment performance, and organization are valuable, and are easily applied to any field recordings.
- Designing Sound: Charles Deenen Special: Car Recording Guide
- Designing Sound: Rob Nokes Special: Guide to Recording Cars
- Tonebenders: Vehicle Recording Roundtable
- A Sound Effect: The Essential Primer to Recording Car Sound Effects