A new recording endeavour/learning experience.

A new recording endeavour/learning experience.

A month ago: roommate gets a new Ford Ranger.

A week ago: We take a trip up to northern Ontario to start a new sound-recording adventure:

That’s right… Looks like I’m putting together an Off-Roading SFX Library. The plan is to cover a spectrum of realistic vehicle sounds, along with enhanced samples made from what I record. Although to be honest, I’m still figuring out what I’m doing out here…

The truth is, I don’t have a lot of experience recording cars. We’ve spent two days on the trails now… and both days I showed up with my H6 and 416 arbitrarily pointing them out the window as we drove through mud, rocks, sand, water and dirt.

Don’t get me wrong… we got some good material. But I’m not confident I’m doing the vehicle justice. I’m missing the sound of the engine, exhaust and overall power. That’s why I’ve decided to up my game the next time we go out, I’ll be investing in more microphones (lavs to clip on to the exhaust and engine), as well as trying out some new vehicular recording techniques inspired by the pros. Here’s a reddit conversation I started on the topic. If you’re interested in field recording, I’d recommend checking out some of the comments.

2021 Update – Following some of these early vehicular-recording excursions, I finally ended up investing in some more gear. I bought two DPA 4061 lav mics, a Sennheiser 416 with a rycote blimp, and a variety of clamps, stands and mounts. The last couple times we’ve gone out, it’s been awesome being able to experiment with different mic placements, and mounting techniques. I’ve done 7 off-roading recording trips now, learning more every time. The results kept getting better and better.

I never ended up releasing the off-roading library, but I did finish this experience with dozens of samples I use all the time. I’ve actually sound-designed a few Ford Ranger commercials, and you better believe the clients are thrilled when they found out where the sounds came from. I’ve added a few of the samples from this journey to our Free Sounds database. If you’re in need of more Ford Ranger off-roading sounds, email me at b.spiller4@gmail.com and I’ll send you everything I have.

Thanks for reading. Ben @ Back Pocket Sound

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