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On-board racing car sound


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#1 Owen Parker

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 12:35 PM

Hi All,
I'm in need of some suggestions.
I will be over seeing the filming of a race meet with a ton of classic race cars.
Most will be production saloons with plenty of room for on-board cameras, some will be single seater's.
Now I've done this many times before and have special mounts for the cameras. But up until now I've only ever needed to mount mic's in the cabin to record a race.
For my next meet I've been asked to record one channel in the cabin and one recording the exhaust note! The client is a sports car owners club and they are passionate about exhaust notes...(what can I say, they're the paying the bill...)
Now as well as a couple of on-board lipstick cameras recording onto DVR (no audio gain control) I can also mount my old Sony TCD-8 DAT and a couple of Sony mini disk recorders, if need be. I have available some old cheap and cheerful Sony lavaliers.
But my real problem is placement. I will only get one practice lap to check my mic placement. After that I need to be rigging two cars ahead of their laps, so I really need to get it right first time.
Does anyone have suggestions as to the best place to mount the mic's to get clean exhaust note with minimal wind noise?
cheers
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#2 Alex Donkle

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 10:28 PM

Avoiding wind noise is a combination of placement, mic choice, and wind protection.

What I usually do is running an Shure SM58 (dynamic, tough as nails mic) gaff taped to the rear bumper, one in the engine, and then a stereo pair of condensers recording in the car. That tends to work best. Wrapping SM58s in felt (as shown in the links below) makes them very resistant to vibrations and wind.

I admit though, I haven't worked at race car speeds with this setup. Only FX recording.

Here are some blog posts you might find helpful / interesting...
http://www.musicofso...ases-submarines
http://www.musicofso...g/car-fx-part-2
http://www.musicofso...-fastest-indian
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#3 Paul Bruening

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 02:50 AM

OMG, Alex. When I was a kid all the neighborhood boys had seen the movies that you posted on that link as many times as network TV played them. We could even make all those engine sounds with our voices, sinuses, shaped mouths and uvulas. You didn't want to be in the house when all the guys were gathered in front of the TV on The Seven Ups night.


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#4 Owen Parker

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 06:05 AM

Avoiding wind noise is a combination of placement, mic choice, and wind protection.
What I usually do is running an Shure SM58 (dynamic, tough as nails mic) gaff taped to the rear bumper, one in the engine, and then a stereo pair of condensers recording in the car. That tends to work best. Wrapping SM58s in felt (as shown in the links below) makes them very resistant to vibrations and wind.


Alex, thanks for the tips, that's just the kind of info I was after.
'The Worlds Fastest Indian' got hardly any publicity when it came out here in the UK, it may even have gone straight to DVD.
I came across it in a bargain bin and picked it up because of Hopkins and the quirky plot write up.
Loved it, great film!

Having said I won't have time to experiment with mic placement and set up, I realised that I'm being an idiot!

I own a V6 Alfa Romeo. So I'll be heading out tomorrow with my mic set up, based on the notes from the blog, and I will go for a drive
up the motorway - not exceeding the 70mph limit of course...

thanks for your input

Cheers
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#5 Hal Smith

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 08:42 PM

Having said I won't have time to experiment with mic placement and set up, I realised that I'm being an idiot!


The classic racecars are probably running without mufflers therefore a LOT louder than street cars, even your Alfalfa.

The best (while easily obtainable) microphone I know for handling really loud sound is the Sennheiser MD421.

Any microphone around loud sound can overload microphone preamps. The level coming out of the mike can be so high that the very first amplifier stage clips. To avoid this, you need a mixer with a microphone level trims.
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#6 Owen Parker

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 09:36 PM

The classic racecars are probably running without mufflers therefore a LOT louder than street cars, even your Alfalfa.

The best (while easily obtainable) microphone I know for handling really loud sound is the Sennheiser MD421.

Any microphone around loud sound can overload microphone preamps. The level coming out of the mike can be so high that the very first amplifier stage clips. To avoid this, you need a mixer with a microphone level trims.


Hal,
thanks for your input on this.
I think my brother may have provided an interesting option. He's a drummer and has an old set of drum mics he doesn't use anymore.
He couldn't remember the make but I'm picking them up in the morning and going for a test run.
I did a run today and got quite pleasing results from an old SM58 as suggested in an earlier reply.
What surprised me more was that a set of pretty cheap lavaliers I picked up on Ebay gave very good results.
I really didn't think they'd cope with the levels, but they seemed to take it in their stride.
They have the distinct advantage of being small and discrete, which will please the car owners I'm sure.
I'm going to hold off final judgement until the meet. I've organised to do two test laps before the public arrive.
One with a late 80's Formula One car which will be the loudest thing there.

After the input from you guys and the tests I did today, I'm feeling a lot more comfortable with the whole thing now.

Thanks
Owen
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#7 Karen Bruening

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 11:28 PM

OMG, Alex. When I was a kid all the neighborhood boys had seen the movies that you posted on that link as many times as network TV played them. We could even make all those engine sounds with our voices, sinuses, shaped mouths and uvulas. You didn't want to be in the house when all the guys were gathered in front of the TV on The Seven Ups night.


Paul is a deadbeat jerkoff who doesn't pay his bills. Don't pay attention to anything he has to say. He isn't employed in any capacity in your industry, has never done anything significant in his life, and will never do anything significant. He couldn't even get employed as a janitor at the local University, and barely held down a job as a projectionist at the local theater. He's just an Internet Toughguy who likes to lord things over people he doesn't know.
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#8 Owen Parker

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 06:07 AM

Paul is a deadbeat jerkoff who doesn't pay his bills. Don't pay attention to anything he has to say. He isn't employed in any capacity in your industry, has never done anything significant in his life, and will never do anything significant. He couldn't even get employed as a janitor at the local University, and barely held down a job as a projectionist at the local theater. He's just an Internet Toughguy who likes to lord things over people he doesn't know.


so you don't like him then...
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#9 Hal Smith

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 10:18 AM

Paul is a deadbeat jerkoff who doesn't pay his bills. Don't pay attention to anything he has to say. He isn't employed in any capacity in your industry, has never done anything significant in his life, and will never do anything significant. He couldn't even get employed as a janitor at the local University, and barely held down a job as a projectionist at the local theater. He's just an Internet Toughguy who likes to lord things over people he doesn't know.


Isn't there some rule banning ex-wives from the Forum? I'd hate to read what a couple of mine would have to say about me. (Married six times to five different women).
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Glidecam

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Technodolly

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Paralinx LLC

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Ritter Battery

Aerial Filmworks

Tai Audio

Metropolis Post

CineLab

The Slider

CineTape

Abel Cine

FJS International, LLC

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Visual Products