recommend amic for recording exhaust/engine sounds at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > All Things Audio

All Things Audio
Everything Audio, from acquisition to postproduction.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old July 9th, 2012, 03:26 PM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: London
Posts: 160
recommend amic for recording exhaust/engine sounds

Can anyone recommend a microphone that I could stick to the back of a car to record the exhaust sound?

Must be small and good quality and not to expensive.

Thanks
Syeed Ali is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 9th, 2012, 04:54 PM   #2
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Camas, WA, USA
Posts: 5,513
Re: recommend amic for recording exhaust/engine sounds

I'd recommend a Shure SM57.

Shure SM57 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

You don't need a high-fidelity mic. Most anything that can handle the noise level will work.

I've done this before. I put the mic off of the exhaust axis by about 45 degrees up and to the side. This was to keep smoke and spittle off of the mic as best we could. The mic was pointed straight at the tailpipe. I think the distance was about one foot. We just revved the throttle, did fast and slow accelerations, and held it steady at varying RPMs. I think we recorded about three minutes of content and made it match the video in post.

As I recall, I had to be really aggressive with EQ to get a beefy enough sound. I heavily scooped the curve and boosted around 200 Hz strongly. Engine sounds pitch shift really nicely too. Racing games use a very short loop and adjust the playback speed as needed. Works great!

Changing the EQ and panning of the engine sounds depending on camera position works great too. Give it more volume and highs from the rear. Muffle it slightly from the front. Muffle it strongly from inside the car.

Best of luck!
__________________
Jon Fairhurst
Jon Fairhurst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 10th, 2012, 06:23 PM   #3
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 190
Re: recommend amic for recording exhaust/engine sounds


You will get better results with a better microphone. Consider the DPA 4060. You can tape it to the bumper.
Christian Brown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 11th, 2012, 01:09 PM   #4
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Camas, WA, USA
Posts: 5,513
Re: recommend amic for recording exhaust/engine sounds

Great video!

One funny thing is that at 0:49 they show a shotgun mic in the engine bay as they play the sound of an engine revving. Clearly, they didn't playback this sound. A mic in the engine bay mainly hears belt and valvetrain sounds, and maybe a bit if intake sucking. It tends to sound like a squeaking bucket of bolts. Yet, the sound they play has a strong exhaust note.

While the DPA 4060 is no doubt a great mic, it costs about $1,000. The original poster asked for "not too expensive." It's also an omni, which wouldn't be ideal. Taping it to the bumper is easy, but it would lack adequate wind protection when driving.

In my project, we just put the mic on a stand and revved the engine while parked in a semi-remote area. Recording in stereo would have been nice. I just panned the sound as appropriate. If you can do stereo, go for it. You'll get a larger sonic image in stereo.

But the bottom line is that an engine exhaust is a raspy, distorted sound. We're not recording a human voice, violin, or even a signature sound for a particular model car. We generally want a believable sound for Foley and want it to have a powerful sound for certain scenes.

The SM57 has been used to record electric guitars on thousands of albums. Studios with a cabinet full of thousand dollar mics will often grab the SM57 to place in front of the guitar amp. What could be more similar to recording an exhaust pipe? And you can get one for about $70.

As I wrote earlier, the key to getting the right sound is EQ. You can make it sound powerful, wimpy, or muffled depending on your needs. As long as the mic has a reasonable frequency range and doesn't clip at high volumes, your source sounds will be adequate. Just don't expect it to sound big and bad without EQ, regardless of mic quality.

If you want to record while driving, the challenge won't be the mic but the mount and wind protection. As shown on the video, a suction mount, Rycote blimp, and shotgun mic are the right choice for that. But on a budget, an SM57 on a stand is the way to go.
__________________
Jon Fairhurst
Jon Fairhurst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 11th, 2012, 06:34 PM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Phoenixville, PA
Posts: 223
Re: recommend amic for recording exhaust/engine sounds

Does anyone know what mic clip is being used in the picture of the President on the SM57 Wikipedia page. I have been looking for a dual mic clip like this.
Kevin Walsh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 14th, 2012, 09:42 AM   #6
Trustee
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: New York
Posts: 1,844
Re: recommend amic for recording exhaust/engine sounds

SM57 VIP Dual Microphone Kit
Shure Americas | SM57VIP Dual Microphone Kit | Instrument Mic, Rugged, Touring
The A2WS and A81WS windscreens are not shown but are included.
"Used by every presidential administration since Lyndon B. Johnson"

FWIW, the 57 is often the go-to mic for snare drum and used on millions of recordings and many many hit records.
Rick Reineke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 16th, 2012, 01:47 PM   #7
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Phoenixville, PA
Posts: 223
Re: recommend amic for recording exhaust/engine sounds

Thank you!
Kevin Walsh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 16th, 2012, 03:31 PM   #8
Trustee
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Glasgow, Scotland
Posts: 1,521
Re: recommend amic for recording exhaust/engine sounds

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Fairhurst View Post
The SM57 has been used to record electric guitars on thousands of albums. Studios with a cabinet full of thousand dollar mics will often grab the SM57 to place in front of the guitar amp. What could be more similar to recording an exhaust pipe? And you can get one for about $70.
As a (albeit now retired) musician to trade, I concur.
Vorsprung durch Bulls***

I would dearly like to hear how even a full Rycote Windjammer kit copes with the airflow round a sports car driven at high speed.

Great video, though.
Colin McDonald is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 16th, 2012, 04:42 PM   #9
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Camas, WA, USA
Posts: 5,513
Re: recommend amic for recording exhaust/engine sounds

I'd also like to know the speed limit of a windjammer. As mentioned earlier, I didn't even try. The driveway approach worked quite well for what I needed.

One last word: Fahrvergnügen. :)
__________________
Jon Fairhurst
Jon Fairhurst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 17th, 2012, 03:24 AM   #10
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Waikanae Beach, Kapiti Coast, New Zealand
Posts: 44
Re: recommend amic for recording exhaust/engine sounds

The sound from an exhaust is quite different from an engine under load ( ie driving) than one that is stationary. Probably a good idea to record both, as well as engine mics if possible to cover various scenarios too. There is a pretty good bunch of information on this site that you may find helpful. I had it bookmarked myself so I could find it again:
Rob Nokes Special: Guide to Recording Cars
Tony Koretz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 17th, 2012, 12:13 PM   #11
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Camas, WA, USA
Posts: 5,513
Re: recommend amic for recording exhaust/engine sounds

Great article!

And, yes, there is a difference between the exhaust sounds in the driveway and when accelerating on the road. If you floor the accelerator in the driveway, the engine will be "full throat", but within a second or so, you'll be at redline. On the road, you can floor it and record a more natural acceleration.

On the other hand, when cruising, even at freeway speeds, the throttle is only part way open. Unless you're at high speeds or going up a hill, the sound in the driveway is pretty representative. As mentioned before, EQ is a hugely important tool.
__________________
Jon Fairhurst
Jon Fairhurst is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > All Things Audio

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:32 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network