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Old August 14th, 2006, 02:35 AM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Helsinki Finland
Posts: 1
How to capture car sounds?

Hello everyone!

I've been reading these great forums for a while but this is my first post. My english is not that great but I hope you understand me.

My passion is cars and everything related to them. I'm a beginner at video productions but hoping to learn the basics of filming simple car videos. Lately however, it has been bothering me that I cant capture the great sounds of different cars on video. I know nothing about audio gear and getting frustrated with googling forums trying to find some help.

I need some help choosing right kind of equipment to get started. I was thinking two or three microphones attached to a car, one attached to the rear near the exhaust, one under the bonnet shielded from the wind and one inside the car or somewhere below the car. I also need some equipment to record it all.

I'm a amateur so the gear should be affordable.

Can anyone help me? Any good guides out there, any experiences?

Thank you.
Lauri Incrosnatu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 20th, 2006, 11:35 AM   #2
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 111
Hello Lauri -

I think what you're trying to do is going to be difficult, and will probably take a lot of experimentation. However, I hope you do try, as I think the results could be very interesting. Almost all recording of cars is done from the outside. There are a great many factors that make micing cars from the inside tricky.

I think the two biggest problems will be vibration and heat. If the car is moving quickly, the microphone is liable to bounce around in even the most robust shockmount on turns and bumps. Sticking a mic underneath the car will be hard because the entire frame will vibrate with the engine's acceleration; also, unless it is well-protected, it's likely to be damaged by gravel or other debris. Any external mic is going to have wind problems - as far as I know there isn't a windshield rated for winds upward of 60mph. Assuming you're talking about cars going very fast (who wants to record cars at 15mph?) a mic under the hood or near the exhaust is going to be subjected to some pretty high heat. Microphones are sensitive instruments and I don't think they would survive well under those conditions.

One possibility could be mounting some kind of homemade shockmount/wind assembly onto the front of the car pointing towards the hood. It would take a lot of work and experimentation.

I think your best bet would be to record externally with a decent shotgun mic. The Sennheiser ME-66 has done well for me outdoors. Are you trying to record cars on a track, on city streets, in the country . . ?

Good luck! Sorry I couldn't be of more help.
Abe Dolinger is offline   Reply

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