Thursday, August 18
truck record - this time not rained out!
First a little backstory: I needed to find a 50s model Ford F150 to match what we see on screen in the film we're working on, so my brother in law suggest a car show north of town to scout. It was a pretty small show, but lo and behold I ran into a really cool guy named Doug who just happened to be driving the exact car I needed to record. We exchanged info and two weeks later we set the date for a Saturday morning.
Of course, it rained and we moved the date to Monday after work.
By moving to a weekday we heavily compressed my recording schedule though, so I was sure to be as prepared as I could get before heading out there. Prep included:
- putting every frame of the film that included the truck on a quicktime that could be played on my ipad on location
- pre-wrapping my onboard mics with terrycloth towel for wind protection
- testing and setting up media, batteries, recorder settings, etc.
I showed up at Doug's house at around 6:30, and sunset was going to hit hard at about 8:30, so I had to work fast. I mounted the undercarriage mics with bungee cords and gaff tape, secured the boom from the back of the tailgate, and mounted the engine mic. A quick level test and we were off to find a suitable street to roll with.
No I had not scouted a street in that part of the world, but Doug knew exactly where to take us: a little gravel road with a short turn around where he could do bys and stops with little traffic intervention.
We covered the basic things we needed (mostly slow bys on gravel, slow bys on clean pavement, and some gravely tire work) and we were already starting to lose light. We did some stop n go driving so that I could catch interiors with the VP-88, and headed back.
When we arrived back at the house I pulled and re-set all of the mics for foley. The bungee cords really made that work go quickly though, because a couple of yanks and all of my mics were loose and free.
Door foley setup was VP-88 inside, Schoeps outside near, and mkh60 outside far.
We also did some glove compartment moves, and by that time we were completely dark outside and working by flashlight. Also, in summertime in Texas the cicadas come out around dusk. Out in the country the coyotes decided to announce their presence as well. I pressed on, getting what I could get and knowing that I'd have to edit a fair amount later on.
When I got back into the studio on Tuesday I opened it all up and found myself very happy with the results. The truck got just over 3 minutes of total screen time in the film and I had the entire thing cut in and sounding good by the end of the day, which was just a joy to get done.
Here's what I learned:
--Proper drafing makes all the difference in the world--
Each time I record a vehicle I get better at finding good drafting spots quickly, and this record really worked out well with regards to wind noise. Axels are great spots for mounting and drafting, but just hanging the blimp from the tailgate in the jetstream really worked out well too. I'm sure it didn't hurt that we really didn't get above 40mph, but this was truly my first vehicle record where wind noise was a complete nonfactor in all mics.
--put your best mic on the exhaust--
I made a conscious decision to get that schoeps mic in the best spot I could find for the exhaust note and it paid off in spades. I took a risk by using an unknown miking technique (at least to me) by hanging it in the blimp, but in my mixed onboard sound that mic is almost all of what I went with. man that thing sounds good.
--brighter and less true mics work well as detail spots for engine and tires--
NT5 on the tire for the gravel sound worked out really well. I wasn't relying on that mic for my exhaust note, so I was free to put it in a spot where I could get some nice crispyness from the gravel with that spot. Ditto the SM81 in the engine. While the engine does have some interesting midrange stuff going on, its mostly a much brighter sound than the exhaust and the 81 choice and placement ended up working out very well in that application.
--it doesn't take 100 mics to get a good sound--
I knew that I'd be running this record solo, so instead of bringing the 788t and a giant collection of mics to mount onto the truck, I ran the 744t and just the 4 mics. in the end, I'm more happy with the sound I got from this setup than from some others where I put much more effort and many more mics onboard. Each record teaches me more and more, and the biggest thing I learned in this one is that I really need to have those "money" mics locked down and rocking, then I'm good.
So, without further adieu here are some results and samples. enjoy!
truck onboard mix sample by Rcoronado
truck doors by Rcoronado