Gravel Tyres Recording

In many ways this was the second half of the vehicle recording session I did in Auckland a month or so ago. In the film most of the vehicles are driving on dirt roads and gravel roads, but the only location I could use for the vehicles session in Auckland was mostly sealed private road (many of the vehicles were not licensed for public road use) but in hindsight I think that may have been for the best, as I managed to cleanly record the vehicles, and yesterday we focused on capturing the gravel/dirt road components…. So we will have control of the seperate components in the mix.

In the past I’ve relied on the same dozen tracks in my library of tyres on gravel, both from onboard perspective and from exterior (up & stop, passbys, away etc) but because this film has a lot of specific vehicle action we decided to invest some time recording a whole new library of material, just for the film. Sound effects editor on the film Matt Lambourn did a recce the day before and found this great road, which was a no exit road (so no through traffic) and which had sections of deep gravel as well as bare dirt road sections…. So we loaded up all the mics, recorders, stands & gaffer tape & headed out there…. Rigging mics was fun!

I got some pretty odd looks from the farmer as I drove backwards & forwards, although that might have been from the occasional obligatory skids… And at times driving was tricky as my primary aim was to totally minimise engine sounds – there is no Isuzu 4WD motor in the film after all. So this meant getting up to speed & then switching off the engine for up/stops etc… So the microphones we rigged were an MKH8040 on rear left and right tyres and an MKH8020 front left and MKH8050 front right = quad onboard tyres!

We also rigged the interior, using two DPA 4060s suspended from the interior upper dash, and my old Zoom H2 as a backup…. So all up thats 10 channels of onboard audio!

FX Editor Matt Lambourn was recording exterior moves with a 722 and a pair of MKH816s, while Assistant Sound Effects Editor Tom Scott-Toft recorded using a 702 and my pair of MKH70s….

It was an excellent session & I can finally put those old library sounds into retirement!

ps some great news about the film!

5 Responses to Gravel Tyres Recording

  1. Dad and Mum says:

    Hi – you are a trick – like your Father!!

  2. Derrek Jones says:

    Is the gaffers tape the only thing holding the stands to the car?! Is that just cushioning that you stuffed between the stand and the windows on the two rears?

    • tim says:

      Yes and yes – there was a lot of gaffer tape holding the stands on – I would have had to actually crash into something to make the stands come loose…..
      And as the stands are upside down we made very, very sure the locking screws were done up tight….

  3. Ryan says:

    Great work Tim!

  4. Pingback: Sound Design for EMPEROR | Music of Sound

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