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The blog is being migrated and merged with multiple Imphenzia blogs so the format and content will be inconsistent for a while.

Recording Fireworks

mineField recording is fun but also challenging. A while back I posted a comparison of microphones and stereo techniques. I thought I would add some details about the day I recorded that material which was on new years eve when I decided to give it a go to record some isolated fireworks going off. I purchased an assortment of about $400 worth of consumer rockets and shells.

Scouting Location
The day before recording I needed to find a location. Setting off fireworks in Sweden is restricted to new years eve unless you have specific permissions so I wanted to take advantage of that and record it when most people were expecting fireworks to go off. I had purchased a fair amount of fireworks that would take some time to set off, I expected it would take a couple of hours or so I wanted to find a place that was far away enough from residential areas but still accessible by car.

Video: Pitch Shifting and Microphone Specs

The other day I broke a laptop monitor in half and I recorded it using four very different microphones with different specifications. I recorded the sounds with a sampling rate of 192 kHz and loaded the sounds into Izotope RX5 to show the spectrogram and pitch down the sounds two octaves. This video demonstrates how different the sounds are when pitched down since some of the microphones capture audio well beyond what the human ear can hear - yet when you pitch the sound down those inaudible frequencies are brought into our range of hearing:



Microphones Used:
Sanken CO-100K (20 - 100'000 Hz)
Sennheiser MKH 8040 (30 - 50'000 Hz)
Rode NTG3 (40 - 20'000 Hz)
Schoeps CCM41 (40 - 20'000 Hz)

Recorder:
Sound Devices 788T

Software Used:
Izotope RX5