This past week has been an exciting week for us, because of the release of F16 MANEUVERS – a sound effects library which contains single jet high-speed passes and maneuvers, captured with traditional mics and contact microphones, as well as formation flights, designed with Sound Particles 3D software. In this behind-the-sounds post, we’re shedding some light on where we found this powerful machine, with what gear we recorded it, what drove us to record aircraft sounds with traditional and contact microphones and what you can do with those takes in terms of sound design. Let’s talk about all that!
A few months back
Past summer we got a chance to record Fighter Jet sound effects during an international airshow, held near our hometown. The event included formation flights demonstrated by six Aero L-39 jets and Fl 100 RG aircrafts, APACHE and HUEY Helicopters, some smaller single-propeller planes, the most famous among which was a United States Air Force F16 Falcon Fighter!
Even though our original goal was to capture sounds of all the performing aircrafts and helicopters in the show, we ended up recording F16 sounds only – And that’s a whole different story we will probably share in a future blog post 🙂
Listen to the audio preview of F16 Maneuvers Library
Behind The Scenes
The event lasted three consecutive days, each one on a different location. Therefore we had the opportunity to test-use different mic-setups and techniques, depending on location and weather conditions. So, we packed all our microphones, portable recorders and accessories – a pair of AKG C314 and Oktavas MK012, two Oktava Figure 8 capsules, a Shure SM57 dynamic mic, the Sennheiser MKH8060 short shotgun, our Baby Ball Gags with their windscreens, the Rode Blimp with a Dead Wombat Windshield and both the Zoom F8 and H6 recorders.
By that time, the least “valuable” piece of equipment, we thought, had proven to be the contact microphone. After all, our aim was to capture the ambience around the aircraft maneuvers, as we knew we wouldn’t be granted any access to any of the aircrafts due to high security.
The first out of three shows we almost missed (!), due to
It was in that moment, after witnessing those impressive low flights that we came up with the idea of attaching a contact mic to a stationary object, to capture all the low- tone vibrations created by the carefully choreographed routines of the F16.
Contact Mics – A Great Sound Design Tool… After All!
And so we did. The stationary object we chose to use was our car! First we had to find a spot that gave us access to all the good sounds. After moving the car to the preferred location, we attached a Schertler Basik electracoustic microphone to the left door, as seen in the photo below:
This approach gave us some pretty good, unique
Of course, there are innumerable ways you can use such material in your sound designs. Here, we layered them with a few other vehicle pass-bys, as shown below:
Or you can use them as a source material to design some newly, complex ones.
If we could have done one thing differently, that would be to use an additional portable recorder or mic in order to capture some indoor sounds as well, by placing them inside the car. Or at least, attach another mic on the car window…
We will be better prepared next time! We may even throw our newly purchased H2a hydrophone mic into the sea or in a water bucket and see what happens!
We hope the above
Sky’s the limit here.
Thanks for reading!