Recording gunfire

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ThunderFaceWizardHead
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Recording gunfire

Post by ThunderFaceWizardHead » Fri Apr 06, 2007 11:09 pm

I want to record some gunfire for sampling and wondering if anyone has any experience and/ or suggestions in this area. All I have at my disposal are a laptop or minidisc with the 1/8 stereo inputs. Would I be better off buying a cheap ass mic, or using an impedance transformer and a 1/4 to 1/8 inch step down? Mic placement also has me wondering, could I possibly damage a mic? I don't plan on duct taping a ribbon mic to the barrel or anything, but is it feasible that a 57 placed a few feet away could be damaged?

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Post by Regular Guy » Fri Apr 06, 2007 11:55 pm

I don't know the answer to this, but wear some ear protection...them shits is loud!

also good luck!

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Post by vsr600 » Sat Apr 07, 2007 12:14 am

the problem is that a gunshot creates a small shockwave and most microphones can't accuratly recreate that. I would try a really small diaphram condenser pretty far away (like 5 or 6 meters away) if possible.

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Post by JGriffin » Sat Apr 07, 2007 12:14 am

When I've recorded gunshots I've used a VP88 stereo mic, and a Radio Shack Highball 2 (I tend to use those for sfx recordings where the mic might get destroyed or, um, confiscated by the local gendarmes). Both mics survived. I did some close-up stuff but generally miked from a few feet away. Likely a 57 will be fine.
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vsr600
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Post by vsr600 » Sat Apr 07, 2007 12:24 am

yea your 57 is not gonna get destroyed by it (I think)... but it might not capture the transient like you might want... being a shockwave it's got a really sharp transient. Also it becomes a classical wave pretty quick (something I'm giving a talk on next month http://www.maesc.org/) so you don't want to get too far away from it.. but you also don't want to get too close to it so that you clip your mic/preamp. I just did a quick calculation and you need to be less than about 18 meters to capture the shock up to the range of human hearing (40khz) but it depends on the SPL of the gunshot....

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NU-TRA
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Post by NU-TRA » Sat Apr 07, 2007 7:26 am

I've used a sheops and senn 416 for this about 8 feet back pad in on the board sometimes facing slighty away from the gun

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Aquaman
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Post by Aquaman » Sat Apr 07, 2007 10:15 am

Bob Heil reports that his large-diaphragm PR-40 (approx $400 US) is perfect for this. During some field recording for one of the latest war movie blockbusters, the recording crew duct-taped a PR-40 to the barrel of some large-caliber rifles and were (figuratively) blown away by the sound.

The PR-40 can take a direct SPL of 140db without distorting. That's loud.

Good luck!

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Post by vsr600 » Sat Apr 07, 2007 12:17 pm

I just found this chart, it may be helpful http://www.freehearingtest.com/hia_gunfirenoise.shtml

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Post by river » Sat Apr 07, 2007 3:04 pm

Years ago at audio school we had a foley guy come in and talk about different sounds used in film. He said one of the favorite "gunshot" sounds that was used was a hollow core door being slammed......easy on the mics, as real gunfire can easily clip a mic signal, giving you the popgun effect.
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Post by apropos of nothing » Sat Apr 07, 2007 5:24 pm

(Clearly you want to use a shotgun mic. Err.)

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Post by inverseroom » Sat Apr 07, 2007 5:48 pm

dwlb wrote:When I've recorded gunshots I've used a VP88 stereo mic, and a Radio Shack Highball 2 (I tend to use those for sfx recordings where the mic might get destroyed or, um, confiscated by the local gendarmes). Both mics survived. I did some close-up stuff but generally miked from a few feet away. Likely a 57 will be fine.
Joe, when did you have the opportunity to record gunfire?

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lapsteel
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Post by lapsteel » Sat Apr 07, 2007 5:56 pm

What if you set a cheap mic up as a target? Take a couple shots and miss it, but the final one shoot the mic. That could sound very cool. At least in my head it does.

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ThunderFaceWizardHead
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Post by ThunderFaceWizardHead » Sun Apr 08, 2007 12:05 am

cozrulz wrote:What if you set a cheap mic up as a target? Take a couple shots and miss it, but the final one shoot the mic. That could sound very cool. At least in my head it does.
I think I've found my answer.


Maybe I'll wire some old speakers I've got lying around to act as target mics as well. They might survive more shots, and should be able to handle quite a few db's.

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Post by JGriffin » Sun Apr 08, 2007 12:39 am

inverseroom wrote:Joe, when did you have the opportunity to record gunfire?
A few years ago, working on some of our sound effects CDs, my business partners and I went up to Wisconsin and shot off a variety of weapons (with professional supervision; I can't stress that enough). We also recorded a bunch of cannon fire and late-nineteenth-century rifles with the help of some Civil War re-enactors. That's all powder and blanks, and the cannons were shooting quarter- and half-loads, but still mighty loud.

Truthfully, I think the Civil War stuff came out better than the modern stuff, partly 'cos I had more experience by that time.

Side note: I am generally okay with recording location stuff to DAT, but having heard side-by-side comparisons of gunfire shot to DAT and Nagra, I'd have loved to have an analog deck with me for some of that stuff.
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Post by AstroDan » Sun Apr 08, 2007 8:50 am

wtf? Do you guys all live on some survivalist compound in the middle of Montana? :)

Actually, I could do some foley work for you guys next time my neighbor starts shooting at his dog at 4:00 a.m.
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