Field Recording at MOSI

On Tuesday, our Audio Postproduction group headed to MOSI (Manchester’s Museum of Science and Industry, now under their pretty acronym-ed new branding) for some field recording.

We arrived at around 10 am, hoping to get some recording done before too many other visitors arrived. Sadly many of the machines had not been switched on that early in the morning. Despite this, we managed to get some great room tone in various buildings around the site. The great thing about doing these kind of field recordings is the potential doing experimentation – rather than going out and trying to capture a specific sound, we could go around saying “would this kind of sound work?” “What would happen if we held the microphone underneath it?”

Preparing to record. For most of the recording we used this shotgun microphone, though we also tried a omnidirectional mic for some of the room tone recordings

(Tech Stuff- Definition of a Shotgun Mic and an Omnidirectional Mic)

A lot of the recording ended up being unusable due to other sounds interfering. However, even the recordings that were ‘spoiled’ by people talking have some merits, Paul was trying to record in a train cab in the machine hall, and caught the sounds of children’s voices on the other side of the train, but filtered through the metal which gave it a sinister sound. It may not be useful for our recording but it is an interesting effect.

At some point we are also planning to go to Quarry Bank Mill, which has a collection of Victorian-era mechanic looms for more field recording. The advantages of this, (hopefully) are that there will be fewer people and the machines are usually left on rather than being demonstrated by staff.

At the moment, I’m using some of these sounds, others we have recorded in foley sessions in the studio, and some from freesounds.org, to create a sequence of sounds for a small flying robot which appears in the animation we are designing the sound for (see this post). I’ll be updating this post, hopefully this by the end of tomorrow, with a recording of the robot sounds.

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