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Hey guys,

I'll be recording a motorbike at the weekend for the first time and was looking for some tips!

I have a Rode NTG-2 (w/ blimp) and NT1-A, a pair of sontronics STC-1s's and the zoom h4n's onboard stereo mics at my disposal BUT can only record a stereo pair or 2 monos at a time as I currently only have the zoom and need to record in 24/96 so am limited to 2 channels... :(

The key sounds I need are starting/stoping, idle, braking and preferably a 'ridealong' or some sound that could simulate the sound of the bike whilst being rode. Anything else is a bonus :D

Does anyone have any experience with this? Are there any specific techniques I could try? And also, are there things I should watch out for? (apart from the bike :D) like placing the mic too close and it being destroyed by the heat? Whilst researching I saw this happen in one video where they were recording the bike for a game and then poof!

All help is much appreciated, cheers :)


edit:

Thank you for the replies guys! I've documented my experience on my blog http://tastybeatz.tumblr.com/ and will consolidate the related links in a future post to help others find info on motorbike recording.

I got some OK results and will definitely be doing it again when I have less restrictions and limitations. Heres a SC clip if you'd like to listen to some unedited results: http://soundcloud.com/disconnectuser/sdb003-motorbikes-unedited

Thanks for all your help, very glad I joined this community!

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3 Answers 3

up vote 4 down vote accepted

A few weeks ago I was researching everything I could find on vehical recording for a recording session of my own, below are some of the ones I found interesting/helpful.

Other then the Colin Hart & Tim Prebble links these are all car recording sites but they are all along the lines of what you will be doing.

My only advice specific to a motor cycle would be be prepared for wind and lots of it. There are not many places to hide a mic from the air flow.

Plus just because you don't own more gear does not mean you can not rent it. Renting is a great way to try out new gear and learn its pros and cons and get used to different techniques. I rented a few extra mics for my session and would have been pooched without them, and it only cost me $50 for the weekend.

OK here are some sites to check out, some mentioned already some not:

http://designingsound.org/2010/08/rob-nokes-special-guide-to-recording-cars/

http://blog.tonewaves.com/?p=100

http://hartfx.net/road-trip-special-recording-the-yamaha-r1/

http://thesoundmyheadmakes.blogspot.com/2011/02/truck-record-part-1-prep.html

http://thesoundmyheadmakes.blogspot.com/2011/02/truck-record-part-2recording.html

http://thesoundmyheadmakes.blogspot.com/2011/02/truck-record-part-3editing.html

http://www.tracktimeaudio.com/?p=179

http://www.musicofsound.co.nz/blog/worlds-fastest-indian

This one is super professional take on how to do it, not really helpful for your purpose, but crazy to read how the pros with big budgets do it!!

http://designingsound.org/2010/02/charles-deenen-special-car-recording-guide/

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@AzimuthAudio Just realised forgot to say thanks for all the help and links, so thanks!! –  Alan Pring May 19 '12 at 11:10

doesn't get much better than this:

http://www.musicofsound.co.nz/blog/worlds-fastest-indian

this is also generally applicable:

http://designingsound.org/2010/08/rob-nokes-special-guide-to-recording-cars/

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cheers Rene, there's some nice stuff in there, thanks! –  Alan Pring Jul 12 '11 at 20:22

Colin Hart published an article on his blog a while back about a Yamaha R1 motorbike recording session. That should be of some help too.

http://hartfx.net/road-trip-special-recording-the-yamaha-r1/

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Thanks Colin. Very helpful and has a free download that I can use as a last resort if things go truly wrong :| but i'm sure i'll be fine! –  Alan Pring Jul 12 '11 at 22:47

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