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In the near future I'll be renting out a Sound Devices 702 in order to experiment with recording various sounds at 192kHz - and I'd like some suggestions on what will yield the most interesting and useful additions to my sound library.

Already on my list are:

  • Human screeches, grunts and monster-like vocals
  • Metal groans and scrapes
  • Rice sprinkled into liquid
  • Water splashes and sloshes

I'm just renting it for an evening, so I'm trying to plan ahead and make the best use of my time/money.

UPDATE: I ended up renting a Sound Devices 702T for a week and really enjoyed what I got out of it. So I'm sharing my experiences in case this is useful to anyone.

Slowing down audio recorded at 192kHz was a lot of fun and produced some incredible results and I started to get a feel for what sounds yield the richest results when slowed down. Metal and the human voice produce splendid results, since those sources have a nice spread of frequencies, while breaking wood is more mid heavy and it just sounded low fi and dull when slowed down. I did find that at 1/10th speed there was some narrow band noise at around 10kHz, but it was easy to notch out without impacting on the desired sound.

Here's some of the most useful and successful things I recorded: - Human voice: Even coughs or sneezes become these huge alien roars when slowed down and pitch shifted. Can't have enough of this stuff. - Metal: Pretty obvious, but really happy with how big and dangerous you can make metal sound when stretched out - Water: Did a big session of jumping into pools and holding these large, punctured tubs upside down underwater to create big frothing bubbling sounds. These pitch really nice and add well to underwater scenes. - Water balloons: Super refreshing and they sound like a distant explosion when you stretch out the burst. Plus the jiggly water sounds that follow are very nice. - Quiet atmos: The 702T was amazing for this. The noise floor is super low and I was able to record the best bird, wind and insect tracks I've ever been able to.

Some other items had unexpected or average results. I collected metal pins and badges, which slowed down just sounded like clanging bells. I was hoping for a more ringing, delicate metallic sound. Maybe needed to use higher quality metal. Stretching out glass sounds tended to make them almost like metal. Again not as delicate as I imagined.

It was a really successful series of sessions and I ended up getting 8GB of good, finished material which I've already started using in projects. As much as I love the design of the 702T (aside from the tiny notches on the levels knob that are hard to make out) it's not like I need to record bird calls at 192kHz every day, but it's a definitely a great rental piece of gear for my current needs though.

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    Hi Squeaky - that all sounds awesome. Can you pop all the text after Update into an answer. It means later visitors will more easily be able to see what the outcome was. You can even accept your own answer. – Rory Alsop Sep 10 '14 at 23:45
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metal, glass, chimes, bells, that sort of thing. super high screechy stuff is the only stuff that really makes any sound up there.

alternatively try contact mics and electrostatic mics

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Depends entirely on what you need. Recording at 192 will be much more useful for time-stretching or pitch-shifting afterwards (as will recording at 32bit), rather than being 'noticeably' improved (cue arguments!).

I've always found it useful to go through rooms in the house and think of every sound you'd need in a scene. Kitchen for example, has so many. Cutting board chops, cutlery, drinks. Go nuts.

Though I'd like to do foley for every project, time/money means I find it very useful to have a sound library of basic foley, things like clothes movements, bag pickups, footsteps, picking up drinks etc etc. Everything you can think that would useful for a wide variety of material.

Hope that helped. Best of luck. N

  • Oh yeah, I forgot to add that one of the main reasons is for pitch shifting this material - likely for use as sound design elements. I've got a feature film that this will be useful for - but mainly I'm just adding to my toolkit. ^^ – SqueakyFish Sep 5 '13 at 22:23
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Hydrophones tend to create brittle, high-frequency-rich sounds in water. Pitching those down can yield fun results and bring back some low frequency tones.

But honestly, at 192kHz, anything you record will be utterly transformed once slowed down enough. I can guarantee you'll run out of time rather than recording sources and sonic elements.

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Good question! There are already some good answers here, and the one I thought of first and foremost was bats and whales, crickets, grasshoppers and cicadas, but for some really interesting sounds I'd give it a go at the city during rush-hour! As central as possible, and everything from crowds, to footsteps, to kids, to - and this is something of a favorite to me - escalators! And beyond.

When it comes to surreal and weird noises, reverbant spaces can be an endless source of joy, as can old motors and machines! New gas-driven engines though are almost exclusively pretty boring.

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Bats...(not kidding either!!)

(BTW have you checked the frequency response curves of your microphones above 20kHz?)

rich

  • Oh yes for bats! I actually have some recordings from bats in my library - but it's from years ago and for some reason recorded at 44.1kHz. Even so, with a bit of reverb applied, they produce quite a haunting sound when slowed down/pitch preserved. Here's the before/after: squeakyfish.com.au/shared/… Also I'll be mostly using the Rode NT5s for this session, as they can record above 30kHz. – SqueakyFish Sep 7 '13 at 4:43
  • the nt5 is not specified as a +20khz on their website, i see a roll of at 20 khz which is quite steep. have you already finished recording? what are your results? – Arnoud Traa Sep 11 '13 at 11:07
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I doubt there will be any visible difference.

16b vs 24b can be heard.

96 vs 192kHz...hard to say...I guess it is like in image manipulation - if you need to screw up around very often...use it.

In the end you end up barely with 48kHz sampling rate - and as in digital imaging - only 2% of population can see/hear difference ;-)

One famous photographer once created a picture with 1M € photo system and very same picture with mobile phone...humanised results, printed A3+ and made a show on street.

Most didn't see any difference between those two pictures...I guess it goes same for digital audio ;-)

protected by Rory Alsop May 8 at 20:10

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