I had to record someone whistling for a sound effect on a film I worked on recently.

That was really hard to record.

I tried different mics... About 10 of them...

I finally ended up with a C12 pointed at the guy's cheek about 2 feet away from him...

Has anyone had any success in recording someone whistling without it sounding really hard on the ears? And how did you do it!

2 Answers 2


I'm sure the technique would be incredibly similar to recording flute, for the same reasons. From a few feet away, and outside the direct flow of air.


I went to see the Marsalis family (and I do mean the whole family) at the Kennedy Center here in, DC earlier this year...I think it was this year...not a good sign...anyway...

One of them can whistle better than anyone you've ever heard. He was amazing, and he was just using a handheld mic about 8 inches from his chest and level with his throat. I wish I knew what model mic, or what the pick-up pattern was. That's all the info I can give you on that experience.

I'll have to try it out myself sometime.

  • I'll bet it was a supersupersupersupermegamondohyper cardioid.
    – Utopia
    Commented Aug 10, 2010 at 0:57
  • @Ryan - i don't know. he was pretty damned loud. even and omni might have worked. lol Commented Aug 10, 2010 at 1:02
  • Well, maybe part of why it sounds so harsh to me is I'm getting the room too much, so I tended to try a cardioid as much as possible to make it sound smoother. You know how you can record a chainsaw somewhat pleasantly with an SM57? Same concept.
    – Utopia
    Commented Aug 10, 2010 at 5:02
  • @Ryan - lol, i've never had the pleasure of recording chainsaws. but i'll remember that if i ever get the chance. Commented Aug 10, 2010 at 11:57

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