Hello everybody,

I am a University student in the UK and I was hoping that you may be able to give me some guidance on my final year project.

The main aim is: To demonstrate whether using low budget studio equipment can produce the same emotional affect during gameplay/theatrical trailer as using expensive industry standard professional kit.

I will be recording sound for a racing game trailer but am finding it difficult to plan some of the recordings.

I have read many articles on how to record cars and suitable microphones and techniques. One of the main problems is that I don't have access to empty roads or professional racing drivers, does anyone have any suggestions on the best ways to get engine sounds (accelerating and changing gears), tyre spins, car drifts/skids and car pass bys?

Baring in mind I don't have much budget on this and will be renting most of the equipment from University or a shop.

Thanks in advance.


1 Answer 1


Questions Are you producing the picture? or are you being provided with picture. I suggest you start from finished picture and make a list of all the sounds you need to collect (fast close car by, med dist fast car by, quick accel from stop on gravel, etc.

Do you have a vehicle that is appropriate for the picture? Ask friends for loaners, but be sure to tell them that you may be pushing the RPMs.

At some point you will need some roads that you can open up on. Either that or use a stationary system like a Dyno (but that means $)

The most common record positions are Engine, Exhaust, Tire, and Interior. Be aware that many spots on a car get VERY HOT and can ruin equipment. As a video game guy I have never found interior to be that helpful. It has a very low-pass filtery sound.

Duct/gaffer's tape is your friend.

You cant beat TRIAL AND ERROR.

  • Thanks for your response. I am using a Need For Speed trailer as video for my project, I have completed a rough spot for the video but will go more in-depth over the weekend. I have a car that is appropriate to produce some meaty engine noises. Tyre spins and car drifts will be difficult as I don't want to spend loads on new tyres for my friend. Are there any alternatives for creating that type of sound? Thanks :) Commented Oct 19, 2010 at 21:04
  • Sound Libraries, if it fits in to your project spec Commented Oct 19, 2010 at 23:24
  • Thanks for your thoughts David, what are your favoured microphones for your game work? I believe Mercenaries 2 has a few different cars etc in them. Commented Oct 19, 2010 at 23:55
  • 1
    Cars from Mercs2 came from libs :( budget issues. but all the trucks came from a loc shoot at Fort Irwin. It was guerilla style because we thought we were going to be recording guns, but that fell thru. We used 4 rigs: AT 825 stereo mic for Bys Sennheiser 416 for tracking of large slow vehicles (tanks, 2.5 ton). SOmetimes we walked/jogged next to the vehicle to get steadies, sometimes we sat on the truck. A cheaper shotgun mic that I dont remember but didnt like. A peizo contact mic that got us some excellent (but lo-fi) engine compartment noise until we fried it with SPLs and/or heat. Commented Oct 21, 2010 at 17:03
  • Ah I see. Think I'm going for a Zoom H-4 for the recording / stereo recordings, Sennheiser 416 for tracking and a 30ft away from revs etc, Neumann KM184 Stereo for passbys (will try Engine & Tailpipe, they can withstand high SPL), ATM 250 for engine, SM57s for intake and turbo, ES 945 W (PZM) for engine again and interior. Think thats about it what do you think? Commented Oct 23, 2010 at 23:26

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