Tomorrow I'll be micing the interior of this beat-up car where the windshield is going to be smashed in with a golf club by the main character. I was thinking about micing the interior with an sm57 and maybe a pencil condenser. From the outside I would capture the impact with a Rode NTG-3.

Do these sound like good options? Thanks!


4 Answers 4


Cool idea.

Try to get a PZM mic for the windshield.

Also, make sure you place it in a spot it won't get damaged (chips or glass, etc.)

And, with a foam screen on the SM, I'd try to get as close as possible to the glass to see if you get a good thump sound there. Too far off and it will sound thin. Think of it like a kick drum.

I'd place the pencil condenser in between the two front seats to get as much baffling as possible. Also, maybe bring some blankets to place inside the car to deaden it a bit more.

But, there's the issue of being in the camera's frame...

Maybe you can smash the other half of the windshield later for the FX!

And don't forget to clap loudly near the mics to test and make sure you don't distort when the shot is taken because I'm guessing this will be a one-take situation.

P.S. Good luck and don't forget to post samples.

  • @Utopia I would love to have a go at the windshield haha..I wish I had a PZM mic, but these shall do. If I don't have a foam screen for the SM57 should I wrap saran wrap around the capsule? And of course I'm going to post samples! May 21, 2011 at 6:06

Personally I don't think glass hitting a 57 will damage it at all, 57s are built like tanks. Pretty sure you could hit it with the golf club and then plug it in and it work, maybe even sound better :P Only thing is if something hits the mic, it will be very noticeable in the recording, same thing will happen with a windscreen or saran wrap. It is going to take a few whacks with a golf club to completely bust out a windshield. If the 57 is inside the car, that should take care of any wind situation. You also always have the option of the rear glass to use for recording for later. Hell if they are getting rid of the car after, go to town on it.

A couple of times I've done impact things on set, I've actually thrown Y cables in line because I had less mics than I had channels, I was able to set gain on each mic for impact/and aftermath.

If your trying to also get some low stuff, you could always close mic it before the action and kind of thump the windshield with the bottom of your hand and just label as wild tracks. Then move stuff outta the way and let camera get set up. That would give you some thump with the acoustics of the car and then the actual smash could be blended in post.

Pull out a speaker in the dash and stash the mic inside pointing through speaker cover up at the impact point Would let you get pretty close, keep it out of frame, and the grill will protect from glass shards. Also very easy to stash a decent radio mic in the speaker area or in the visor. Impact location and camera is going to change your options.

Sounds like it's gonna be fun, wear some safety glasses if your close :P


Gawd, how bout a contact mic, or pointed up from the engine


The smashing is probably already done... but whatever.

On top of the contact, 57, and pencil, I'd include something with a large diaphragm mounted near the overhead light. Close micing stuff is great for details, but for thumps and whumps I like to leave a bit of space to let the sound breathe, give the lower stuff the chance to propagate and interact with surroundings. There're all kinds of super long wavelength sub-sonic frequencies going on when you're doing that kind of smashing, especially in a quasi-airtight space like that. You wanna let them have their effect on the audible things.

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