Hind Helicopter, New Library by Rabbit Ears Audio

Rabbit Ears Audio has released Hind Helicopter, a library of 77 files recorded at 24-Bit/96kHz.

One Soviet-era helicopter, four recordists, and plenty of fuel brings you REA_010 Hind. The Mi-24 Hind is a Soviet gunship that was introduced in 1969 and saw action in Afghanistan and throughout the Cold War. A few month back, I had the opportunity to record the Hind and assembled a team of of recordists to get ‘er done.

Sometimes when an opportunity presents itself, you just have to jump at it. This an animal of a helicopter that requires 26,000 lbs of thrust to get off the ground and pushes a ton of air. The helicopter’s large size and five blades give it a unique sound that is a combination of a “chirpy” whine and extreme low end.

Hind Helicopter is available at $129. More info: REA.

Below is a quick Q&A I had with Michael talking about this new release.

- What led you to create this library?

I was working at another gig and a friend of mine mentioned that he knew the owner of this particular helicopter and asked if I wanted to record it. At that point I didn’t know much about the Mi-24 and I started to do some research. Once I discovered how few of them were in the US and how little coverage there was, I jumped at the opportunity.

- What were the most interesting things of this helicopter regarding sound?

I can’t say that anything was boring. We learned very early on how powerful this machine was. It put out a tremendous amount of SPL and air-pressure. At various points throughout the shoot, each of the recordists were knocked down at least once from all the air that was being pushed. The blades are huge and the Hind has five of them, so it is truly a beast of a machine. I watched one recordist, Rob Byers, get flipped over twice during a take-off sequence because the Hind  passed a little too closely in his direction. We lost some good takes when we got a little too macho. During all of the pass-bys, I often found it hard to breathe from the amount of pressure hitting my body. Boy, was that fun!

We also spent half a day recording all of the doors, switches and electrical systems.  I really fell in love with that material during the editing process. Even the smallest switches have real weight to them.

- Could you tell us about the setup used and methods used for capturing those sounds?

For all of the pass-bys we wanted to capture a variety of perspectives and tonal elements so we went went out with a diverse collection of microphones. For all of the exteriors, we recorded with the following gear:

Exterior: Schoeps MK4, Sennheiser MKH 40, MKH 60, Sennheiser 8020, 8040, and 8050. Onboard: MKH 30/40. Interior Switches and Exterior Electrical Systems were recorded with a Schoeps MK4 + MK8 and a Sennheiser 8060. All tracked to Sound Devices 7-Series recorders.

The Schoeps really brought out the chirp of the helicopter where the Sennheiser 8000 series helped bring out the shear size and low end of the helicopter. Ultimately, the most important task at hand was recording as much coverage as we could with the fuel load we had. As you can imagine,  it is expensive to put the aircraft up, so you really have to maximize the potential for interesting recordings.

- How was the collaboration between the team of recordists?

I was happy to bring a crew of recordists that I knew very well and had worked with previously. All of the guys (Rob Byers, John Loranger, and Kelly Pieklo) have plenty of field experience.  Since I knew them well, spending a few days together was not going to be issue. We truly had a blast!  If one is going to do any sort of vehicle recording, having a group of recordists will help get the job done way more efficiently. We were able to spread ourselves across the airfield and cover the aircraft thoroughly.

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