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Posted by on Aug 9, 2011 | 42 comments

Tim Nielsen Special: On Microphone Addiction

[Written by Tim Nielsen]

My name is Tim Nielsen, and I’m a micaholic. It has been four months since my last microphone purchase, an adorable little Neumann XY set in a Mono Rycote. I bought them from a friend, because when I saw them I just had to have them. Trust me. They’re really cute. You’d want them too.

I probably won’t be writing a lot of technical articles here on Designing Sound. There seem to be plenty of those already. I don’t have much interest in sharing endless plugin settings, or even mastering chains. I don’t much care about fade file type preferences, or your scheme for color coding tracks. I have those too, but explaining mine in depth won’t really do you much good.

But maybe with regards to recording sound effects, I might have some advice that some might find useful. So today I want to write about microphones.

I bought my first microphones from one of my professors while still at USC film school. It was a Schoeps MS Rig, two CMC4 T-Powered bodies, with an MK41 mid capsule, and an MK6 side capsule. By the time I bought them, they were already 15 years old or more. Over the years I swapped out the T-Powered bodies for phantom powered ones. About three months ago I finally parted with them, selling them to a friend at Skywalker for her first rig. That’s the first thing about recording equipment, and in particular microphones. Buy good ones, as they will last you a long time. Plugins, software, computers, will all become obsolete very fast. But a good recording rig should last you a long time. I have no doubt those Schoeps mics have another 20 years in them.

So this in article, I thought I would give a run-down of the mics in my personal arsenal. It’s a bit of a running joke around the ranch, my mic collection. I’m sure Charles Maynes has beat by a long shot! :) But the truth is, every one of these mics has a purpose, even if they’re not used all that much. So here it is, a list of the mics that are currently in my possession:

  • Schoeps MS Rig: CMC6XT Bodies with MK41 Mid and MK8 Side
  • Sennheiser MS Rig: MKH50 Mid with MKH30 Side.
  • Sennheiser MKH416 Shotgun
  • Schoeps CMIT-5U Shotgun
  • Sennheiser MKH816 Super-Shotgun (x2)
  • Neuman XY Rig: KM00 Bodies with AK40 Capsules
  • Schoeps CMC6XT with MK2 Omni (x2)
  • Sennheiser MKH8020 Omni (x2)
  • Telinga Stereo DAT Parabolic
  • DPA 8011 Hydrophone
  • Sennheiser MKH800
  • Rode NT1A (x2)
  • C-Ducer Ribbon Contact Mic (x2)
  • AKG C411pp Contact Mic (x2)
  • Sennheiser MK421 Mark II (x2)
  • Countryman E3 Lavalier (x2)
  • Crown SASS Mk. II
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Posted by on Jun 3, 2011 | 0 comments

Coll Anderson Special: Exclusive Interview

To get things rolling on this month’s featured sound designer, here’s a little introductory interview with Coll Anderson.

Designing Sound: How did you first get interested in sound?

Coll Anderson: My Mother was a DJ at a country radio station in Des Moines Iowa. She did that and was a VO artist… I started hanging out at the station when she was doing her show, and then hanging at sessions… That led to playing with stuff, the record players, making mix tapes, faders… I was like 12… I mean I was a little kid playing with cutting 1/4” and stuff to make my mix tapes. Then one day I got the microphone to work… That was it. My brain just exploded. I recorded music for a while, played the drums for a while but it was always that microphone thing that illuminated so much for me. Then Allison Humenuk asked me to record sound on her thesis documentary and the two ideas, recording sound, and working on movies just came full on.

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Posted by on Apr 1, 2011 | 1 comment

Rabbit Ears Audio Releases Military Vehicles SFX Library (Q&A Included)

Rabbit Ears Audio has released its fifth library, called Military Vehicles, a huge collection of seven sfx packs, featuring recordings of the following military vehicles:

  • M5A1 Stuart Tank: In service WWII and Korean War. Engine: 2x Cadillac Flathead V8.
  • M60A3 Combat Tank: In service 1961–1997. Engine: Continental V-12
  • M41A2 Walker Bulldog Tank: In service 1951-1970s. Engine: Continental AOS-895-3.
  • M106A1 Mortar Carrier: In service 1960s-1980s. Engine: 212 hp Diesel.
  • M4A2E8 Sherman Tank: In service 1942–1955. Engine Diesel GM 6046 (2×6-71 inline).
  • M42A1 Duster Tank: In service 1953-1963. Engine: 6-cylinder air cooled gasoline.
  • M75 Armored Personnel Carrier: In service Korean War. Engine: 6-cylinder AO-895-2.

All those vehicles where recorded by Michael Raphael and Rob Nokes of at the Fort Snelling Military Museum in Minnesota.

The gear used – Exterior: Schoeps MS pair, Neumann RSM 191; Onboard: Sanken CUB 01 (multiple), Sennheiser 835S(multiple), Crown PZM; Recorders: Sound Devices 744T and Deva 5,

Military Vehicles is available now at Rabbit Ears Audio. The tanks are being sold individually at $95. There’s a complete collection priced at $499  and packed with over 30GB of sounds.

Now let’s read an interview I had with Michael and Rob, who talked about the making of this huge library.

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Posted by on Mar 31, 2011 | 3 comments

Ric’s Tips and Tricks: Zoom Recorder Wind Protection

[Ric Viers has prepared a series of quick videos, where he will be sharing some useful tips and tricks for anyone who records sound effects in the field. All the videos were produced directly from the Detroit Chop Shop and will be published exclusively on Designing Sound TV during this month]

Today, Ric shares his tips on using a portable recorder, and the importance of protecting its microphones against the wind.

Watch the video on DSTV

More Videos

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