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The strangest thing you've recorded
Old 6th September 2008
Gear Addict

when i was living in mysore india we had a local snake catcher bring a cobra and a viper that he had caught that day into the studio to record
Old 6th September 2008
Gear Addict
ddp's Avatar

I once did a cd that was a choir that sang on bicycle. The best session was when I recorded them on bikes. There was about 30 of them including a tandem bike that had an accordion player in the back seat.
I set up a rig powered by battery in the middle of an empty wading pool in a park. I had a bunch of stereo mics placed pointing north, south, east and west.
The recording starts with them in the distance and a lot of ambient park sounds (kids playing, birds etc). Then the as they approach it took shape.
Since the pool was round the bikes could ride around the mics over and over again as they sang and played. The stereo effects were amazing. THe sound of voices, spokes, brakes, accordions all moving around and around going left to right disappearing and reappearing over and over was way cool!!
Old 6th September 2008
Gear Maniac
recording strange

Well not as strange as some of yours, but strange for me. I was producing an album some years ago and one of the songs was written about the Nut Island pumping station in Hous Neck Quincy Ma. The station would break down sometimes and pump shit into the ocean. It would stink up the whole bay. I thought a nice toilet flush at the end of the song would be appropriate althought the writer of the song was skeptical about having a toilet in his nice record. I finally talked him into it and went about to find a recording of a decent toilet. I was really disappointed at the terrible quality of all the toilet samples I found. They all sounded more like someone pissing in a sink. Really weak with no guts or depth. So, I went about to record my own. At the studio(Soundtrack studio in Boston) there was a toilet way down the hall outside the studio entrance and let me tell ya. This toilet had some balls. It was a large industrial size with some real purging horse power. Sounded like it was going to suck your brain down with it. So, we all got together and connected two lines of probably 250 feet of mic cable all through the studio, out down the hall and into the bathroom. I stuck a good 'ol sm57 right into the bowl facing the purge hole about 5 inches from the water line to get the gutteral direct sucking sound of the water purge. Then, I put a neuman 87 up in the corner of the Big, tiled bathroom to capture some ambience and that big hissing aftermath following the big purge. I flushed a few times to let the engineer get some levels and then they ran the song near the end where the toilet flush was to be. When I heard the last words of the last chorus, I hit the flush lever. I then heard a gigantic roar of laughter eminating from afar, a reaction from the band way in the studio. I took this as a positive sign. Well, I went in to hear the play back and low and behold was the mightiest most fullrange perfectly timed piece of audio I may have ever heard. It went far beyond my expectations for a well recorded flush. I had only wished that the same level of power and fidelity could have been achieved in the guitars, drums and bass. So, here it is 30 years later, and that toilet has left all else I have recorded wanting. Thats what is strange, not so much the sonic source. That toilet still remains my personal bench mark for quality that I may never reach. Perhaps I missed my calling. Some of those sound effects records could probably use a little of my touch. Maybe they will hear from me. Your stories are great!! Keep "em up!

Phil Donovan
Old 6th September 2008
Gear Nut
dcharrison's Avatar

If there's a meeting and nobody hears it

How about things that weren't recorded? When I was a young kid working for a rental company, we were contracted to record the executive sessions of a convention of supermarket executives. We were told that this was very important and were not allowed to miss anything for tape changes. Back-up equipment was ordered, as well.

So there I sat, in a posh meeting room at the Fairmont Hotel with 4 (count-em 4) tape recorders, a stack of (Shure m67?) mixers and a whole bunch of mics planted about the informal seating. In come the executives, a bunch of heavy hitters who, together, were responsible for about 80% of the grocery sales in the US.

They start talking and I start rolling and about 5 minutes into the meeting I hear one of them grousing about those "damn unions." One of the execs, who I recognized from the caricature of him that was emblazoned on all the grocery stores in my neighborhood leans over and says, "Son, I don't think we need to record this part of the meeting. I'll tell you when to turn them back on."

He then motioned to the waiter who brought me a plate of the fruit that was being served as an appetizer. I sat there for 4 hours eating strawberries en-glasse and never recorded another word.
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