Recording Fireworks!

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I hope everyone had a great and safe 4th of July this year!

 

After the 4th, Fireworks go on sale and is the perfect time for us to buy some and go recording

I find that recording fireworks are a bit harder to do so sharing some tips and tricks will be helpful!

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There’s a handful of very informative blog posts on this. The one that comes to mind is Tim Prebble’s: http://www.musicofsound.co.nz/blog/hissandaroar-sd004-fireworks-library-released

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Frank Bry has an article about his experiences recording fireworks:

https://therecordist.com/sandpoint-idaho-fireworks-2011/

He lists gear choices and details about the session.

In the past I’ve recorded fireworks similar to gun recording techniques: dynamics and certain condensers up front for the burst and a wider microphone to capture the spaciousness as the fireworks explode or whistle in the air. I then mix the perspectives in post. Sometimes you can keep them separate depending on whether you want to present the experience (mix of perspectives), or capture a specific effect (close).

I also find microphone selection, placement, and technique depends on the type of fireworks. For example some don’t do much on the ground but make the most noise in the air, or vice versa. So, it’s a good practice to set off the same type of fireworks in a series so you’re not running around changing microphone angles and positioning. Unfortunately, it’s often tough to tell how they perform just from the packaging, so ask the fireworks seller what they do, and make notes.

Good luck and have fun.

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I recorded last year’s show at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. Used a pair of Schoeps CMC6/MK21s in a NOS config.

I kept the recorder’s limiters off and the gain low to prevent clipping the transients. Then used gratuitous amounts of limiting in post to get the acoustic ‘bloom’ of the surrounding arroyo.

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I recorded some fireworks in my backgarden a little while ago, with a pair of 414’s into the sound devices 633. Results were.. mixed. Fireworks are incredibly loud! > https://100hoursprojectblog.wordpress.com/2016/06/23/hours-52-53-fireworks/

Absolutely going to find a nice firework display in November to record!

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