jgbsound

Technique for Creating a 5.1 Slapback echo for a gun in a forest?

9 posts in this topic

Hi Everybody!

I'm working on an indie WWII short movie (40 minutes) post mix and have quite a few gun, rifle, and munitions SFX involved.  I was hoping to create a rear channel slap back echo to mimic what you'd hear if you were in a canyon say and the sound trails off into the distance.  I tried simply running it through Altiverb and editing out the beginning of the clip, then mapping the reverb tail to the back channel, and it worked (sort of).  

It sounded okay, but I'm pretty sure it could be better.  Then I tried switching it up and tried used Space, then ReVibe (which did get it closer but still not satisfying)  

Does anyone have any suggestions/ideas on how best to achieve this sound?  I wonder how do the big guys do it?  It's a single shot to the head, execution style.  I was planning to have a startled flock of birds fly off afterwards!  

I do have a DPA 5100 and could record the sfx myself, if need be.  But I'd need to travel to the mountains to do it and find myself a luger since this guy is a WWII buff and would only want an authentic sound.  Just hoping I can create something digitally.

War is hell but editing the SFX is pretty friggin' fun!

Thanks in advance!

John

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Go find a canyon / forest, handful of mics, and a big battery powered PA speaker or inverter.

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Use an SP-200 Sound Field ?

mike

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I remember a report in RAMPS a while back by the bloke who recorded some multichannel gunshots for Thin Red Line I think. Can't remember off the top of my head who it was but I wouldn't be surprised if he was a semi regular here on JW. Anyway, I think apart from the usual close and mid distant collection of dynamics and condensors he had a pair of 816s way way back - I mean WAY back - for this slap. Might be worth trying a search for the OP on RAMPS - try 'recording gunshots' or 'thin red line' ... or maybe he'll chime in here if we're lucky.

Jez

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Thanks Jez,

I found him!  It's Greg Burmann and here's what he had to say about recording the sound of guns:

I recorded most of the fx used on Thin Red Line, but not the live round
105mm. If your recording for a feature, then I used lots of mics, and lots
of tracks
This is what I did that worked best
I used a Nagra 4S, and a Sony PCM800 8 track recorder.
1    I put 2 dynamics (EV RE20, and EV667) about 3 metres from the weapon. 1
mic (A) abeam the weapon pointed at the end of the barel, and Y corded that,
via a 20dB pad, into the Nagra, and the Sony PCM800 track 3 (with the Sony
input levels set to LINE level). The other mic (B) pointed at the weapon
from behind , and Y corded that, via a 20dB pad, into the Nagra, and the
Sony PCM800 track 4 (with the Sony input levels set to LINE level)
2    A stereo pain about 15 meters abeam of the weapon, into Sony track 5
and 6
3    2 shotgun mics about 100 - 150 meters away, but each in a different
location (We recorded near a rock cliff in an disused quarry, so 1 shotgun
was near the cliff, the other behind the weapon, and angles to AVOID as much
of the cliff echo as possible
4    I set the Nagra levels for a slight amound of tape saturation, the
meter JUST hit top stick, but no more (I wanted the fx to be reasonably
clean, not too crunchy)
5    Jam sync both machines, or log the start timecodes, so thet the Nagra
tapes can be dubbed to Sony tracks 1 & 2 in post-production. The sound
editor can then pull all the tracks into sync (or leave them out of sync),
and by a simple mix, can set the perspective of the fx.

I think that most shotgun mics would distort badly close to the weapon, so
for the close-up mics, use mics that can handle the levels

Have fun, firing a Tommy gun is fun!!!
Regards
Greg

 

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1 hour ago, jgbsound said:

Thanks Jez,

I found him!  It's Greg Burmann and here's what he had to say about recording the sound of guns:
...
3    2 shotgun mics about 100 - 150 meters away, but each in a different
location (We recorded near a rock cliff in an disused quarry, so 1 shotgun
was near the cliff, the other behind the weapon, and angles to AVOID as much
of the cliff echo as possible

Ah, there you go ... my memory! So the two shotgun mics (two separate mono positions, not stereo) were purely 'distance' mics and he did what he could to avoid the echo!

If you did end up setting up a distant echo mic, I'd be tempted to try a pair of widely spaced omnis - wide enough to hopefully get some noticeable 'stereo' effect, so really quite far apart, several meters at least. I've never actually yet used my two 100m cables which I made up a while ago for this sort of thing!

My first port of call might be to try that 'slapper' software though ...

Jez

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Thanks guys.  I have a pretty good sounding mockup and it seems to be working!  Sounds good to me at least.  I think it will work!

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