Recording a 1980 Beech Baron 58P Airplane Part-1

Beech 58P 2011 Recording 1

Part One: I Am Going To Do This

For two years in a row I’ve been recording the local airplane fly in here in Sandpoint Idaho. This event features many small vintage and modern airplanes on display and flying around during a hot August weekend at the local airport. The first year I attended I had low expectations on what kind of sounds I would be able to get but to my surprise I was able to get a lot of good prop plane engine run ups, ground taxiing, and passing by while at the South end of the runway. This year I focused on getting plane recordings from the North end of the runway and was able to get many clean take offs, fast pass bys and ground taxiing.

While I was taking a walk around the show during a break in the flying I met up with the owner of a Baron 58P twin prop passenger plane. During the show I had recorded the plane flying around and it sounded really cool so I asked if I could book the plane for a recording session. After slight sticker shock on what it would cost I figured what the heck, Let’s take an hour and see what happens. I chartered the plane for later in the week and the weather was beautiful. This is part one of a two part series on the recording experience and what I learned.

I Need To Wake Up How Early?

The pilot recommended we do this early in the morning since there won’t be any planes operating and the airport should be calm and quiet. So, I’m up at 5 AM for a 7 AM recording session. The airport is less than 20 minutes drive from my ranch at that hour of the day so it’s relatively painless to get there. Once I’m there though I discover it’s a lot louder during the week than the weekend. The airport is located in the industrial area of the city and there is a concrete plant operating, trains passing by and other vehicle noises that are not present during the weekend. After fueling the plane and finding a location far away from the concrete plant I set up for a multi microphone shoot.

[rokbox title=”Beech 58P Recording 2011 :: Fast Pass By” size=”640 360″ album=”album” class=”link-class” imgclass=”image-class rt-image” twidth=”100″ theight=”80″]https://therecordist.com/assets/photo_gallery_sfx_12/Airplane-Flip1-07-By-Fast-2.jpg[/rokbox]

[rokbox title=”Beech 58P Recording 2011 :: Medium Pass By” size=”640 360″ album=”album” class=”link-class” imgclass=”image-class rt-image” twidth=”100″ theight=”80″]https://therecordist.com/assets/photo_gallery_sfx_12/Airplane-Flip1-09-By-Medium-1.jpg[/rokbox]

[rokbox title=”Beech 58P Recording 2011 :: Landing Pass By” size=”640 360″ album=”album” class=”link-class” imgclass=”image-class rt-image” twidth=”100″ theight=”80″]https://therecordist.com/assets/photo_gallery_sfx_12/Airplane-Flip1-12-Landing-1.jpg[/rokbox]

[rokbox title=”Beech 58P Recording 2011 :: 2 SD-702 Recorders” size=”640 360″ album=”album” class=”link-class” imgclass=”image-class rt-image” twidth=”100″ theight=”80″]https://therecordist.com/assets/photo_gallery_sfx_12/Airplane-Flip2-08-Runway-Gear-1.jpg[/rokbox]

[rokbox title=”Beech 58P Recording 2011 :: The Sennheiser MKH-8040ST” size=”640 360″ album=”album” class=”link-class” imgclass=”image-class rt-image” twidth=”100″ theight=”80″]https://therecordist.com/assets/photo_gallery_sfx_12/Airplane-Flip2-08-Runway-Gear-2.jpg[/rokbox]

I Have To Have a Plan?

Since I only had an hour or so to get what I needed I had to build a multi-channel recording rig that I could move around and quickly change locations and simultaneously record the inside of the plane. I decided on the Sanken CSS-5 and the Sennheiser MKH-8040ST for the exteriors and a Sony PCM-D1 and D-50 for the interiors. The CSS-5 and MKH-8040ST microphones were each connected to a Sound Devices SD-702 that were sync locked together. The CSS-5 was on a boom pole and the MKH-8040ST mounted on a small profile stand. My plan was to track the plane movement with the CSS-5 and have the MKH-8040ST be stationary.

The Sony PCM-D1 and D-50 would be recording the interior of the plane while doing the exterior takes. These are not synced to the other rigs so I would have to time align them later while editing and mastering.

Part of the plan was to document the session with two video cameras and photos. I was fortunate to have my wife come along with me and she takes great photos. Once I showed her how the video camera operates she was up to speed in no time. I used the other video camera while I was recording with the boom set up.

Everything Always Goes According To Plan, Right?

Most of my recording sessions are on or near my ranch and I can take my sweet time setting up the gear and recording. This time was very different, I had to set up fast and be prepared to move the microphones around quickly while running a hand held video camera. Yeah right, this will be awesome! Well, I have to say that something like this is way more than one recordist should handle. From planning, logistics to the actual recording, anything can go wrong and it did.

First thing I goofed up was I forgot to bring my “Boom-cam” mount for the Flip HD video camera that I had tested during the recent fly in. I had to hold the video camera in one hand and the CSS-5 on the boom in the other. (Some of you know how heavy a CSS-5 is) I really did not have to do this but I felt comfortable enough with the set up that I could still focus on the main objective which was getting good sounds.

The second minor goofball moment was I forgot to set the interior recorders while the plane was doing the engine run ups. This would have been very cool and I am thinking about recording these sounds when I go back for the doors, switches and wing flaps later this week. I did get them set up for the ground taxi and flying.

The third thing was maybe we should have started an hour earlier since some planes started to show up and we had to wait for them to pass and get out of range. Precious time wasted but the pilot was flexible with the clock. Phew!

Time To Record, Clock Is Running.

Beech 58P Engine Run Up

Prop Plane Beech 58P Engines Run Up by therecordist

The first thing I recorded was the plane approaching and parking on the tarmac. I set up the CSS-5 directly in front of where the plane was going to stop. I place the MKH-8040ST 90 degress to the side. These microphones were placed where I was planning to do the engine run ups and that’s what we did next. I was careful not to set the input gain to high on the SD-702 recorders as these planes can get very loud when running both engines at high RPMs. We started with a single engine start and run up then started the second one. The pilot then brought the engines up to 1700 RPM and I’m sure he had the brakes locked down as it seemed like it was going to move at any moment.

Beech 58P Ground Taxi

Prop Plane Beech 58P Taxi And Fly By by therecordist

Next up was recording the start and ground taxiing. I moved the microphones out toward the airfield taxi lane. I had the CSS-5 directed so the plane would taxi by right to left and I pointed the MKH-8040ST towards the plane and slowly turned it to follow it’s path. Now I had to quickly gather all the gear and run it out to the middle of the airfield for the pass bys. We had planned the usual take off and landing along with some fast and medium speed pass bys. I had very little time since it does not take long for the plane to taxi down prep for take off. The pilot did offer a radio but since I had so many gadgets in my hands and to move around I though it best to just go without it.

Beech 58P Passes

The wind had changed direction since we arrived and the plane had to take off to the South. I positioned the MKH-8040ST mostly for a side to side stereo field but I had the concrete plant running sound to the South so I postioned the microphone slightly to the North to have that noise behind and rejected.

After the plane took off it made a high speed pass and a medium speed pass with the landing gear down. I did have the D-50 inside the plane and was hoping it would not fall out of postion. It’s amazing what I think about when out recording, no wonder !’m exhausted after one of these days. The plane landed and rolled on by and I had to grab the gear once again and run back to the area where we did the run ups and set the mics up again. I did tell the pilot to take his time while taxiing before he took off, I hope he remembered. After the plane shut down. I took a few minutes to check the recordings and then prepared for the next phase: Onboard interior perspective.

Part 2 coming soon. Enjoy -Frank

Airplane Recording Aug 18th 2011 Part-1, Camera 1

Recording the sound of a 1980 fixed wing multi engine Beechcraft Baron 58P propeller plane. This video contains the footage from video camera 1 operated by my wife as I was recording the airplane. The sound is from a Sanken CSS-5 microphone which I had on a boom pole following the airplanes’ movements. I recorded the plane at 24-Bit/96k to a Sound Devices SD-702 that was sync locked to another with a stationary MKH-8040ST microphone rig on a microphone stand.

I only had an hour to record the plane so I had to have a minimal set up that could be moved around the airstrip. This first part in the video series showcases the sights and sounds of engine run-ups, ground taxiing and pass by’s from the CSS-5 perspective.

Airplane Recording Aug 18th 2011 Part-2, Camera 2

Recording the sound of a 1980 fixed wing multi engine Beechcraft Baron 58P propeller plane. This video contains the footage from video camera 2 operated by myself as I was recording the airplane. The sound is from a Sennheiser MKH-8040ST microphone which I had set on a microphone stand. I recorded the plane at 24-Bit/96k to a Sound Devices SD-702 that was sync locked to another with a boom pole mounted Sanken CSS-5 microphone.

This second part in the video series showcases the sights and sounds of engine run-ups, ground taxiing and pass by’s from the MKH-8040ST perspective.

Beech 58P Airplane Recording Videos

Beech 58P 2011 Recording

Here are two videos recorded while I was capturing the sound from a 1980 Beechcraft Baron 58P prop plane. The first video is from camera one (Sanken CSS-5 audio) that my wife kindly shot. She also took over 150 photos of the short lived action. The second video is from camera two (Sennheiser MKH-8040ST audio), my somewhat feeble attempt to get video and sound at the same time. I forgot to bring the “Boomcam” gizmo that attaches the Flip HD camera under the microphone so I was holding it in my other hand the best I could.

I will be getting around to a complete blog post detailing the experience. It was very fast paced but totally enjoyable. I got some great sounds for a new library that will be released soon. Enjoy the sights and sounds! -Frank

Airplane Recording Aug 18th 2011 Part-1, Camera 1

Recording the sound of a 1980 fixed wing multi engine Beechcraft Baron 58P propeller plane. This video contains the footage from video camera 1 operated by my wife as I was recording the airplane. The sound is from a Sanken CSS-5 microphone which I had on a boom pole following the airplanes’ movements. I recorded the plane at 24-Bit/96k to a Sound Devices SD-702 that was sync locked to another with a stationary MKH-8040ST microphone rig on a microphone stand.

I only had an hour to record the plane so I had to have a minimal set up that could be moved around the airstrip. This first part in the video series showcases the sights and sounds of engine run-ups, ground taxiing and pass by’s from the CSS-5 perspective.

Airplane Recording Aug 18th 2011 Part-2, Camera 2

Recording the sound of a 1980 fixed wing multi engine Beechcraft Baron 58P propeller plane. This video contains the footage from video camera 2 operated by myself as I was recording the airplane. The sound is from a Sennheiser MKH-8040ST microphone which I had set on a microphone stand. I recorded the plane at 24-Bit/96k to a Sound Devices SD-702 that was sync locked to another with a boom pole mounted Sanken CSS-5 microphone.

This second part in the video series showcases the sights and sounds of engine run-ups, ground taxiing and pass by’s from the MKH-8040ST perspective.

Interior sounds from a PCM-D1

Airplane Prop Interior Beech 58P Start
Airplane Prop Interior Beech 58P Start by therecordist

Airplane Prop Interior Beech 58P Takeoff
Airplane Prop Interior Beech 58P Takeoff by therecordist

Airplane Prop Interior Beech 58P Landing
Airplane Prop Interior Beech 58P Landing by therecordist

PHOTO GALLERY

Beech 58P 2011 Photo

Beech 58P 2011 Photo

Beech 58P 2011 Photo

Beech 58P 2011 Photo

Beech 58P 2011 Photo

Beech 58P 2011 Photo

Beech 58P 2011 Photo

Beech 58P 2011 Photo

Beech 58P 2011 Photo

Beech 58P 2011 Photo

Beech 58P 2011 Photo

Beech 58P 2011 Photo

Beech 58P 2011 Photo

Beech 58P 2011 Photo

Beech 58P 2011 Photo

Recording a 1928 Stearman C3B Bi-Plane 2011

1928 Stearman C3B Engine Start Boomcam Perspective 2011

Here is a J5 Wright powered 1928 Stearman C3B starting its engine. The video was shot with a Flip HD (3rd Gen) mounted on my Sanken CSS-5 microphone boom pole. This is the complete video with the CSS-5 audio recorded at 24/96. This plane was not flying during the show but at the end of the day I was able to meet the owner and his friends (it takes more then one person to get these planes started). They were getting ready to fly home as I walked by after recording at the north end of the airport. I asked the pilot if I could record it and he said only if you give me the sound for my cell ringtone. “Deal” I told him. After they rolled it out and charged the starter she was running. He ran the engine at different RPMs until I gave him the thumbs up that I recorded enough for his ringtone. I then walked along side the plane while it headed for the runway. I was able to move down field and record the plane taking off and passing by.

1928 Stearman C3B Engine Flying Boomcam Perspective 2011

Here is the J5 Wright powered 1928 Stearman C3B starting its engine. The video was shot with a Flip HD (3rd Gen) mounted on my Sanken CSS-5 microphone boom pole. This is the video of the plane taking off and then passing by at the Sandpoint Idaho Airport with the CSS-5 audio recorded at 24/96.

1928 Stearman C3B Engine Start Far Perspective 2011

Here is the J5 Wright powered 1928 Stearman C3B starting its engine. The video was shot with a Fujifilm picture camera by my wife. This is the video of the plane starting and myself with the Sanken CSS-5 recording the sound.

The blog post from the Sandpoint Idaho Fly In 2011 is here

Sandpoint Idaho Fly In 2011-08-13

It’s been a year since my last recording session at the Sandpoint Idaho air show and fly in. Last year I focused mainly on engine run-ups and take-offs from the south end of the airfield. This year I decided to hang out at the north end of the runway and get pass by’s and ground taxiing as the planes landed. There were lots of different types of prop airplanes flying around including a 1928 Stearman that was not there in 2010.

The Rig

I brought along my Flip HD camera mounted on the boom pole just under the Sanken CSS-5 Stereo Shotgun Microphone and the SD-702 recorder. I chose the CSS-5 because I was happy with the results I got last year and it held up well in the 90+ degree heat. The CSS-5 is fairly good at rejecting off axis sounds even in the narrow stereo mode. It is a little heavy and my back was sore from the long day of recording.

The Flip HD “Boomcam” worked out surprisingly well even though my main focus was on the microphone angle and direction. The Flip HD screen is hard to see wearing sunglasses so most of the time I just hoped the plane was in the shot. Only a few times did I notice a plane it being out of the frame.

One thing that is very strange is during video playback the fast turning propeller on the planes looks warped and suspended in time from the 60 frames per second HD video.

The Sounds

I always forget how loud prop planes can be. Sometimes my levels were a little hot going into the SD-702. I never quite knew how loud a plane was going to be even though I’ve been doing this for a long time. Sometimes they ripped by and completely overwhelmed the limiter on the SD-702 and at times I was worried I was not going in hot enough. After a while I was able to make a best guess at it and it worked out OK. Win some, lose some.

There was a amazing Antonov plane that I wish was flying but the pilot was just showing it that day. It must be expensive and complicated to fly a plane like that. There was also a 1928 Stearman on display. This plane was not flying during the show but at the end of the day I was able to meet the owner and his friends (it takes more then one person to get these planes started). They were getting ready to fly home as I walked by after recording at the north end of the airport. I asked the pilot if I could record it and he said only if you give me the sound for my cell ringtone. “Deal” I told him. After they rolled it out and charged the starter she was running. He ran the engine at different RPMs until I gave him the thumbs up that I recorded enough for his ringtone. The engine run-up completely took me by surprise with my input levels. This plane is LOUD and I was very close to the engine. I adjusted it as the engine got louder and I hope to fix this level change in Pro-Tools before I send it up to him. There was a band performing behind me and the were close to finishing for they day but the pilot was ready to go and once the engine kicked in the music became inaudible. I would like to record this plane again in a private environment.

I was able to record some awesome high speed passes as the pilots were showing off their planes before a sightseeing trip over the lake. I did get a few landings with the tire squeak and quite a few ground taxi bys. I will say that I was attacked by these tiny red ants when I was out on the grass area at the north end of the airstrip. I must have stumbled on a nest and they were all over my pants inside and out. These guys can really bite you. All in all it was a great day and I will return next year and maybe they will have some jets… wishful thinking.

You can read about the 2010 air show recordings here
The 2010 air show sounds are available here
These air show sounds are available here

The Photos

Sandpoint Idaho Fly In 2011

Sandpoint Idaho Fly In 2011

Sandpoint Idaho Fly In 2011

Sandpoint Idaho Fly In 2011

Sandpoint Idaho Fly In 2011

Sandpoint Idaho Fly In 2011

Sandpoint Idaho Fly In 2011

Sandpoint Idaho Fly In 2011

Sandpoint Idaho Fly In 2011

Sandpoint Idaho Fly In 2011

Sandpoint Idaho Fly In 2011

Sandpoint Idaho Fly In 2011

Sandpoint Idaho Fly In 2011

Sandpoint Idaho Fly In 2011

Sandpoint Idaho Fly In 2011

Sandpoint Idaho Fly In 2011

Crazy Stupid Sound Of The Week 2011-08-12

Hummingbird at flower

This week I present a hummingbird. I’m not sure if this qualifies as a Crazy Stupid Sound but this is the first time I’ve been able to record a hummingbird up close. I was going to post about a cool sounding commercial air conditioning unit at a office complex but since this happened yesterday I changed things up a little bit and will bring it on over next week.

During the summer we have many hummingbirds in North Idaho and my ranch seems to attract them because of all of the flower gardens my wife has. Last night as I was closing up the garage I heard the hummingbird in front of a window. I’m not sure how long it was flying there but it seemed to be doing OK. I quickly ran and grabbed my recording in waiting, the Sony PCM-D1 and recorded the bird for just a few minutes as it seemed to be getting tired. These birds are very friendly but the move very fast if spooked. I’ve been sitting on my porch and have had them fly right up to me and stare for a few seconds and then zip away. Every time that happens I wish I had a microphone mounted on my head to record their sound. It’s amazing. After recording I gently picked the bird up from the open window and he flew off into the night.

I was not able to get some photos of the actual hummingbird but this morning I was able to take pictures of one outside in a flower garden.

Enjoy! -Frank

A Hummingbird Crazy Wing Flaps by therecordist

Hummingbird at flower

Hummingbird at flower