Motor Grader Recording June 27, 2011

June 27, 2011 – Sagle, Idaho USA – Every year the county grades the dirt roads here in North Idaho after the spring run-off from the mountains. I heard the grader pass by the house so I went down to the dirt road below my ranch and here is some of what I recorded.


These BIG machines sound really cool. Diesel engines, air hoses, dirt scraping and high speed passes with the transmission whining and whirring. After some digging around on the web I found out that a used grader at 5 years old costs around $400,000. I can only imagine what they cost brand new.

The grader operator had a very “colorful” description of the Sennheiser MKH 8040 Matched Stereo Pair of microphones inside a Rycote blimp system on the boom pole. I was really happy with the results from the 8040ST rig. There were lots of birds and crickets and the microphones rejected them from the side very well. I did use the low cut filter on the SD 702 at 40hz because or handling rumble so the low end is good but not as heavy as without the low cut.

Equipment used: Sound Devices 702 and a Sennheiser MKH 8040 Matched Stereo Pair of microphones.

Here is some video footage from my iPhone. Please excuse the shaky cam as I was mostly focused on getting the take and I was wearing my sunglasses and could not see the screen very well.

Some photos from the session:

Grader 2011-06
Grader 2011-06
Grader 2011-06
Grader 2011-06
Grader 2011-06
Grader 2011-06
Grader 2011-06

4 replies
  1. Stephen Saldanha
    Stephen Saldanha says:

    Man, Idaho looks beautiful, I’m so sick of Dubai and all the buildings I want greenery in my life! haha.

  2. Nathan Moody
    Nathan Moody says:

    Very nice, Frank! Incredibly detailed. If you’re using two MKH8040’s, what stereo config/pattern are you using? You are the king of being in the right place at the right time.

  3. The Recordist
    The Recordist says:

    Thanks Nathan. Used the MKH8040s in XY. The only way they fit in the Rycote. 90 degrees. The grader was in the right place at the right time, I’m always here 🙂

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