November 6, 2023 – THUNDERSTORM 5 is alive! Thirty years ago I began recording thunderstorms while living in downtown Seattle in the early 1990s. I remember the very first lightning strike I ever recorded. I was on the rooftop of my apartment building with my AT-825 stereo microphone and my trusty Panasonic SV-255 portable DAT recorder. I heard the storm rolling in from the South so I stood in the doorway and patiently waited. Then… wham! Out of nowhere the strike hit the ground somewhere in the city and I was hooked! I was on a mission. After moving to North Idaho a few years later I was able to record thunderstorms without all the back ground noise of the city, the rest is history. Number 5 is alive!
Thunderstorm 5 is my first collection of storms with some material recorded at 32-Bit/96k. 32-Bit allowed me to not worry about the input gain for the most part. Thunder and lightning can really test your gear on how much gain it can accept before totally overloading and clipping. The storms would be very far away, soft and booming then out of the blue can produce incredible audio energy and level. The Zoom F3 and F8nPro handled these drastic level changes easily without me riding the input gain on the recorders. The final files are delivered at 24-Bit/96k
Multiple microphone setups were used during most of the storms. I have a few choice locations around the property that allow me to place microphones or hand held recorders such as the PCM D100 facing South, North, East and West. With these sets I was able to cover up to three locations at one time. I also experimented with MKH8040ST ORTF Quad setups using one location with the microphone rigs close together and another location with the microphone rigs set far apart.
I spent the last 6 months combing through hours of material to find the gems. I found 85 of them! I hope you find them useful for your projects or you can just sit back in a comfortable chair and listen to the storms roll in using the long form files included. Headphones may be required! Enjoy! Namaste -Frank
Check it out here: