location Highway Sounds

sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
It seems like anywhere I go there is always the same droning sound in the background... car wheels on the road.
Especially highway sounds.. its one of the oldest sounds i remember as a child sitting indoors, you can hear the distance sound of cars driving.

Is there anything that can be done to mitigate this?
Besides getting a really long shotgun mic and pointing it in the other direction of the road .. it seems like the noise is everywhere and bounces off everything though.
 
Sound designers often spend hours recording for just a few minutes of practical sound bed in the end. Whether it’s cars or planes or trains, it’s really hard to find true wilderness anymore.

The first step is to find a place that is decently removed from the road, depending on what kind of ambient sound be you want. Forest/mountains? Yeah, you’ll need to be well away from the roads and you still may hear a distant motorcycle or Jake brake, or get planes flying over once in a while. Suburban neighborhood? You’ll need to be patient through step 2...

The second step is to sit and record for a good, long while. Take notes, watch the counter, and go until you think you have more usable sound than you need.
 
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Yup, it requires patience if you don't want to travel or be awake at very weird hours.

I have, on occasion, made long detours along the way when visiting my family in Vermont. I can get fairly long continuous takes of birds, wind in the trees, streams and brooks, etc. My 5+ hour drive will take more than 8 hours, but it is worth it in the long run.

At home in the NY Tri-State I can get fairly clean recordings in the early morning or late evening. For birds and things like that I'll just roll of some of the low end.
 
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