Category Archives: Stealth

Ambience Field recording Stealth

Stealth recording at the railway station


I’ve spent the last two weeks finishing my central station ambience recording project. I did a couple of stealth recording sessions back in 2011 and I’ve used the recordings in the studio quite often since then. I never got around to properly edit the files, so I decided to get it done now. I also wanted to record a little bit more to complete the collection.



The first recording sessions were done using the stealth rig I wrote about in this post. It’s a fairly discrete and portable rig, but I still have room for a Sound devices 744 and a stereo microphone. I did experience some problems with wind noise because of the lack of proper wind protection. When I went out to do the final recordings I wanted to avoid this, so I sacrificed some stealthiness for better protection.



Yep. That’s a full windshield with wind jammer stuffed into a bag. Not extremely stealthy, but I figured I could get away with it if I positioned myself well and tried to look inconspicuous.

I recorded for about an hour without anyone asking “is that a microphone” or “are you recording”, so my not-so-stealthy stealth rig worked well enough. When I had gathered all the material I felt I needed, I took a last walk around to see if there was anything else to record. A security guard decided to have a chat with the weirdo with the strange dog in his bag. That was the end of my recording session for the day.

Back in the studio I finally edited all the recordings and put together an easier to use collection of sounds. Because I did the recording in several sessions on different days and at different times, the sounds cover pretty much all my needs.

I’ve decided to make the final product available through Norsonant. I’ll add a link here when it’s available.

Update: Here’s the link

Ambience Field recording Stealth

Covert operations / Subway ambience

My undercover sound bag

“Hey! Is that a microphone?” We’ve all had recordings ruined by the guy who spotted you and your equipment. Time to leave the blue/orange Petrol bag and the zeppelin at home and use something more discreet.

I found an old army medic bag and decided to use it as an undercover sound bag. My SD744T recorder, NP1 battery and Rode NT4 stereo mic easily fit in the bag. I have yet to find a way to suspend the microphone, so to minimize handling noise I just have to stand still or sit down while recording.

The contents of the bag

My first test run was on the subway in Oslo. I found a seat on the train and rode around for a while. With the business end of the microphone sticking out of the bag and my hand resting on the other end to to keep it still, it worked pretty well. There was some occasional handling noise, but not bad at all.

Microphone capsules sticking out. Ready to record.

It was also easy to gather ambiences in different places by resting the bag in my lap or next to me. The lack of a fuzzy windjammer was a problem when recording outside. I guess I’ll have to try to put one on the next time I go outside to record. I recorded some ambience on the subway platform and the trains passing by occasionally caused wind distortion. I tried to position myself to avoid that, but a windjammer definitely would have made it easier.

Despite of some small problems I got some good material. Below are some samples.

Equipment used: Rode NT-4 -> Sound Devices 744T
Join me on the subway from Majorstuen station to Nationaltheatret station.

Ambience recorded at Stortinget subway station.