Tag Archives: Crowd

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

Field recording

Demonstration in Oslo, Norway

Protesters gathering before the march

On April 9th 2011 a protest march took place in Oslo. I packed my gear and got ready to record crowd sounds. A small group of people was protesting in one part of the city. A large group of about 700 people was marching to protest against the other group. The police was worried that there would be a huge street fight and had lots of officers ready to protect the smaller group. I figured it would be easier for me to record what I wanted if I followed the marching group instead of being boxed in with the small group.

I went to the designated endpoint of the march an hour before it was supposed to start. I walked the route from finish to start to find the best spots to record from. Street musicians and music from stores was a challenge, but I found some relatively quiet areas.

Around 12:00 the leader of the protest held a short speech and then the crowd marched off. I recorded the departure, walked with the group for a while, got a couple of pass-bys and, finally, the arrival at the endpoint. Aside from a couple of slogans being shouted, everything was quiet. There was no confrontation between the two different groups.

The crowd and the police

After the march it was time for more speeches. After a while one guy decided he wanted to pick a fight with the 700 other people there. The police had to move in and rescue him. I was at the wrong end of the area, so I wasn’t able to record the fight. I did get the speaker’s reaction and the silence while people were trying to find out what was going on.

At the end of the day I got lots of slogan shouting, applause and general crowd sounds.

Equipment: Rode NT-4 stereo microphone -> SD744T

The fight was caught on camera, if you’re interested: http://www.vgtv.no/#id=39308 (edit: dead link)

Want more? Check out Colin Hunter’s demonstration post here. (edit: dead link)