’Car passes’ may not be the most exotic theme we’ve ever had but it’ll be a very useful one if it provides us all with a greater variety of this type of recording to reach for.
Two particularly important attributes that a useful car passes recording must have are:
Enough spacing between passes to give you full depiction of each vehicle’s approach and drive away. Two cars passing by together while another car passes by on the other side of the carriageway is of no use for this purpose (if at all).
As with most types of recording, low background noise is important to avoid hearing a surge of noise as you fade the car pass in and out. What’s more, it muddies the definition of the sound of the vehicle itself.
Apart from that, though, there are very few conditions to adhere to. The vehicles must predominantly be cars but your recording may also contain bus / truck / motorbike, etc. passes too. The car passes can be as close or as wide as you like – although don’t go so wide that the individual car passes lose their definition and become a more general traffic atmos.
Think about definition: If you monitor at a low level but can still hear interesting detail from the engines, the road or simply from the acoustics of the street then the track is likely to work nicely when ducked down low in a mix around dialogue. If not, you’ll end up adding little more than surges of white noise to the mix.
A good selection of orthodox street / main road recordings at different speeds would be great, but I’m also hoping to hear some more unusual contributions too: eg. Cobbled streets, flyovers, speed bumps and manhole covers to name but a few variants.
Other than that, and as usual, I don’t want to tell you all too precisely what to record, but please feel free to comment below if you have any questions or if you think I’ve been unclear in any way; if so, I’ll provide more detail where necessary.