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Author Topic: Picking a Mic to Record Fireworks  (Read 1540 times)

John Hiemburg

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Re: Picking a Mic to Record Fireworks
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2021, 07:54:53 AM »


GoPro Fusion in Grand Finale Fireworks



"Mom, when I grow up I want to be Jeff Lelko."


Just curious about the little 'campfire' burning in the center of the barge - is that part of the design, a practical or technical need, or ??
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Tim Weaver

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Re: Picking a Mic to Record Fireworks
« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2021, 12:52:36 PM »

I can't find an SPL rating anywhere, but I'm guessing the good old Buchanan Hammer would work fine. They are indestructable in every other regard. And they can be had pretty cheap.

https://products.electrovoice.com/na/en/635a/
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Bullwinkle: This is the amplifier, which amplifies the sound. This is the Preamplifier which, of course, amplifies the pree's.

Jeff Lelko

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Re: Picking a Mic to Record Fireworks
« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2021, 06:08:27 AM »

Thanks Chris and Tim.  I definitely should have mentioned ahead of time that this is a rather unconventional use for a microphone.  I agree that the omnidirectional pickup pattern would be best for my use here.  My only question is that both suggested mics have a 80Hz LF cutoff - wouldn't something with more LF extension be preferred here to capture the "guts" of the booms?

"Mom, when I grow up I want to be Jeff Lelko."

Just curious about the little 'campfire' burning in the center of the barge - is that part of the design, a practical or technical need, or ??

I'm flattered!  I'll admit that rockets by day and lights/sound/pyro by night is a fun gig.  So the "campfire" is actually just the burning cardboard remnants of a cake (aka "repeater" or "multi-shot device").  They're single-use pre-loaded boxes that can fire anywhere from a dozen to many hundreds of individual shells/comets/mines/etc. on a single fuse.  For larger shows like this I'll use cakes for display enhancement with higher caliber shells breaking over top of them, whereas for smaller displays such as what you might see after a baseball game they'll be a larger component of the show.  They don't need the same setbacks from the crowd as conventional shells do. 

Since this was just cardboard burning on a barge deck there's no need to send someone in to put that out until after the display.  Certain display sites such as rooftops are much more sensitive to fire and need to be set up so that any burning product can be extinguished rapidly, but on the tighter confines of a barge (with unprotected edges at night) it's better to just let them burn until we can safely get in there to extinguish afterwards.  Cakes catching fire after use is common, so a smart display site is set up so that they can burn without spreading or touching off anything else.  I'll definitely have to recycle the campfire reference in the future though!  Maybe I'll bring some marshmallows with me in a few weeks!
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John Hiemburg

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Re: Picking a Mic to Record Fireworks
« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2021, 12:11:53 PM »

Very cool, thanks for the info.


This is a far cry from the old 'buss fuses loaded with black powder' that were the 'pyro' effects of my youth. We even built one unit that was a 2x4 with several light-sockets so we could blow several of these at one time. Amazing we're all still alive.

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Chris Hindle

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Re: Picking a Mic to Record Fireworks
« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2021, 12:36:16 PM »

Very cool, thanks for the info.


This is a far cry from the old 'buss fuses loaded with black powder' that were the 'pyro' effects of my youth. We even built one unit that was a 2x4 with several light-sockets so we could blow several of these at one time. Amazing we're all still alive.
Haha.
More than one flash-bang was a sputter and fizzle because the gaff wasn't wrapped tight enough....
Yes, I still have all my fingers and toes...
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Ya, Whatever. Just throw a '57 on it, and get off my stage.

Jason Glass

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Re: Picking a Mic to Record Fireworks
« Reply #15 on: June 14, 2021, 01:08:00 PM »

Thanks Chris and Tim.  I definitely should have mentioned ahead of time that this is a rather unconventional use for a microphone.  I agree that the omnidirectional pickup pattern would be best for my use here.  My only question is that both suggested mics have a 80Hz LF cutoff - wouldn't something with more LF extension be preferred here to capture the "guts" of the booms?

I can't help but wonder if an SDC omni measurement microphone might work well in this application.  Even an inexpensive model.  Of course they're not known for pleasing reproduction of voice or instruments, but their flat frequency range, transient response, and phase coherence seem to indicate a good fit for capturing concussions.

Here's an example on the cheap side with 145 dB max SPL.  https://store.rationalacoustics.com/products/isemcon-emx-7150
« Last Edit: June 14, 2021, 01:21:07 PM by Jason Glass »
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Tim Weaver

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Re: Picking a Mic to Record Fireworks
« Reply #16 on: June 14, 2021, 01:31:04 PM »

A measurementt mic is a good idea too!

I would think the best way to get the "experience" down on tape might be a pair of spaced omni's to capture most of it in stereo, then a LDC or some other low-frequency capable mic spaced far enough away that the spl won't kill it.

Then blend in post. You'll have to time align the low freq mic, but then you would also have the ability to mix, compress, and eq that LF mic differently.
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Chris Grimshaw

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Re: Picking a Mic to Record Fireworks
« Reply #17 on: June 14, 2021, 02:08:51 PM »

Thanks Chris and Tim.  I definitely should have mentioned ahead of time that this is a rather unconventional use for a microphone.  I agree that the omnidirectional pickup pattern would be best for my use here.  My only question is that both suggested mics have a 80Hz LF cutoff - wouldn't something with more LF extension be preferred here to capture the "guts" of the booms?


The 80Hz is more like a -3dB point or whatever. The mic will still pick up frequencies below 80Hz, but they're attenuated somewhat - a bit of EQ will bring that back into line just fine. It might be worth measuring the mic once you've got it (assuming you've got either a flat speaker or a measurement mic), so you can figure out exactly how much EQ would be needed.

An omni measurement mic might work, but maximum SPL will be a consideration. Dynamic mics don't really have that issue.

Chris
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Russell Ault

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Re: Picking a Mic to Record Fireworks
« Reply #18 on: June 14, 2021, 03:45:53 PM »

A measurementt mic is a good idea too!

I would think the best way to get the "experience" down on tape might be a pair of spaced omni's to capture most of it in stereo, then a LDC or some other low-frequency capable mic spaced far enough away that the spl won't kill it.

Then blend in post. You'll have to time align the low freq mic, but then you would also have the ability to mix, compress, and eq that LF mic differently.

I'm not sure I understand; in my mind, if a microphone isn't "low-frequency capable" then it's probably not a very good measurement mic.

-Russ
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Picking a Mic to Record Fireworks
« Reply #19 on: June 14, 2021, 03:56:29 PM »

Tom Danley did an interesting recording of fireworks a few years ago.

I don't think he shared how he did it but I suspect he stuck a mic down in the throat of a huge horn.

JR
Microphones are a "side hobby" of Toms.  He has developed mics that give some very realistic sound stages that are almost scary when listening on good headphones.

But the problem is selling enough of them to make it a worthwhile business venture.

Let's just say you are on the right track.
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Ivan Beaver
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Re: Picking a Mic to Record Fireworks
« Reply #19 on: June 14, 2021, 03:56:29 PM »


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