It's been already a year since we introduced 'City Bicycles'. As we are preparing a new library
for imminent release we are reminded of the long recording proces for our very first library.
It took us a lot of effort to find the right surfaces and locations for our bicycle
recording sessions. We needed crispy clean sounds so we needed the quietest background,
without birds or airplanes. And also without city acoustics and distant traffic. Too many
times we tried to get clean recordings in a city, during daylight, it just never worked.
So most of the 'City Bicycles' recording was done in dark winter nights.
Our final recording location was so remote, that we had to cycle to get there. There was no
open water, so:no nightly bird activity, no traffic. Just peace and quiet.
It did mean we had to travel lightly, with the microphones all hooked up and no excess bagage.
Just some tea and 'warm handpads' for Max as he was the one recording the passby's.
This is Arnoud getting warmed up in the middle of the night.
Cycling at night was a strange, exciting and tiring excercise, rolling under moonlight.
One night an owl would swooped down over Arnoud as he prepared for another take.
Hunter for sound meet hunter for food :)
Most of the night sessions were a great experience, after hours of cycling you feel like
you're on another planet. And because you're so extremely focused on riding with a
steady speed you become entranced and get a little bit of 'runners high'.
Regarding speed, we tried measuring it with GPS apps on our iPhone, but it wasn't
very accurate in noticing smaller speed deviations. So we focused on getting a nice
rhythm, which gives our recordings this 'realistic' cadens. It's also what gives our bikes
character, because every detail comes alive in that semi-repetitive movement.
Arnoud testing his onboard setup and the first recording location.
We ended up skipping this lush green location. Loud animal sounds (even at night!)
and the not so gentle hum of a farms generator (miles away). It was a beautiful location
though and we did get our rigs setup perfectly for higher speeds.
Our upcoming library also relates to speed, but the surface is very different...
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