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Occasional posts on subjects including field recording, London history and literature, other websites worth looking at, articles in the press, and news of sound-related events.

28 November 2009

Ding dong merrily on high

. . . THE CASH TILLS they are ringing! Most of the one-to-many sound actions in London aim either to manage people’s movements or get their money off them somehow. With the West End now stuffed full of Christmas shoppers, this afternoon seemed like a good time to try to capture some more examples of the latter.

One product demonstrator working in Hamley’s toy shop was getting a bit carried away showing off a tiny remote-controlled helicopter:


Back outside in Regent Street, a small troop of Hare Krishna devotees were providing free entertainment for the masses:


A peaked woolly hat, like that sported by Radar from M*A*S*H, had made it possible to secure two Shure WL-183 mics in the vital just-before-the-ears recording position. The hat material and weave makes it fairly transparent acoustically, and the peak prevents the bulges of the concealed mics from being noticeable.

I’m a big fan of the Sonic Studios DSM mics in their supplied windshield, but there are some situations where wearing them on your head looks a bit strange. Last week I’d tried having them round my neck for making recordings at the Charlton Athletic vs Bristol Rovers match, but it produced muffled results. That, and some mic clipping, meant a little stardust had to be sprinkled on the sound files courtesy of Magix Audio Cleaning Lab:


The name ‘Magix’ may bring to mind the cheesy photo software that often comes bundled with compact cameras, but don’t let that put you off. Audio Cleaning Lab is a capable program for the price of £30, and has some useful tools for declipping, noise removal and other tasks. Even better would be the high-end audio restoration program Izotope RX, only the ‘advanced’ version costs nearly £800. Dear Santa, I have tried to be good this year.

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