recording motorcycle



Hi all

In a few weeks the movie I'm working on will be printed, so finally I'll have some time to spend on my projects.

I'm planning to record a few motorcycles, this and this and I'm start to organize how to do that.

This is the first time I try to record any vehicle/motorcycle so any help/suggestions are welcome. I already read the deenen special on recording car and read any info I found on the books I have.

A few questions:

  1. How many recordist? I'm thinking about two + one onboard.
  2. which microphones? I'm planning to use a schoeps ms setup (mk4+mk8) and a sennheiser ms (mkh60+mkh30). plus a dpa 4061 onboard + some kind of dynamic mic (shure beta57? something else?) I have to rent some of those mics so any advice is wellcome!
  3. Any tip for the "performances"(what speed. changing gears. slow speed high speed. which manouvers?)?
  4. Where to put the onboard mics so that they get the best possible sound and the least possible wind noise? What protection I should use? blimp? foam?

thank you in advance, I'll let you know (and hear) what will happen


Davide Favargiotti

Posted 2010-08-04T20:44:57.967

Reputation: 1 169



The Schoeps and the Sennheiser pairs will work great, as always, for bys etc..

The DPA 4061 will work for you onboard (I love my pair), but there are much better choices for that one. The Shure 57 will work great onboard, but I'd suggest another dynamic or a pzm mic instead of the Lav for your 2nd onboard.

I'd suggest a mic on the seat directly behind the rider pointing down. The rider will work to provide a slipstream which will prevent wind noise. Or even better, put a backpack on the rider that won't make cloth noise, and mount the mic on the backpack. And if you can rig it, perhaps another mic (a dynamic that can handle really high SPL) somewhere near the tailpipe. Make sure your mics are not attached directly to the bike and have some sort of shock mount or at least foam under them as vibration will be a problem.

I'd record full coverage of the motorcycles. David Yewdall's Sound Design Book has a great list of what is considered "full coverage." I especially like the sound of downshifting on motorcycles myself.

Justin P

Posted 2010-08-04T20:44:57.967

Reputation: 5 344

I'll have a look at second dyn mic, and at the backpack for the rider! The yewdall' book is one of my reference, so I' ll start from there! Thnak you – Davide Favargiotti – 2010-08-09T22:28:02.010


Tim Prebble is your guy for moto recording. Check out his blog posts about his work on "The World's Fastest Indian" and his shifter cart recordings.


Posted 2010-08-04T20:44:57.967

Reputation: 10 706

Thank you for the link! :) and thank you Tim for writing it! – Davide Favargiotti – 2010-08-09T22:29:35.970


I was just thinking, you also want to record things with the engine off, like the sound of the brakes (if they're squeaky, even better! :) ), if there is a clutch, well, the sound of the clutch, maybe suspensions, foldable footrests, you get the picture...

Justin Huss

Posted 2010-08-04T20:44:57.967

Reputation: 2 656

Of course!!! ;) – Davide Favargiotti – 2010-08-09T22:28:35.710



Posted 2010-08-04T20:44:57.967

Reputation: 385

This really is a great article, but link-only answers are frowned upon. Links can go away over time, leaving the answer useless. Would be better to summarize, or quote a couple small paragraphs, or inline one of the soundcloud links, in addition to the link. – JoshP – 2015-01-26T20:57:11.853