I just want to share the good news with everyone that the Kickstarter-backed Dyno Sessions recording project has now come to completion.
The process has been a very enlightening one and also a very enjoyable one. I’m honored to have been given the opportunity to pursue this dream and hope there will be many more to come.
Here’s some things I learned while in the process.
1. Always do another take. Even when you think it’s awesome in-the-moment, when you go back and listen you’ll have a bit of “oh, shoot.” Having an extra take allows you to A/B and pick the best. Options are your friend.
2. When the tape is rolling, time seems to go by awfully slow. For example, I meant for my loops to run at least 10 seconds. However, the driver and I in the moment rushed the upper-RPM’s, both from the ever-raising engine temps as well as the pressure from recording. In the future, use a stopwatch or similar to cue up and make sure you get enough time.
3. Also, it’s very, very, VERY difficult to have a car maintain an exact RPM. I did notice quite a bit of fluctuation when editing down to the loops which I struggled to cut out properly. Since this is a very odd dyno-driving technique, it may take a first-time operator a couple stabs to figure it out. For next time I’ll be sure to allow time to properly break into this.
4. Foley sessions inside a car get very warm, VERY quick. Bring water, stay hydrated, stay focused, don’t rush.
5. Leather interiors are squeaky! I tried to silence interior panels with gaff tape as much as possible, but in the end the leather seats themselves would squeak against each other. If you have to choose between leather and cloth for your project, opt for the latter — it’s more friendly, sonically speaking.
6. The sound community as well as the car community at large were both very interested in my project and progress. Being featured on the Forza Community Rides page brought more hits to this website in a week than ever before, simply amazing. The support and interest in car sound is there and I hope to continue learning and improving both myself and our techniques as a sound community to better represent the sounds of cars in all forms of media.
7. Planning and organization will set you free. I spent as much of my time planning and organizing and documenting as I did recording, I think. But when it came time to edit and I needed to know what RPM I was sitting at or which door was being slammed, having the notes and the takesheet to go back to was great! Taking time to experiment with the car let me discover all the things that make noises, which definitely helped as well.
8. There is an old addage I’ve heard from music production that for every second of song there’s an hour of work editing. While this was closer to 1 minute per 1 second of sfx, the end story is that time spent behind the scenes cleaning and cataloging is not to be underestimated.
To everyone who purchased the complete pack, the final filesize came out to 6.7GB all .zip’d together. It is currently still uploading – but watch your mail inbox for an update from kickstarter with the download link. Also, I had promised the freesound.org community access to a significant chunk of the sound files, which I believe I have finished uploading. To check out the free sounds, visit the freesound.org soundset page — you can also download the entire pack from my dropbox. All the shirts except one have been shipped, and the DVD’s for those who purchased it are being printed and shipped within the week. It appears they will come out onto a 2-dvd set.
And with that, I would again like to extend a humongous thank-you to everyone who took interest in this project, financially or otherwise. Without your support I couldn’t have made this happen. Thank you.