When it comes to crafting compelling and immersive soundscapes for narrative drama projects, there is nothing we like more than getting out in the field and recording our own custom sound effects. In this article we will take you through our process for recording custom dirt bike sound effects for the short film Salt Water town, and share with you some tips and techniques to implement in your own custom recording sessions.
Alex, Ryan and Prestin getting up close and personal with the KTM 250 Enduro Motorbike.
Project: Salt Water Town Director: Dan Thorburn Cast: Owen Teale, Tom Glynn-Carney
We recently completed full audio post production on the short film Salt Water Town, which contains several scenes featuring dirt bikes. Rather than pulling sounds from a library we felt that a bespoke approach would deliver a much more compelling result, and so, we embarked on a journey up to Yorkshire to conduct a recording session at a private dirt track with the KTM 250 Enduro 2 stroke 250cc motorcycle and a professional rider.
The KTM 250 Enduro model that we used to record the sounds for Salt Water Town.
The Recording Process
This session included a large potion of the 344 Audio team with Alex, Ryan and Prestin all lending a hand towards capturing these sounds. Having multiple team members on hand not only made the process more efficient from a workflow standpoint, but also allowed us to capture various perspectives at once, something that was very important for the film as there was a range of different shots featuring the dirt bikes, from close ups to super wides and establishing shots.
The team were hard at work capturing sounds from various perspectives.
During the recording we had an iPad on hand for real time play back. We used this to listen through the recordings as we were making them and make small adjustments along the way to achieve the desired sound. We were also leaning heavily on the experience of the motorcycle rider, as they had a strong input in terms of how the bike should sound during different speeds and ranges of motion, as the engine sounds different depending on the gear configuration, and rpm. This was a huge help, given the fact that we were trying to achieve the most authentic sound possible.
Alex was in his element during this recording session!
Incorporating the dirt bike recordings in to the film during the mixing stage.
Salt Water Town
"As rising sea levels loom across the coast of Wales, a father and son clash over the future of their failing caravan park "
Salt Water Town is a short drama directed by Dan Thorburn, starring Owen Teale of Game of Thrones fame, and Tom Glynn-Carney who is most known for his performance in Dunkirk. The story follows a father & son who operate a caravan park on the coast in wales, and must confront their collective futures.
The bleak & weather-beaten welsh coast is the perfect backdrop for the drama to play out, and alongside the aforementioned dirt bike scenes, there were several key moments in the script that let us get creative and really flex our sound design muscles.
On set during photography for Salt Water Town.
Actors Owen Teale and Tom Glynn-Carney who play father & son in Salt Water Town.
From Us To You
As always at 344 Audio, we strive to maximise the value that we can extract from all of our endeavours, and so we have compiled the dirt bike recordings into a sound effects library which is available for purchase on the 344 audio store.
You can find the library on our store via this link:
Check out some audio excerpts of our dirt bike recordings in this short clip.
This library contains an extensive selection of recordings taken from our dirt bike session including pass-bys at multiple perspectives, idling and close up engine sounds and auxiliary effects such as the helmet being taken on and off, sound of changing gears, operation levers and switches on the handlebars etc.
All sounds have been carefully edited and mixed for maximum cinematic impact, meaning that you can drop them straight into your timeline and get creative with minimal fuss.
We hope you enjoyed checking out this article!
If you enjoyed this post please check out our ultimate guide to audio post-production: https://www.344audio.com/post/the-ultimate-guide-to-audio-post-production-sound-design 344 Audio is an Audio Post Production studio in Manchester. Check out our work: 344audio.com Check out our Pro Tools templates and SFX on the store! 344audio.com/store Follow our socials! facebook.com/344audio twitter.com/344audio instagram.com/344audio