Old Lyme, CT (April 30, 2012)—When the opportunity arose to record a rare Russian helicopter, Michael Raphael's Rabbit Ears Audio team took along its collection of Sennheiser 8000 series microphones.
Raphael, a broadcast engineer who founded boutique sound effects library Rabbit Ears Audio about four years ago, and his team of field recordists took several Sennheiser microphones out to record a Mi-24 Hind, a rare Cold War-era Russian combat helicopter. There were several challenges his team had to overcome in the process: high sound pressure levels, extreme wind and very high fuel costs, to name just a few. He and his team of three other field recordists came armed with several specialized tools for the job, including the Sennheiser MKH 8020, MKH 8040, MKH 8050, MKH 8060 and older models, including the MKH 30 and 40, which were used in a Mid-Side (M-S) arrangement inside a zeppelin windshield.
"One of the reasons I used the Sennheiser MKH 8000 series was because of its extended frequency response--particularly in the lower range," says Raphael. "We wanted to capture the low-end chop of the rotor blade, as well as the sheer size of the helicopter on pass-bys."
"One of my concerns was whether or not the mics would hold up," Raphael says. "I found that the 8000 series performed incredibly well in really extreme situations; in fact, there were situations where each of us were literally knocked to the ground at least once or twice during the takes just from the pressure of the pass bys. During take off, we were just outside the rotor arc, no more than 10 feet away."
The recordings were Raphael's first experience with the Sennheiser MKH 8000 series. "I've been very pleased with their all around performance and they gave us a really nice balance. You can't get much quieter than those mics; they have a fantastic extended frequency response."
Rabbit Ears' Mi-24 HIND collection will be available soon directly through its website