1960’s London Bus Recordings

29 July 2016

Got the opportunity to spend the day recording a 1960’s London Bus with Sound Supervisor Ian Wilson for a soon to be released feature film. The unique tone of these machines is indistinguishable, especially their idling sound and gear crunches, so we needed some authentic, decently recorded tracks that didn’t sound like they’d been recorded in 1960. A gapping hole in the sound library needed filling so after contacting the company who supplied the bus for the film production we organised a day out to a bus geeks paradise just outside London.

We managed to find a good runway close to the depot on an industrial estate, where our amazingly cheery and patient driver allocated to us for the day drove round and round in a big circle for a good few hours. We setup 12 channels in total –

  • 2 x DPA 4060 spaced omni in a Rycote
  • 2 x Line Audio CM3 Cardioids ORTF in a Rode Blimp
  • 1 x Neumann 191RSM – MS pickup in a Rycote
  • 1 x Sennheiser MKH 416 in Rycote
  • 1 x Sennheiser MKH 8070 in Rycote
  • 1 x Zoom H6 XY Mics with Rycote Windjammer
  • 2 x DPA 4060 spaced omni’s inside bus

During the drive-by’s the DPA’s and CM3’s were positioned next to each other with the Neumann and Sennheiser 416 pointing down and up the road for approaches and aways. The other Sennheiser we used as a handheld to sweep on drive-by’s. When stationary the Neumann was predominantly used handheld around the bus then I took it onboard for several loops pointing it in precarious positions whilst hanging out the back providing some interesting and not so interesting results. I was wearing my high-vis so all was health and safety compliant…





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