Ever wondered how Pole Position Production records vehicle sounds? Curious about the unique sounds of sports cars, helicopters, APCs and the other vehicles we share in our shop? Want to see rare military planes and tanks in action?
Today’s post shares 10 new quick-take videos of our team in the field recording the sounds of WWII motorcycles, racing boats, rally cars, and other vehicle sounds.
Vehicle Sounds Videos
We started adding YouTube videos of our recordings of aircraft and vehicles some time ago. They ended up being more popular than we expected – our Avro Lancaster Pass By video has over a million views.
We wanted to share more snapshots of these rare vehicles and how we work in the field. So, recently we dug into our field recording archives. We sifted through the videos we had recorded over the years and made short, bite-sized clips of some of our favourites. We’ll share 10 today – but make sure you subscribe to our channel – we have more coming soon.
Hear Rare Vehicle Sounds
Not every vehicle we record is easy to find. Our team searches worldwide to find vehicles with the exact specifications our clients need.
Here’s a recording of a rare 1991 Ferrari F40 LM:
Check out the Ferrari F40 sound library.
We travelled to Poland to record this Russian SU-76 self-propelled gun. At over 10,000 kilograms, our team was sure to stay back when it was in action:
Visit the SU-76 sound library page.
This BRDM-2 APC is nearly 60 years old. It was a Cold War-era amphibious scout car used by the Soviet Union, Poland, and other countries:
Here’s the full BRDM-2 APC sound effects library.
Learn About How a Vehicle Sounds
We primarily record vehicles for feature films and video games. A nice side effect of this is that our recordings preserve hard-to-find vehicle sounds.
It’s likely you have never heard the sound of a 1969 Polish/Czechoslovakian SKOT OT-65 APC. These older military vehicles have interesting sounds all over and inside them. Hear the unique combination of a whining V8 diesel engine combined with a grumbling exhaust. Be sure to watch until the end to hear the before-and-after comparison.
Hear more SKOT OT-64 APC sounds.
I just love the sound of this 1969 Morris Oxford with a diesel engine. The chug of the exhaust (see 0:14) has a hollow, ringing aspect to it like nothing else:
Visit the Morris Oxford store page.
Recently, we’ve been recording a lot of rally cars. They all have incredible engine and exhaust sounds, as you can hear in this Peugeot 208 JWRC. That backfire is incredibly loud:
We released this Peugeot 208 JWRC just this month, you can find it here.
Watch Pole Record Vehicle Sounds
Recording these vehicle sounds sometimes requires placing microphones in tricky locations during challenging conditions.
This 2012 Cigarette 39 Top Gun Unlimited racing boat was so fast that it risked blowing out the microphones. You can see at 0:41 of this video how we arranged the microphones around the Dual Mercury Racing HP1075SCI V8 Engine (with 4 superchargers!) – spot them on the right side of the engine clip – all safely covered with wind protection.
Here’s the Cigarette Speedboat sound library page.
Recording this Robinson R44 Raven II helicopter was an intricate job. We needed our team in the copter, outside on the tarmac, and also far away to capture it passing.
Note the AMBEO ambisonic microphone peeking up in the first shot with an ORTF rig in front of the helicopter. In the next shots you can see how we arranged microphones on all sides of the helicopter to capture different textures of the blades and engine. Two crew used handheld microphones (usually Neumann RSM-191 or Sanken CSS-5 microphones).
The Robinson R44 sound effects page is here.
This WWII-era Ural Dnepr M-72 motorcycle video shares good tips for microphone use and positioning:
Notice the microphone placement on the exhaust (in a McDonald’s cup for wind protection), a recordist in the sidecar for onboard recordings, one at each end of the road, as well as two nearby and an extra team member in the field for a distant perspective. This allowed us to catalog the complete voice of this Russian motorcycle.
Here’s the M-72 sound library on our shop.
“Before and After” Vehicle Sounds
Our team uses the best equipment possible to bring out the full character of each of the vehicles we record. That includes specialized microphones, audio recorders, and wind protection that captures sound that just isn’t possible with mobile phones.
In particular, this Bell 206L-3 Longranger III helicopter’s blades whipped up a lot of wind. You’ll hear that it blows out the mobile phone recording. Contrast that to the sound library preview at the end. You’ll hear the final mastered recordings convey more character, expression, and accuracy – all completely wind-free.
Follow Us For More Vehicle Sounds
We have a lot more footage of vehicle sounds. Subscribe to our YouTube channel to learn when our next video is released.
Here’s a direct link to our field recording videos playlist that has more vehicle sounds clips, as well as recordings of weapons, explosions, and much more.