Recording fireworks and making mistakes

On Saint John’s night there’s a tradition in Spain in which families and friends gather together, drink cava (like champagne but less frizzy, or maybe with bigger bubbles, I don’t exactly know the difference… I’m not an expert of spirituous drink myself!) and eat a special Saint John’s cake. But also they shoot fireworks. Lots of!. With all this covid situation running along, my wife and I decided to do the party by ourselves as a couple, which is not bad at all. After several glasses of cava I had the wondrous idea to record the fireworks with my Zoom H6 stereo MS shotgun capsule, just to test it for a while.

Clipped!I ended with an hour of recording with several good takes of fireworks explosions (and some of my neighbours’ uninteligible chit-chatting too, sorry for that). But, sadly, I did a noob mistake: I forgot to activate the limiter in my Zoom, so some of the shots are clipped. Not so much to be completely useless, mostly if you want to use them them for designing impacts, explosions or guns. But clipped.

When you record shots or explosions (if you’re recording on 24bit as I do, not 32 float recording yet), you’ll have to look for the transients and the overall levels, of course, but you alse have to expect some of the shots to be out of limits. Always look for an average good level and ACTIVATE YOUR LIMITER. Just in case. My Zoom also can record a backup take 12 dBs below the main take, which can be pretty useful too (if you remember to activate it, that is the point of this post).

As usual, I’m sharing with you three long takes of fireworks explosions and noisy partying neighbourhood. You can use them in your projects for free, being them commercial or not. They’re almost unedited (not denoising this time), I’ve only applied some cuts to remove myself from the recording. You will be able to check my disgraceful clipped fireworks as a reminder to yourself: even after a party, even if you feel dizzy and sleepy, ACTIVATE YOUR LIMITERS (and your backup take if available) if you want to record explosive unexpected sounds!

Field Recording – 2020_06_23 Fireworks Sound Pack