Posted by: recordingsofnature | December 19, 2013

Field recording by bicycle – Copenhagen – 2nd December 2013

Being a quite experienced cyclist in Copenhagen, I like to share some of my experiences from the bicycle lane, – here through a few portable field recordings (audio+video). At the moment it’s interesting to follow the development of the cyclist culture in this city – as the number of cyclists grows and the formal regulation is very limited.

Østerbrogade morning December 2013

Østerbrogade morning December 2013

The following footages are captured from the bicycle using a new portable setup for my audio field recording equipment. First part of the footage is captured at 8:30 am, riding the bike from Copenhagen University Amager to Fisketorvet. Listen with headphones for best experience.

The audio track alone with regular 320 kbps mp3:

This second part is from around noon. Going from Stormbroen, Christiansborg to Østerbrogade through Kgs. Nytorv.

The audio track alone with regular 320 kbps mp3:

Sound is an essential factor when you get around the city. It is crucial to sharpen your ears as you may often hear things before you can see them. That could to be aware of a truck approaching from behind, bicycle bells or sirens etc.

I am planning to do many more bicycle trips in the coming the seasons. I’d like to document the various sounds capes but also to show different aspects of the special cyclist culture of Copenhagen.

Copenhagen is quite famous (or even becoming infamous) for its cyclists and cyclist facilities. Every day, busy swarms of cyclists are forcing their way fearlessly through the traffic, utilizing any narrow space or vacancy. Always someone faster or slower than you.
Compared to other cities the I have realized how the Copenhagen cityscape is dominated by parked bikes or bikes on the roads.  Especially tourists must be very aware to step carefully and look out for the bikes.

At the moment the war between cars and cyclists (and  also the pedestrians) is escalating.
The current policy is to minimize car traffic by squeezing out the cars out, i.e. by narrowing the streets, widening the cycle lanes and raise parking costs. However, the result is rather more and stuck traffic and air pollution.

View of Østerbrogade December 2013

View of Østerbrogade December 2013

Portable audio recording bag at the bike

Portable audio recording bag at the bike

Setup:

Audio
I think I’ve managed to make a good bike setup for portable audio recording packing a blimp with 3 – 4 layers of nylon stocking backed into a rucksack. Using the Earthworks QTC40 omni directional with pressure equalizer. The wind noise is minimal.  See the images below.
Video
For the video I use a standard Canon pocket camera and a chest mount.
It is pretty challenging to get reliable pointing direction and to keep it steady while driving. I need to improve the steadiness for the next recordings.

Wearing the field recording bag

Wearing the field recording bag

Bag contaning recording gear and microphone blimp (4 layers of nylon stocking)

Bag contaning recording gear and microphone blimp (4 layers of nylon stocking)

Inside microphone blimp. Earthworks QTC30 with pressure equaliser.

Inside microphone blimp. Earthworks QTC30 with pressure equaliser.

Blimp frame without nylon cover

Blimp frame without nylon cover

Camera chest mount

Camera chest mount

Chest mount camera. Difficult to ensure correct angle. The camera is not very noticable.

Chest mount camera. Difficult to ensure correct angle and a steady viewpoint. This setup feels very discrete.

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Responses

  1. Very good, I enjoyed the cycling experience!

    I like the audio recording bag setup.

    Ref the video mount……have you thought about using a cycle handlebar mount? It wouldn’t sway from side to side so much when pedalling, but unfortunately there may be a trade-off with road surface vibration, which your body presently absorbs with the chest mount!
    Have a good Christmas!

    • Glad you liked it!

      Actually, I’ve done some of the same thinking in finding the best mount for the camera. I did Initially test and had a lot of hope in attaching the camera to the bicycle frame above the handlebar, but the low viewing angle and, precisely, the vibrations from the road caused major drawbacks.
      Carrying the camera on the body is a great anti-shake.. unless the body is very unsteady. The best solution I can come up with at the moment may be down to practice my cycling technique to reduce the swaying…

      A good Christmas to you too!


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