For DiRT Rally, which is currently enjoying a Metacritic score of around 86%, d:dicate™ 4007 omni
, 4011 cardioid
, 4018 supercardioid
and d:screet™ 4062 omni miniature microphones
were a permanent fixture. Microphones were used across a whole slate of onboard recordings, ranging from classic Rally Era historics, Group B, A and 4 cars, as well as contemporary World Rally Championship and World Rallycross cars.
“The 4007 omni was often the primary mic of choice and channel for both engine and exhaust recording,” Jojo explains. “It was positioned a few feet from the source for a more diffuse ambient effect, serving as the foundation binding the other chosen ancillary, close mic’d and discrete channels together at mixdown. It was generally mounted in the centre of the firewall in an engine bay, with one or more mounted above, centered on an exhaust via pressure cups, Manfrotto arms or taped over blocks of memory foam for optimal off-axis positioning.”
DPA’s d:screet™ 4062 miniatures were used as workhorse mics, often applied where there was limited space inside the engine bay, while d:dicate™ 4011s were consistently used for both engine and exhaust as ancillary channels, for close mic’ing detail, targeting induction and flanking the engine block. In situations where a more focused approach was required, for example isolating the sound of a dog tooth gear box, waste gate chatter or gravel and stone kick-up in a cabin, Jojo used 4018s. All mics were routed into a Sound Devices 788T Digital Audio Recorder with either a -10 or -20 dB in line attenuator at input.
Most car recordings for Codemasters’ titles are conducted on track, with the team rarely using chassis dynometers and rolling roads due to their inability to run off-load decelerations, which are integral to the timed cues needed to build in-game audio engines.
“I generally set up a few heavy boom stands with shotgun mics or have an assisting recordist shoot along the run of a track to pick up any ‘wild takes’ of the car manoeuvring, pass-bys, detonations/overruns or tyre squeals,” Jojo says. “Safety is always a primary concern: for protection against exposure to engine and exhaust heat, mic enclosures and cabling are fire treated with fire retardant tape and shrouds, securely rigged with fireproof ties and chased into the audio logger. Onboard mics also have to be protected against wind and airflow.”