So a while ago, a good friend of mine treated my brother and I to tickets to Ring of Honor for his birthday and I couldn’t help but think it would be a fantastic opportunity to record some crowd sounds, and I was definitely chuffed with the results!
The most challenging thing about recording in this kind of environment was the positioning and location. In order to get a decent background crowd sound, I wanted to be fairly central. Anywhere too far to the left or right of the arena would give me a less impactful and more focused recording which was the opposite of what I wanted. Being seated in the audience myself would mean all the recordings would reflect that and I would get the bias of having some people really close to me and everyone else far away, which doesn’t really work for an ambience or background effect.
In the end, pondering my dilemma over a cold (and extortionately priced) pint of beer, I realised I was actually standing in the perfect spot: the bar. With the venue’s layout, the bar is slap bang in the centre opposite the ring, with half of the crowd seated on the left and the other half on the right. Perfect! The only downside of being in the bar was unsurprisingly the bar chit-chat. I managed to position myself as close to the entrance as possible and hold my recorder out to capture the crowd more than the people in the bar. Inevitably some of the recordings do have snippets of people cheering, chanting or shouting closer to me than the rest of the audience. Similar to the situation I would have faced sitting in my seat, it detracts from the whole “background crowd ambience” because you’ve got hundreds of people that are distant but then one or two that sound really close to the microphone. However, by and large, I recorded enough to ensure that I would have some strong takes without this issue, and I even think the ones with the closer voice recordings included have a nice touch too as they are a bit more immersive, making you feel as though you are standing in the room yourself.
The atmosphere at the show was absolutely incredible and for anyone looking to get some good crowd recordings, I highly recommend a similar event. It’s high energy, everyone gets involved and there are some excellent crowd chants that people like to throw out which make for some fun recordings. I’ve included a link to some of the sounds I recorded below. These are all raw recordings from my Tascam DR-05. Enjoy!