Recording of the Week: Tiny Antique Camera by Rene Coronado

Rene Coronado is an audio engineer working in postproduction in Dallas since 2000 at Dallas Audio Post Group. He has a blog where he shares his thoughts about different fields, including sounds. Recetly he published some nice sounds of an antique camera, which I wanted to feature as the recording of this week. This one was not recorded outside the studio, but is definitely a cool find!

A few weeks back I went to the camera show in Grapevine looking for both camera equipment and anything interesting sounding. While I largely passed on the stuff that I’d actually want to shoot footage with, I did find this little treasure to record – and at a bargain price of $20!

What you’re looking at there is a B and H Filmo Sportster 8mm film camera. It has a manual crank, a thick metal casing, an a million little noises to record.

While I did manage to get tons of coverage while recording it today, I’d like to focus on one specific usage that I get tons of mileage out of these kinds of things for: UI and small servos.

Now this particular device doesn’t have any electronic parts, but it still made tons of very clean servo sounding noises regardless – especially since I was able to drag the switch you hold down to make the film spin and get a cool scraping noise. When highpassed, and pitched around it can be pretty convincing, while remaining very natural and organic sounding.

In this sample the first half is as recorded and the second half is severely highpassed. I tend to use these types of noises with a little flange for sci fi servos and UI sounds pretty frequently.

Let’s listen:

Rene recorded the camera at 24bit 96kHz using an AT 4050 microphone into a John Hardy M1 preamplifier.