Frank Bry’s Techniques for Thunderstom Recording

Frank Bry has published a very cool post talking about his experiences on recording thunderstorms, along with examples, tips and more.

Most of my thunder recordings are made with my Sanken CSS-5 microphone sitting right outside my front door. I sit in my kitchen with the recorder and a glass of single malt scotch and safely wait until the universe gives me a good one. I have an open field directly in front of my porch with the forest on one side and a huge open space that leads to the street on the other. Unless it’s really windy or raining heavy I get some very clean takes. On occasion there will be cars going by, birds, squirrels or people mowing their lawns and chainsawing. This is very rare but can be annoying and just part of life. The middle of the night is the best time here, it is very quiet… almost to quiet (spooky).

And some quick and cool tips:

  1. Always be ready. I have my gear set and ready during the thunderstorm season.
  2. Be patient. Waiting is the hardest part. Don’t tear down to quickly after the storm passes, there might be the “good one” (Has happend to me one too many times)
  3. DO NOT STAY OUTSIDE during the storm. Our body voltage is low, not a good idea to add more.
  4. Protect the gear. If it’s raining and windy, cover and secure your precious stuff.
  5. Drink Scotch if you want, it can help pass the time and your recordings actually sound better.
  6. There will be a next time so don’t worry about getting crap for recordings.


The Recordist