December 5th, 2011

Bowling alley- the thing with recording a bowling alley is that the pins are so far away. When you’re the one bowling, you’re not really listening to all the chatter around you; in fact your brain does its best to cancel it out (it’s called selective listening, google it), and so you really hear the clamoring of the pins as they crash and fall. Microphones don’t have any such ability; they just take in whatever sound waves reach them, and they don’t care either way about the relative loudness of those sound waves.
So what happens in a recording like this is that even though it sounds like any ordinary (busy) bowling alley, the pins sound really far away in relation to the human chatter.

Nady stereo condenser microphone
Focusrite Saffire Pro24 interface
Logic 8 on a MacBook Pro
bowling alley in San Diego


  • avatar
    Peasant64 2 years, 1 month ago

    If I may -- if you're looking to get an isolated sound, you're gonna need to go when no one else is there (ask the bowling alley people, they really may let you. I've found lots of people are interested to help if they can watch just out of interest/fascination with what you're doing, gives them a very different day from the norm). I'd also put a mic all the way down near the pins, turned way down, and multiple mics along the way to capture the full "roll" of the ball, and a shotgun pointing in a straight line from where you drop the ball (careful not to hit it) to the pins. Then you've got options to mix it as a sloped-off "getting further away till it hits the pin" sound, or to mix it in with the two or three you've got along the gutter for a more steady "roll" till it hits the pins. Listen to the bowling scenes in Big Lebowski. They recorded real well.

  • avatar
    juliancallan 2 years, 11 months ago

    Excellent ambient sounds of a bowling alley!

  • avatar
    bazooka565 3 years, 7 months ago

    This is excellent. Much thanks!

  • avatar
    ednut33 3 years, 11 months ago

    but when you need the ambient sounds of a bowling alley, like i do... its perfect!



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