BE CAREFUL, THE LOUDEST SOUNDS ARE MUCH LOUDER!
Here is my fireworks noise recording from my backyard in Seattle, between 10:15 PM and 11:00 PM on the 4th of July, 2013. I think this one is closer to reality than any of the others. For starters, my Mackie 1402-VLZ mixer has up to 28 db of headroom above 0 db. With that in mind, I decided there was no need to insert a compressor into the mic channels. I listened and watched the levels for awhile before recording (between 9:30PM and 10:00PM) and set the mic gain and faders low enough so the loudest explosions registered between plus 4 db and plus 7 db on the mixer, well below the maximum before clipping of plus 28 db. The microphone was my Audio Technica AT825 Stereo Microphone, same as last year. The computer was running VSTHost with the engine input set to plus 3.8 db, to match the levels from the mixer. I used one VST plug in, LoudMax, a good simple compressor/limiter. LoudMax threshhold was set to minus 1 db and the output was set to minus .4db. During the recording, only the loudest noises caused any gain reduction to happen. After recording, I put the file (16 bit at 48 kilohertz) into Adobe Audition (version3), and in “amplify/fade(process)” I chose “Center Wave,” unchecked “Lock Left/Right,” and set “Calculate Normalization Values” peak level to minus .33 db. This balanced the sound with peaks up to minus .33 db, and no compression was added. Lastly, fades of five seconds were added to the beginning and ending. I made an MP3 (320KBPS at 48 kilohertz) using RazorLame.
Be careful, because of the wide dynamic range of this recording, the loudest sounds will be very loud! The first loud bang is at minus 44 on the the counter. Enjoy.