The Sound of Battle

As a traveler and a sound recordist, I have to say this is one of my favorite adventures. After my bicycle trip from Budapest, passing by Bratislava and Vienna, I stayed in Brno, Czechia (also known as the Czech Republic). I was in the city of Brno for 2 weeks! Trust me, it was worth the time spent. I had a few “life-taking” experiences. Haha. I’m just joking.

A sculpture of bullets used during the war

Brno—More than just a city

Brno is a charming small city in Czechia with less than 600,000 residents. The second-largest city in the Czech Republic has many stories and tales. I can’t overemphasize how interesting the people of Brno are; they are fun to be with and very accommodating. One thing I love about Brno is its rich culture and amazing history. Brno is the most important city in the Moravia region. I toured around the city during my 2-weeks stay and believe me when I say I had an awesome experience there.

A statue of a soldier on a horse

During my stay in Brno, I was lucky to witness the reenactment of the battle of Brno. This happens once a year. The battle of Brno was the most decisive event for the city, that sealed the fate of the Austrian empire! The actual battle was in 1645 against the Swedish sieges. It took place on the hill and to date, the castle still stands on the hill. This was the perfect opportunity for me to get some nice recordings of battle.

Gadgets Used

Unlike other escapades, I figured out a “stealth” set up won’t get the job done. I need to be subtle! I set up my Stereo Shotgun Sennheiser MKH418 microphone. The Sennheiser MKH418 was the perfect setup that would allow me to capture the “sound and rhythm” of battle and firearms and at the same time minimizing the “unwanted” surrounding noise of the audience, cars, and other objects. Since it is also a stereo microphone, I was able to record the ambience of the battle with it. Even though the MKH418 is a noisy microphone, the battle was loud enough to not bother about it. It was plugged into my portable multichannel audio recorder— “Sound Devices Mixpre-6”.

The Battle of Brno

The battle lasted approximately 30 minutes, but the whole event was all day long, with stands, tents, activities for everybody (the whole family)—a nightmare for sound recordists! As it turns out I was able to capture nice firearms shot sounds and some ambiences without too much trouble from the crowd. It was interesting, and I felt it was never-ending. They battled a lot and moved positions, they also had drums and soldier’s march just before. I was lucky to be on time with this event! I recorded resonating and nice sounds that I had not recorded before. You can listen to them here:

Battle scene

Had it been I was not in the great city of Brno during this event, it would have been really difficult to get these sounds. My 2-weks stay in the second-largest city in the Czechia was one of the remarkable moments of my life.

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