Farting sounds and how to record a fart
recording music, sound effects, broadcast, CDs.

Michael Oster
F7 Sound and Vision's Michael Oster has been known to drift off into inner space while listening to all kinds of bizarre sounds. His excuse is that it's "research".

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Sometimes we're asked to record some strange things....

The fart. Plenty of sonic varieties and a wealth of aural textures. Farts can be splatty, rough, thick, smooth, seeping, squeaking, ripping, wet and then some. Even with so many possible sound combinations, farting sounds tend to trigger the same response: laughter. Then, of course, comes the avoidance of the resulting aroma. Perhaps you can find in some Medifast reviews that your farts will smell less or even better. That could relieve one problem at least.

But (no pun intended), how do you properly record the sound of a fart? You might be thinking that you just stick a microphone close to the source and "let it rip", however, that might not be the best method. On another page on this site, I talk about microphone placement - how to position the microphone relative to the sound source to get the most accurate or best recording.

Well, in addition to basic placement, you might want to consider something else when recording a fart. That other consideration is revealed when you compare recording a fart to that of standard vocal recording. With most voice recording, it's common practice to have the microphone about 2 to 6 inches in front of the talent. Now consider that a particular voice talent has a problem with bad breath and the microphone is working a 2 hour vocal session (this does happen). Would you like sing into that mic after the "bad breath" person? I didn't think so. Now, think about replacing "fart" with "voice". And what if some of those farts are wet? Get the picture?

So, maybe recording a fart from a 2 to 6 inch distance might not be the best idea after all.

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Well, to record fart sounds, you'll need a quiet and hopefully well ventilated room (tiled bathrooms are not recommended as they tend to have lots of sonic reflections which will detract from the pure farting). And, you'll need the fart talent, preferably someone with plenty of fart experience (and body control) who's also recently consumed a full burrito meal or two. In this particular application, I'd recommend a cardioid condenser microphone about 3 feet from the source. 3 feet should be a safe distance while also approximating the distance your ear would be if a person sitting close to you broke wind. You can also try a shotgun microphone if you're in a noisy environment.

Quick fart tips.

Every fart has the potential of greatness and all farts are not the same so it makes sense that recording them should be approached differently. Here's a few common types of farts and possible microphone placement solutions:

1) ripper (classic fart) - its loud "ripping" release makes this an easy recording candidate. 3 feet microphone distance should be fine. Just make sure to leave a second or two at the end as there tends to be brief "aftershocks" that you won't want to miss.

2) silent but deadly - don't bother with these farts, they stink.

3) squeaker - their melodic nature makes each one of these farts unique. They can have sweeping pitch glides that cover over an octave. Better keep the tape (or hard drive) rolling because you'll never get a second chance.

4) popper - you might need to move your microphone a little closer for these as they are short in duration and are not loud like the "squeaker" or "ripper".

5) the combo - consists of a series of farts which cover more than one above category or a blend of the fart types within a discharge. If you have talent that's capable of producing these, your best bet is to set up 2 or 3 microphones at different distances and use the "best" sounding example.

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