In a recent comment I was mentioning the role of environmental audio in urbex video. Decent audio is an extra complication to capture and to include in editing, and I can understand the convenience of just ignoring the sound of an environment and shoving some mood music over the top instead. I do that all the time. However, I think we miss an important aspect of making these environments real for people when we do this.
My Bulgaria trip last June/July was the first time I've captured clean, separate audio. This video is all about the sonic properties of the Buzludzha former socialist meeting house - its weird shotgun ricochets of sound because of its perfect circle architecture. I'll include some info on what I learned while at the location below.
With the fall of the soviet empire and the dismantling of its influence in Bulgaria in the late 1980's, first it was communist party insiders who were tipped-off, then it was the general population, who raided the socialist meeting house at Buzludzha of so much of its finery. However the architecture itself and its inherent acoustics still speak of a philosophy of community (a perfect circle) over cult of personality (a stage, a grandstand). And to this day, in basements and attics of now-abandoned spaces, hidden away, images of Lenin, communist flags and the like can still be found in Bulgaria, and many elderly in the villages remember socialism with fondness. With thanks to Nicola Miller and Jonathan Taylor.
Very good work! Unfortunately most times there's too less time for me to focus on exploring audio though there are interesting sounds to record. The sound of a room, factory hall, church or whatever and moving doors or fans are great for adding to video. But preferably you have to carry extra equipment for audio: stero pair of condenser microphones, stands or mounts for them and an audio recorder if your camera doesn't have XLR inputs with phantom power. BuiltIn microphones of cameras are limited suitable cause they also record the sounds that are made by the camera itself (eg. motorzoom, your fingers on the cameras body...). A compromise is to record audio parenthetically, cutting the unusable takes out and placing the selected ones within the external "soundtrack". That doesn't match to every kind of music, but to "atmospheric" sounds.