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Ducati got creative with sound on superbike ad


Motorcycle manufacturer Ducati got creative with on-location sound recording while filming a commercial for its Panigale V4 Superbike.

Keenly aware that sound is as much a part of its brand identity as performance and aesthetic design, Ducati realised it needed to find ways to integrate the specific sounds of the Penigale V4 into its marketing campaign.

But physically fitting microphones to the motorcycle proved a challenge for the technical team.

“Where do you mount a recorder securely on a machine where every piece of faring is designed to be as aerodynamic as possible?” said Joe Wilkinson, the spot’s sound designer.

“Secondly, how do we rig our microphones so that they are protected from the wind, but still offer a recording with rich harmonic content?

“Just underneath the riders’ boot seemed to offer us an exciting perspective of the exhaust note - with the boot itself offering some natural wind protection. The second was inside the bodywork, capturing the clatter of the pistons and rasp of the engine. These two together offered a nice blend across the frequency spectrum. 

“Along with this we had two more perspectives, one on top of the chain guard at the rear and the last with a contact mic placed near the fuel tank for some low frequency rumble.”

Wilkinson and a colleague sat in the boot of a car with boom mikes on poles to record the broader sounds of the new Ducati on the test track at Mugello in Italy.

“It was incredibly rewarding to have a palette of sounds entirely of our making and it was also a pleasure to work with a client who was so enthusiastic about the importance of the sound,” said Wilkinson.

Client: Ducati 
Agency: Blackboard Berlin
Production Company: PAG
Director: Alberto Accettulli (Docks Video) 
Cinematographer: Fabrizio Accettulli (Docks Video)
Sound Design: String and Tins
Sound Designer: Joe Wilkinson


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