Noisy Corkscrew Swamp Part 2

Back in February of 2009 I posted a short recording from The Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in Naples Florida.  I was pretty frustrated with the amount of noise made by humans there; it is an amazing place with great wildlife but the din of vehicular traffic and air traffic can be pretty damn oppressive.

I was digging around in my recordings from that session, hoping to find some more clean material, but it was not to be.  Instead, I found some amazing-sounding birdlife covered with air traffic and some distant cars rumbling on the surrounding roads.  The birdlife is so stunning that I still felt compelled to post the recording, even though it is not one of my best.

I’ll probably be down there again this year, and I hope to get another chance to get some clean recordings without the presence of airplanes and the like.  I would also love it if any bird experts could chime in with some species IDs if they have the time.  I am dying to know what those prehistoric heron sounding things are!

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Recording Geek Note:  Rig consists of Schoeps CMC5 setup for MS, with the MK4 as the mid.  It was all tracked to a Sound Devices 744T at 24/96.

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Steam Pipes

It’s Fall in New York City, which means most landlords, if they’re not deadbeats, have turned the heat on.  My apartment features several steam pipes that seem to enjoy vocalizing this time of year.  I’m not sure if they are alerting the others to prey or mates in the area, but they seem to have quite a call and response going around the apartment.  Everyday these guys are making new sounds: tonight they were in a gurgling, tapping kind of mood.  I’m hoping that this post might attract David Attenborough to check out the phenomenon.

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Recording Geek Note:  Rig consists of Schoeps CMC5 setup for MS, with the MK4 as the mid.  It was all tracked to a Sound Devices 744T at 24/96.

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St. Francis Day

St. Francis Day is one of the more unusual religious services that can be observed in the modern Christian tradition.  St. Francis is the patron saint of animals and ecology; many Christians celebrate him and his feast day  by having their pets blessed.  You can find churches around the nation where congregations bring dogs, cats, hermit crabs, and other critters to church to have them blessed by their local priests.

One of the most stellar celebrations of St. Francis takes places at The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine in Upper Manhattan.   It is the largest Cathedral in the world by volume and it has a commitment to be an ecumenical place of worship for all people.  Their service features a procession of animals down the 600 foot length of the cathedral.  I spent October 4th watching and recording a Camel, Yak, Sheep, birds of prey, and others, formally move their way to the alter while hundreds of people sat for hours with their pets at their side.

The highlight of the service is not just seeing all of these animals in a giant church, it is hearing them all.  Unfortunately, the formal procession with the exotic animals did not make much noise, but a cathedral full of dogs will not keep quiet for very long!

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I planted myself in front of a particularly vocal husky that I thought was singing along with the music, but when it kept whimpering through communion, I realized it maybe wanted the eucharist or just to get outside.  Unfortunately it is not the cleanest recording in the world because people were walking in front of me at all times, but it is certainly a fun document of the day.

Recording Geek Note:  Rig consists of Schoeps CMC5 setup for MS, with the MK4 as the mid.  It was all tracked to a Sound Devices 744T at 24/96 in a giant cathedral with lots of animals.

Thanks to Kelly Carmody for the photos.

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Dragging Gear

No audio this time folks, but instead questions.  I battle with my desire to drag gear everywhere, but often question whether or not it is worth it when I am just trying to relax and disconnect.  I wish I could drag my schoeps MS/rycote/sound devices package everywhere, but it is far from compact or lightweight, and since I have moved back to NYC I rely on public transportation.  That change means that heavy bags, and lots of gear are not always an option.

I’m curiious, and there some compact low noise packages that users have that work well for them?  I have a zoom H4 and dpa 4060s that I often take with me, but I am not entirely satisfied and often wish I had something small that could be handheld instead of having to mount the microphones in my hat.

Thanks for weighing in!

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Washington Square

This post will be a little short on copy as I’ll let the sounds and the killer photos speak for themselves.  I would like to thank my brother, Dave for the  photos in this week’s post.  You can check out more of his work here.

Over the last few weeks I have been running around NYC recording in various locations, including Washington Square Park.  I planted myself on a park bench and went into record.

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Fall has arrived in New York, but, as you can hear, it hasn’t kept folks out of the parks in the city.  Any respite from tiny hole-in-the-wall apartments is a welcome one.

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