Corkscrew Swamp Revisited

About a year ago I went down to Naples, Florida to record at Corkscrew Swamp and was met with mixed results.  The area is overrun with retirement communities, which means air traffic and vehicular traffic.  I don’t know why I thought this year would be better, but unfortunately it wasn’t.  I was met with the same challenges and was unable to get clean recordings for more than a few minutes at a time.  I am still sifting through the raw material, but one of the highlights I have come across is this duet between Carolina Wrens, which are pretty predominant in the swamp. In the distance you can also hear a small scrub jay squeaking away. (Thanks to Martyn Stewart of http://naturesound.org for the bird identification.)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Regardless of the noise challenges, Corkscrew Swamp is truly an amazing place to see the sun come up.  There are over 3 miles of boardwalk that enable one to traverse normally inhospitable areas.  I managed to get rather close to a group of wood storks, but my recording gear was set up elsewhere.  When I returned to capture their harsh nasal squawks, they had taken off.   I waited for quite a while to see if they would return, but I ran out of luck.  By the time it hit 9:00 AM or so, the air traffic had kicked into high gear; nothing like geriatric travellers to put a damper on your field recordings.

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.

Read More

Yo Rudolph

We had quite a bit of snow this past weekend in New York, and I guess I got into the Christmas spirit.  I decided to take my DPA 4060s in my hat and head up to Rockefeller Center to check out the tree and maybe capture some ambience.  Ultimately, the results were not that great, but this minute or so of audio is definitely a New York holiday moment.  I was standing above the skating rink, trying not to freeze, and stumbled into these characters.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Read More

Wintry Mix

This weekend my wife and I managed to escape New York City and get up to the country. I was lucky enough to be treated to a snow covered weekend and, just before we left to return to the rat race, we were treated to a wintry mix of snow and freezing rain.

The snow and rain was making a wonderful crackling sound off the roof of the deck and the surrounding snow, so I made a quick dash for my gear. I packed lightly on this trip and left my Schoeps MS and Sound Devices rig behind. That meant that my DPA 4060s and Zoom H4 were going to get their maiden voyage in the snow.

I set each capsule up next to a support column for the deck and ran inside to keep warm. I think the little DPAs held up quite well in the cold and moisture.  The only unfortunate element is the appearance of some vehicular and air traffic.

Enjoy the crackling.  Also if anyone could identify the bird species that crop up, I would really appreciate it.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Read More

Brook or Stream

photo credit Chris Vickery

A while back, some family friends asked me to record a stream which runs behind their house up in the country.  This particular location is about two hours to the northwest of New York City right on the border of New York State and Pennsylvania and the area is just beautiful.  I wake up most nights in NYC wishing I was in that deep country, but, alas, employment opportunities don’t really exist up there.

It was a brisk 38 degrees when I recorded this, so I was very happy to be wearing some wool to keep me warm;  I know my rycote was also glad to be wearing its furry wind cover.  Often water can sound like white noise when it is too constant, which is why recording ocean sounds can be incredibly difficult.  When you come across a body of water that “babbles” over rocks or the flow of the water is interrupted in some other way, it is always a joy to record.

At the time of the recording I found myself wondering whether I was recording a brook or a stream when I realized I had no idea what the difference was.  My dictionary defines a stream as “a smallnarrow river”  a brook as “a small stream”, which honestly doesn’t help me.  Now I need to find out what qualifies as a small stream and my dictionary can’t do that for me.

Enjoy the recording, regardless of my dilemma.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

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, while trying not to freeze.

Read More
about to call navigation