Upstate Drainage

I’ve been on an upstate New York kick lately, and this week the kick continues.  There was an open drain at the edge of the property, and I stopped to record it.  There is nothing remarkable about it, but I do love the reflections inside the drain.  The ground was covered with over five inches of snow, and the sound you hear is the little bit of water that wasn’t frozen!

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It started snowing shortly after I walked outside and if you listen closely you can hear snow hitting the Rycote.  It was not a desired effect, but I had forgotten my wind sock, so snow clicks are what happens when you forget your wind sock.

Recording Geek Note:  Rig consists of Schoeps CMC5 setup for MS, with the MK4 as the mid.  It was all tracked to a Sony PCM-M10, with Sound Devices MP2 as a front end.

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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.

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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, while trying not to freeze.

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Lincoln Center

A few weeks back, the weather was beautiful and I was riding around NYC on my bike looking for interesting places to record.  I decided to take a break at Lincoln Center and, after sitting there for a while, I thought the ambience of the place was kind of pleasant so I pulled the gear out and started recording.  The main fountain was quite a ways off in the distance, but there was a fair bit of foot traffic and dachshund traffic.

I have no idea what performances were on deck that night, but the afternoon’s activity was enough for me.

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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, while trying not to scare the old people having lunch.

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The Hudson Burps

New York has recently been blessed with some lovely weather, which means that I have managed to get out on my bike to do some exploring.  I’ve been lugging my gear around just in case I run across something interesting, and this past week I got lucky.  The Hudson River Greenway is a two-way bike path that runs almost the whole length of Manhattan.  A healthy chunk of that ride is full of beautiful views of the Hudson, and green spaces along the way.

This day on the bike was warm, but a bit windy, and the waters were crashing up against the concrete barriers of the Hudson River Park’s walkways.  One of the nicer features of the park are the walkways over the water where old piers used to sit.  The walkways are made out of metal grating, so I was able to plant my butt down with my microphones and record the water crashing and bubbling up through the holes.

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The only bummer of this day was the sounds of the Westside Highway in the background, but it is New York City after all.

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 get splashed by the dirty waters of the hudson.

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Under the Delaware

Independence Day in the States just rolled around and what better place to spend July 4th than the Delaware River?  If it’s good enough for George Washington it’s good enough for me.  I am still trying to get to know my new hydrophones and the bottom of the Delaware was where they ended up for a few hours. There are little rocks on the river bottom, so the trick was not to get the sound of the mics scraping them and actually recording the current rolling by.

If you listen closely you can hear different forms of air traffic filtered through the water.  I also wanted to test the mics ability to be almost crushed, so I picked up a few rocks from the surface of the river and threw them towards the capsules and ended with an interesting effect.  Luckily I only came close to the capsules so they can be used again.

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Recording geek note:  Tracked with 2 Dolphin Ear Pro hydrophones to a Sound Devices 744T recorder at 24/96.

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