Ambiences Revisited

It has been quite a while since I contributed anything to this blog, but self-discipline can be fleeting. Life has slowed down a bit over the last few weeks due to an injury and I’ve been somewhat homebound. The time at home has provided me with the opportunity to review some old recordings and to generally feel like a caged animal.

I recently dug back into some winter ambience recordings I made back in 2012 and 2013. The recordings ultimately ended up in a sound effects library I created for Rabbit Ears Audio. When I started sorting through the recordings, I was surprised by how much good material I left on the cutting room floor.[1]

This first recording never made it into the library:

I suspect I didn’t include it because the library was made up of quad ambiences and a close stream doesn’t make sense in 4 channels. The above recording is from the front facing pair.

The second recording is from an area near a frozen lake. This location did make it into the library. This material is from an unedited section. I love the distant woodpecker and tree creaks. The attack of the woodpecker really provides a sense of the space.

Field recordings, like music have the power to transport the listener. For me, these recordings take me back in time and space. I feel the cold on my fingers, I smell the air, and feel some of the fear of getting stuck out there.[2]

I’ll never forget how peaceful and quiet Algonquin park truly was that winter. We managed to get to areas of the park that weren’t cleared and it looked as if the only foot traffic the snow saw was from moose and otters. After working from home the last 4 weeks in a tiny brooklyn apartment, I long for adventures like these. Until then, I have these recordings to escape within.


Recording Geek Note: Rig consists of Schoeps CMC5′s with MK4 capsules setup for double ORTF. It was tracked with a Cooper CS 104 feeding a Sound Devices 744T


  1. I guess I’m picky.  ↩
  2. Luckily has had pals in both Canada and Minnesota with serious vehicles. Thanks Rob Byers and John Loranger.  ↩

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