REA_007 Brooks, Streams, and Waterfalls

It’s official, I’m in the final stages of finishing up an ambience library of Brooks, Streams, and Waterfalls. For the last several months, I’ve been traveling throughout upstate New York and Massachusetts to find interesting water-flows for the next Rabbit Ears Audio release. As you might have guessed with a name like “Brooks, Streams, and Waterfalls”, the library is going to feature a variety of Brooks, Streams and Waterfalls. I’m about 1 or 2 weeks away from release but I wanted to share one of my favorite recordings in the library so far.

This recording is of a small waterfall that is to the west of an extremely large gorge and waterfall I was recording earlier that day in Massachusetts.  I was on the hike back up to my car, slightly dejected, because the falls had swallowed up the back-cap of my Rycote, but my spirits were buoyed when I ran into this little stream and waterfall.

I love the contrast of the sound of the sharp splashes of water against the consistent flow.

You can hear a previous post that will also be included in the forthcoming library here.

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

Babbling Brook

The last few months have been rough.  My ears have been sparring non-stop with terribly loud sounds – first, a Military Vehicle SFX library with Rob Nokes (REA_005), then last week’s Bell SFX library (REA_006), which was not any easier on the ears.

I needed a break.

After releasing the bell library, I took a trip to upstate NY with the Missus and family on Friday, May 13. Excited to get into nature, I made a promise to myself that I would record something quiet! All signs were pointing in a positive direction when I went out for a Saturday bike ride with my father-in-law and we met this fella:

Amazingly, I had never met a porcupine before, so we chatted for a little while before we both had to go on our way.

All weekend long it rained intermittently, and a number of brooks really started to flow with character. I picked up the gear and went strolling around for some water. The only thing missing was my new friend the porcupine. Here’s one of my favorite brooks from that weekend:

The weekend was almost complete on the ride home, but the missus and I couldn’t get this guy to stop:

Next time Randy, next time.

Recording Geek Note: The brook was recorded with a MKH30/40 pair with a Cooper CS-104 and a Sound Devices 744T.

Under Waterfalls

A few weeks ago I drove 3 hours north of NYC to a waterfall that sits on the back of a relative’s property, who was kind enough to let me drive up and record with my hydrophones. The location has so many features where the water changes speed and pitch as it moves across the rocks. The recording below is one of my favorite water flows from that day.

I was surprised by the low frequency content because the water is not that deep, but it has really great low end gurgles. One of the key challenges of this type of recording is turbulence.  It is relatively easy to overwhelm hydrophones when placing them in the flow of heavy currents.

I have yet to completely master the technique, and I suspect I am going to have many near-misses in my continued experiments with hydrophones, but luckily for me, this one turned out okay.

Recording Geek Note: Rig consists of Aquarian h2a hydrophone tracked to a Sound Devices 744T at 24/96.  I was also trying not to take my 744 for swim while recording!

Pool Hum

Lately I’ve been working on a series of underwater and hydrophone based recordings for a sound library.  One of my first stops was my brother-in-law’s pool for some scuba sounds.

He’s a trained diver and he was nice enough to let me come out for the day and put him through his paces.  Unfortunately, we couldn’t get started until late in the day because of this sound:

I consider it a happy accident.  Initially I was really frustrated because I couldn’t figure out where this low frequency sound was coming from and I needed to record scuba sounds!  I kept looking around and there definitely wasn’t a nuclear sub in the pool!  My brother-in-law and I quickly discovered that a neighbor down the block was having his driveway ripped up and repaved.  All of that low frequency information was traveling from down the street and under the pool.  So what do you do when you have a loud hum?  We went out for lunch and then I took my nephew and niece out for ice-cream.  By the time we returned to the pool we were free and clear of construction hums and we could make all of the bubbling sounds we wanted.

Recording Geek Note: Rig consists of 2 Aquarian H2a Hydrophones. It was all tracked to a Sound Devices 744T at 24/96