Noisy Corkscrew Swamp

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Back in late December of 2008 I was down in Naples, Florida for a short trip and decided to check out Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. It is a remarkably beautiful place that features an old growth cypress forest that barely lets light pass through it.  It also has a boardwalk that takes  you through a healthy chunk of the swamp to areas that are normally be  hard to get to.  I saw herons, hawks, thrushes, and even a raccoon.  I’m not talking about the kind of raccoon that eats your trash, but a real raccoon that is not fat on Whoppers from Burger King.  The raccoon was svelte and pounced on a fish like a cheetah.  I wish I had pictures, but the raccoon was super fast and I also forgot my camera.

So you get the idea – Corkscrew Swamp is pretty damn cool.  All except for one thing:  noise!  All those birds and critters make great sounds, but you can’t hear them that well when planes are constantly flying over head and heavy traffic is always driving by.  Apparently, it didn’t used to be like this, but when Naples became a prime retirement location, air traffic increased and the surrounding roads were widened to accommodate more traffic.  I wish I had the opportunity to record there 15 years ago.

I am currently in the process of sifting through the recordings from that day to try and find some clean material and I’m not having a tremendous amount of luck.  It is one of those places where you have to record for weeks to get just a few hours of usable material.

This is a short clip of some cool birdies with some not so cool traffic overlapping the recording.  Of all of the material I have sifted through this has the least offensive intrusion of human sound.

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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Michael Raphael   February 10, 2009

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