field Recordings

Grass near Marion, Kentucky  

I have a great affinity for natural sounds. As time goes by I'm learning how to make better recordings in the field. I prefer longer takes that let you really place yourself in the recorded setting, as opposed to short bird-calls or other sounds.

The man-made background noise of my life really bothers me. I don't like the sound of the air conditioner, I don't like the sound of the planes going overhead, I don't like the sound of the traffic on the busy street a quarter mile from our house.

When I go backpacking or on vacation, I go to relax, and to relax I need quiet. I love Manitoulin Island, in Ontario, because you hardly ever hear a plane (not many cars or boats in most places either). It's also very dark at night (it's a Dark Sky Preserve) so you can really see the stars.

I cherished the three days after 9/11 for the silence in the skies, though I can't think of a more disturbing reason for it.

So anyway, if you like natural sounds, please listen to my field recordings offered below, or download them from the download area. Enjoy.

 

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Recording Notes


Murder of Crows was recorded in 2008 at Shades State Park in western Indiana. It was sunset on a clear April evening. I used a M-Audio Micro Track II recorder with the built in mics. I had been taking a short walk after dinner when what appeared to be about a hundred crows started swirling over the trail. It was loud, and I was delighted to hear the variety of voices in the crowd. ~ 3:00

Morgan Monroe in Summer was recorded in 2004 at Morgan Monroe State Forest, north of Bloomington, Indiana. It was the middle of July and the time was mid-afternoon. It was a sunny day. I used a Tascam portable DAT recorder and 2 Earthworks SR-77 mics in an xy configuration. This was a Brood X Cicada year. You can hear them pretty loudly. There are several birdsongs on the recording. ~ 7:40

Screech Owl and Coyote was captured in the middle of the night on September 18, 2008. I was on Terrell Ridge in Charles C. Deam wilderness south east of Bloomington, Indiana (southern shore of Lake Monroe) when I was fortunate enough to wake up for this amazing interlude. I sleep with my Micro Track II right next to me, so this recording was made with the built in mics. The coyotes sounded to be in a ravine about 150 yards away from my tent and the Screech Owl seemed to be much closer. ~ 2:35

Sandhill Cranes  

Sandhill Cranes Gathering was recorded at Jasper-Pulaski Fish and Wildlife Area (Northern Indiana) on November 12, 2009. Sandhill Cranes stop there to rest in March and November each year during their migration. At times there will be as many as 30,000 cranes in Goose Pasture, a 300 acre field where they gather at dawn and dusk. I made this recording on November 12 about an hour before sunset.

At the time of the recording there were only about two or three thousand birds. The 15 - 20 birders in attendance, airplanes flying overhead, and combines in the nearby fields made this a tough recording to capture. Recorded with my Micro TracK II using the built in mics ~ 2:07

Summer Night was recorded with two Earthworks SR-77 mics direct to computer via an EMU 1616M interface. I was staying in a remote cabin in Hocking County, Ohio (south central part of the state). It was around 9 pm on a clear August evening in 2007. I think this turned out to be a classic representation of summer night sounds in the Midwest. ~ 29:00

Retreating Thunderstorm was recorded at my home on the northside of Indianapolis in August of 2008. I used an MAudio Micro Track II with the little T mic that comes with it. ~12:05

My MicroTrack at work.

Photo of the M-Audio Microtrak during the recording of "Trail 8 Waterfall"


Trail 8 Waterfall was recorded at Shades State Park, April 24, 2009. Shades is in Putnam and Fountain County in western Indiana. It was a very windy day, and at times you can hear the wind over the sound of the water. Usually I like my field recordings to have some motion, to develop and change as the recording goes along. But in this case the sound is steady, constant. Maybe good for relaxation or meditation. ~ 19:09

Marg Herder camping in 2008  

You can download any of my field recordings from the download page.

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