Monthly Archives: January 2014

Nature Sounds and the Windy Nemesis

I’m on holidays and have been reading a really interesting book by Bernie Krause called The Great Animal Orchestra.

GreatAnimalOrchestra

Bernie has spent decades recording natural soundscapes and reading his book has inspired me to pay attention to the sounds of nature and make some of my own recordings here at the Novotel Twin Waters Resort near Maroochydore in Queensland.

I woke up just before dawn (5am!) and walked around to find a good spot to record. I enjoyed listening to the bird sounds but found, to my dismay, that the small amount of wind ruined most of my recordings.

Experimenting back at our apartment, I found that enclosing the Zoom H1 Handy Recorder in a baby sock helped a little, but there was still a little bit of wind noise near the lagoon and in the bush.

So did some research, and you can buy windshields for my sound recorder, or make one from fur, but I had no access to fake fur and wanted a slightly better solution than my trusty baby sock, so my ever thoughtful wife bought some wool from the supermarket and I improvised this fluffy beast using some wool and the tip of a baby sock.

FuzzyBeast

I tried it out this morning at the lagoon, with some good results.

FuzzyBeastRocksRefelectiveLagoon One of the cool aspects of listening to natural soundscapes is seeing how the different animals find their own niche in time and frequency to make their voice heard. You can see this in the spectrogram of a portion of the sound here:

SpectrogramLagoonTime is on the horizontal axis, frequency is on the vertical axis. The low frequencies are the distant sounds of the surf. The high frequency sounds are of various birds that live around the lagoon.

I may still buy a proper wind screen for my sound recorder, but this improvised solution seems ok for the light breezes at dawn at the moment.