Posted by: recordingsofnature | April 8, 2017

Forest night sounds, March 2017

This is another recording in the series of night recordings from Brøndbyskoven March 22, 2017 same tree trunk as last recording.  With these recordings I would like to follow and document the variation of nature sounds over the seasons.

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Wide angle view from the recorder, early morning in Brøndbyskoven, March 23, 2017.

The forest is still bare and transparent, and without much sign of green leaves or vegetation, forming a complete mosaic brown and greyish colours.
Birds have started singing during the last couple of weeks. On the recording a substantial morning chorus starts about 1 hours before sunrise, composed of voices of black bird, robin, wren, song trust and crow.
During the night it is almost dead quiet in terms of nature sound, however compared to the previous recording there is now a constant faint noise of insects from all over, which I believe is a sign of all the smaller organisms waking up after winter.

The recording starts at 18:30 (winter time) just after sunset and ends 6:30 in the morning. The clip above covers the first 25 minutes while the birds settle for the night, and then the hours from 3:30 -6:30 in the morning.

Weather conditions: very calm SW winds and dry roads. Temperatures up to 10C in the afternoon, but dropping below 0C in the morning.

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Posted by: recordingsofnature | February 19, 2017

Night recording in the winter forest

Night audio recording in the icy cold and snow covered winter forest, Brøndbyskoven 11-12th, 2017. In the beginning very calm with a cold clear sky, -3C. But later, quite abruptly, it changed into more windy and cloudy conditions, and slightly warmer temperatures, 0C.

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Tree ears microphone setup in the evening. The microphones are pointing in the direction into the image. Road lights can be spotted ahead to the left.

I have been curious to know if there could be any mysterious sounds in this frozen winter forest during the night. And, ok this time there weren’t any. Maybe they keep quiet when they sense a recording device in the area. Anyway such sounds are not to be expected on just any recording.

I have found this winter season very quiet in terms of animal and nature sounds. Traffic and urban sounds are however the same, very noticeable. As the wind picked up during the late hours it produced some nice blows through the tree tops accompanied by steady creaking of branches and stems. I started recording around 17:30 when it was getting dark. The clip is an excerpt starting with the first 15 minutes just at the beginning of the recording followed by a segment from 3 to 4:30 am, which was the time when the wind began to pick up.

The location was not very deep into the forest, it was still possible to get a glimpse of the road lights. Despite having found a day with a good wind direction going towards the adjacent motorways, a distinct rumbling noise now turned out to come from party music pounding bass played in the residential areas. This is a factor that needs to be considered especially for Friday and Saturday night recordings.

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Posted by: recordingsofnature | January 18, 2017

Winter day sounds by Roskilde Fjord

Nature audio recording of the quiet and calm atmosphere on a winter day in January, Borrevejle Vig, Roskilde fjord.  January 14 2017. The recording starts at about 2 pm, duration 78 minutes.
Partly sunny , westerly wind and about 3C.

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Wide angle view from the recorder. Click for (much) larger version.

The surrounding reed beds give a relaxing whispering hiss, but otherwise this recording serves to give a picture of the overall silent winter landscape. I think it will be in clear contrast to how it will be in a few months time. Listen in headphones.

With some effort, though, it is possible to hear various water fowl on the water, mostly at a distance. I think some gees and swans. The water is overall ice free.
And then of course the motorway to the right in the bottom of the fjord and air planes that come and go with deep rumbling.

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Posted by: recordingsofnature | December 30, 2016

Winter forest sounds, Christmas day

Audio nature recording from the winter forest of December 25th 2016, Brøndbyskoven. Recording starts around 9 am.

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Microphone setup at the recording location in Brøndbyskoven

Temperature 4C and barely no wind, rain slowly setting in. The forest is now leafless, greyish and transparent. Sounds are dominated by more distant sources, including church bells from Brøndbyøster kirke (400 m) and motorway noise (1.5 km), but also flocks of small birds and crows calling to each other can be heard from time to time. In the beginning you hear me walk away.

Here in Denmark, Christmas (juleaften) is celebrated on the evening of the 24th, with church, rice porridge, pork roast/duck, Christmas tree and presents. The 25th is mostly a day for good relaxing and maybe a walk in the forest.

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Posted by: recordingsofnature | October 31, 2016

Autumn forest audio recording, October 29th 2016

This is an audio field recording October 29th in Brøndbyskoven on a sunny and pretty windy afternoon, about 10C, winds from NW.

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View from the recorder. Looking at the images the magnitude of wind rustling noise is surprising, and it also appears stronger on the recording than I remember it from the field. But is must be fairly correct, and the recording has not been processed in any way. Listen in headphones.

The trees still have plenty of leaves and the forest now stands beautifully yellow and green.

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The canopy is however rapidly thinning out. Now is really the time to enjoy these beautiful autumn colors, and watch the forest’s fascinating transformation from magnificent shadowy green halls into transparent open areas.
The forest still has the sound of rustling leaves, but soon this will also be gone with hardly any sound from the wind, only leaving the traffic and other distant noises even more present.

It would be all dull, if not for the fresh layer of yellow crisp leafs on the ground, which also makes a great sound when walking through it.

Posted by: recordingsofnature | October 25, 2016

Sound of rain in a car

This is a simple recording of the sound of rain from inside a car. Late evening, October 19th 2016, approx 9 C. Nothing special, just this subtle monotonous sound with varying intensity, which to me evokes some sleepy moods.

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Posted by: recordingsofnature | September 23, 2016

Night recording Amager Fælled, September 2016

This is an all-night audio recording from Amager Fælled, 18-19th September 2016. Amager fælled is a very diverse and unique green area just 2.5 km from the centre of Copenhagen. That is why quarter chimes of the town hall are clearly heard. The area has various vegetation and biotopes; mainly shrubland with a mix of forest, lake, reed forest and old salt marsh with grazing cows, and it is mainly left wild. Due to its size of 2.5 km2 it’s a really good opportunity for the Copenhagen citizens to step out into almost wild nature.
There are present plans of using the old marsh areas for buildings, as well as road construction.

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Amager fælled, september 18 2016. View from the recorder into the bush vegetation

 

For the recording I found a spot aside from the main paths into some bush vegetation just at the banks of a water channel with reeds.  I think the recording serves well to give a relaxing and authentic insight into the nature- and city  night sounds of Amager Fælled, September anno 2016 before various construction work sets in.

The recording is shortened to span the hours from 22:00-3:00 in the morning, plus  5 minutes in the beginning when I leave the setup in the dusk at 20:00. As I am recording in mp3 I dont have any options to post process the audio, expect trimming and changing the volume (in Mp3DirectCut). Listen in headphones, medium-high volume.

Night temperatures about 14C, dry air with no dew in the morning and persistent winds from NE. Recorder pointing north.

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Posted by: recordingsofnature | September 12, 2016

Quiet rainy forest ambience, September 2016

Quiet forest ambience on a partly rainy Sunday, September 4th, Brøndbyskoven, Copenhagen. Early afternoon, about 18C.

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Tree-ears microphone setup can be seen attached to a tree trunk in the centre of the photo.

The whole summer I have been thinking that the leaves of trees and plants this year are particularly dark green and heavy (at least here in Denmark). It is most likely due to a special combination of weather and temperatures during the growth season, but I’m also contemplating that the increasing CO2 concentration are stating to act as a fertilizer, substantially boosting the growth of green plants and trees. This concentration has increased by almost 30% since the 1950’s, so I think it could have a significant effect on plant growth, at least compared to 60 years ago.

On the recording you can hear the rain slowly building up. Initially dry conditions. At t=11:30minutes I skip into a more rainy part.
As usual with this forest, the resulting ambience is a combination of nature sounds and loud traffic rumbling. Recording is trimmed but otherwise unprocessed.

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Posted by: recordingsofnature | August 12, 2016

Subjectivity of audio nature recordings

Evaluating the sound quality of nature recordings is a volatile and delicate subject. Though, in this small essay I will try to collect my ideas on why there is actually a good reason for that.

My personal objective of my recordings is to reproduce a fully authentic listening experience as if being out in the field. Sound quality has been a main driver for my recordings, but also a source of frustrations as it seems after many years of field recording, I sometimes don’t feel like having moved much forward.

In general the sound quality of field recordings appears to be more critical than for e.g. hearing music. I think the reason is that ambient recording/sound needs to match the listener’s personal hearing experience and expectations quite precisely, in order to trigger the special memories and feelings of being in an other place. Nature recordings seem to be balancing on a narrower path between sounding good or not.

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Though, the main message here is that I believe there is a lot more to it than technical performance and specifications. Subjective matters will easily have a dominating part to play in the listening experience.

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Posted by: recordingsofnature | July 4, 2016

Acoustics of Nature recordings

In continuation of the post on Road noise and weather factors, I’d like to share a few more  thoughts and views on the topic of outdoor acoustics in audio field recordings, and attempt to give my guidelines on factors to consider when recording in the field. E.g. in terms of choosing the exact location of the microphones and planning with respect to weather etc.

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The dense canopy of a beech forest in summer will often create hall-like reverberation

In all, I think this is a very interesting topic which I am really just slowly starting to get a grasp of. There is no right or wrong recordings. When opening your ears to these acoustic effects it opens another dimension when listening to field recordings, like an ability to sense the surroundings, the environment and weather in a new way.

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