Posted by: recordingsofnature | June 26, 2015

All night field recording in the forest, 22.6.2015

This is my first all night field recording with my tree ears microphones. The 7.5h recording is captured June 22-23, 2015 approximately at the same spot in Brøndbyskoven as last recording. Basically, I started the recorder at 10 in the evening  and came back and stopped it at 6 next morning.

This forest is full of singing birds in the day, but I have often wondered what it would be like in middle of the night. I think there is something almost terrifying about a dark deserted forest in the latest hours. Here, around Midsummer, it is even said it is the time when trolls and elves are most active.

And to get a view of this, I think ears are much more effective in the night than a camera…

Night recording in Brøndbyskoven

The recording just started at 22:20. It was a calm night with no wind and only a tiny bit of passing rain.

The recording starts at 22:20 and ends around 6:00 in the morning, and can be heard below.

Listen in Headphones. The recording volume is little low, especially during the night, so you might need to turn the volume up at that point.

panoramic view of the recording site in Brøndbyskoven June 2015

360 degrees panoramic view from the recording site at 6 am. Brøndbyskoven June 2015. Stitched with Hugin.

The recording starts around nightfall. The last bird stopped singing about an 50 minutes later. A very quite then period followed with apparently not much activity, only occasionally soft rustling in the leafs (this is what you go for if you are an owl). It was a calm night with no wind and only a tiny bit of passing rain. Around 3 am (t=4:40:00) the first Robin broke the silence, and this turned into a powerful morning chorus culminating around 4 -4:30 am (t=5:40:00 – 6:10:00). While the motorway is fairly persistent in the background, the bird song clearly follows the light as can be seen from the almanac for this day (from

  • Sunset 21:58
  • Dusk 22:59   (t=39:00)
  • Dawn 3:25    (t=5:05:00)
  • Sunrise 4:26   (t=6:06:00)

At this point I have not listened in detail to the whole recording, however, so far I have not noticed anything special happening. It take some time to go through it all…

Setup pictures

Using the tree ears setup with M-audio Microtrack II recorder with an extra USB powerpack. Recording length is 7:40h mp3 @ 320 kbps which gives a file of ~1GB.  I was not able to do any post processing, as I couldn’t find any software that can handle this file size. Ideally, I would also prefer to process it without decompression / re-compression of the mp3, which will degrade the quality even further. I am surprised the standard WordPress flash player just handles it without any problems.

Next time, I will set the gain higher to capture more details during the quiet passages, especially important when recording directly to compressed audio.

Tree ears setup for the night

Tree ears setup ready for the night

tree ears with wind protection in the morning

Tree ears with wind protection in the morning




  1. Nice to hear a field recording that has not been ‘processed’.

    You will find software easily handles files of the size required; I use it for my long duration recordings, typically 5.5 hrs with file sizes in excess of 2.0GB.

    You will find it easier amplifying the waveform visualisation to look for spikes and anomalies, thereby identifying potential points of interest, rather than having to listen through hours and hours of recording to find the interesting parts – however sitting listening to long duration recordings can be very relaxing, if you have plenty of time on your hands; unfortunately I tend to fall asleep half-way through, missing the interesting parts that I am listening for!

    Best of luck!



    • Re my comment – typo error: Should read ‘ …..typically 15.5hrs with file sizes in excess of 2.0GB…..’



  2. Appreciate your feedback and the link. 15.5 hrs recordings sound interesting. I think there is a special quality in authentic long recordings with absolutely no stress.
    Anyway, I see that is could be useful to update the blog post with time indications of when something interesting is happening, if there are any…



  3. […] November 8th 2015 around 9:30 am. Appx 10C. The recording is from almost the same spot as the June all-night-recording. Leaves have just fallen these days. A quick storm passed through the country during the night, and […]


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