Posted by: recordingsofnature | October 14, 2015

Windy field recording in Vestskoven, October 7th 2015

This is a field recording from Vestskoven (@ 55.690108, 12.387271) 7th October 2015, on a typical Wednesday at about noon. Vestskoven is an about 50 years old forest area situated just outside Copenhagen. It is a very nice area, however – from a field recorders viewpoint – it is cut through by several noisy motorways and industrial areas.

Tree ears microphones in Vestskoven October 2015It was a very windy day. It is now rapidly getting colder, but the forest is still green and dense, with leaves and vegetation from top to bottom.

This time, I think, the recording did not really turn out very spectacular or pleasant, but still it serves to capture and document the season’s typical sounds.

At this time there is moist vegetation and damp surfaces in all directions. This effectively absorbs sounds and attenuates any reverberation or echoes. I think this makes the soundscape a bit muffled and not very deep.

The dominating sound is the characteristic sharp hiss of the leaves in the windy tree tops. Birds were just very quiet that day. Apart from that, an extensive and throughout deep rumble from road and engine noises is ever present. I believe the windy condition has helped to enhanced this rumbling and made it even more diffuse and undefined.

Tree tops vestskoven october 2015  Vestskoven forest floor and tree ears  forest floor, vestskoven october 2015

Setup

I’m again using my experimental tree ears microphone setup, which I am still in progress of tuning and modifying, aiming for my goal of an all-round, stand-alone recording setup for all weather and all seasons.

This recording was also a test of a new wind protection method utilizing two layers of nylon fabric (as seen below). The system worked well in the fairly persistent windy conditions. I did not find any sonic or subsonic wind artefacts on the recording.

Tree ears microphones without wind schield  Tree ears microphones with inner layer of nylon fabric wind schields  Second layer of nylon fabric wind shield attached to tree ears microphone setup

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Responses

  1. I enjoy the changing sound of wind in the trees and the more distant urban noises like the siren and the various industrial sounds. The whole piece gives a really good sense of place.

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  2. Some interesting results from your latest set of ears!
    The hum you mentioned sounds more industrial than motorway traffic, but both being low frequency would not be too affected by the trees. However, I wonder whether your tree-ears are being influenced by the natural effect of trees to alter the reverberation time of the higher frequencies (above approx. 1KHz) and their even greater back-scattering effect on higher frequencies? If your tree-ears and recorder are set up within the woodland, then the surrounding trees would allow the low frequency sounds through unaltered, but the high frequency sounds from outside the woodland would be seriously affected

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  3. Sorry – hit the wrong button – so will continue: …the higher frequency sounds from the adjacent tree canopies would not be so affected by any back scattering, and would therefore be recorded perhaps with more diffuseness – hence the leaf rustling comes through quite well in the recording. (here’s a good read https://biblio.ugent.be/publication/2043396/file/2043398.pdf)
    Keep up the good work!

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    • I think your observations are quite accurate. The background rumble didnt feel like normal road noise this time. Some heavy machinery activty must have been going on in the nearby industrial area.
      This forest has very minimal reverberation e.g. compared to the hall-like reverberation of high beech forests (in summer). It is interesting how different types of forests have completely different acoustics. Thanks for the article, I am really intersted to get to the bottom of this topic.

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