Myriad of Small Objects!! House Exploration…

switches

These days I started recording little things, objects I have in my apartment and probably much more if I find interesting stuff.

objects

It is impressive to see how much things we can pile up over the years!

I did find many buttons, switch and objects with interaction.

I installed a tiny improvised booth room in my closet so I can dig up the sounds of these objects.

recording booth

I haven’t count precisely but I the number of objects I have just inside my apartment must exceed 3000. And every objects can create at least one sound, and usually many more, plus the interaction between different objects, and all the many variations that can be done.
I am pretty sure if I focus on these, I could record 50,000 sounds from only what I have in my flat! Thinking about it I just go mad!

stuff

House Exploration!

Trying out Telinga Dish

Telinga MK2 Snow

Last January, I was excited to try the Telinga MK2 Kit in the northern forest! I used it along with a Sennheiser MKH8090.
I took advantage of being in an uncrowded surrounding like this winter snowy forest.

forest
Although it was a little too quiet, I successfully recorded some crows. I have to say that the conditions are not ideal to stay still for long hours as it is cold and had no tripod to hold the dish firmly.

winter lake forest horizon

 

Northern Forest from this January

northern forest

Along with last year winter trip, I went few days this year near Saint Michel-des-Saints and saint-Zenon in the Laurentian forest.

I went around snowy trails in traditional snowshoes

SnowShoes

I was able to record a lot of footsteps sounds in the snow with or without snowshoes.

Recording Winter Soundscape

I mostly tried to capture the typical winter soundscape in the forest, which is mostly based on the absence of sound ūüôā
Snow being a natural sound absorber, it feels really empty being out there, although at times distant birds call and tweets resonate through a forest and echoes on hills: the show of Nature.

Cod Winter Nature

trees in winter

 

 

Snowy white Snow Forest (last year trip)

snowy winter forest

Last year, at the end of February / Beginning of March, I did a trip in the northern forests of Montreal, Quebec. Near Rawdon, there are some great pieces of typical forest.
This was the first part of a series of winter forests recording sessions.


I stayed 3 days recording day and night ambiences of the snowy  Nature.
I walked many hours in the cold in order to find some interesting locations.

Even with snowshoes, it was difficult to get around as the snow was soft and deep, I easily sunk into the snow cover.

All in all it was a great time where I could record some quiet ambiences without human noise. I got some birds, crows, freezing rain, snow blizzard, chilly wind, woodpeckers…

I used a double M/S Rig with a AKG C414 configured in Bidirectionnal and 2 Rode NT5.

microphone in the snow

Waiting for the wolves

Wolves

The wolf’s howl is a powerful strong sound of the animal kingdom. It is represented in many circumstances and is so typical of some mysterious and fantastic tales.

For some time now I kept a deeply-grounded desire to be able to record some of those. Unfortunately it is really difficult to get it from wild species. Coyotes are more easy to get as they have similar and louder howls, and are more numerous.

But today I took the opportunity to try and capture some howls as I discovered that zoo ecomuseum in Montreal have wolves.  There are 2 beautiful gray wolves which are healthy. I am not found of supporting zoo but it allows to get really close to some species which would be almost impossible in the wild.

Also I learned that it exists different types of howls . I am not sure which one I can get but I will figure it out.

I came here early and got a close approach to these creatures. I pointed out my shotgun mike and waited few hours. At some point they were playing and made some great growling sounds. However today the wolves did not howl. It’s ok, I can wait more times. It’s not like I am ordering a coffee. Patience is king!

I will try again, this for sure. I’ll come back next week, I am pretty sure I will be more lucky.

Why & How I failed to Record Pristine Nature Soundscapes in Ecuador?

Nature Fail

One of my goal in going to Ecuador was to record sound of the Nature, the “pristine Nature”.
What happened is that I was able to record ambiences of Ecuadorian villages, countries, cities, and also great pure nature sounds (but those were so few).
Prior to my departure, what I thought would be easy was to get access to Nature with little disturbance from Human.
In reality it turned out to be not the case in Ecuador and this for many different reasons.
I wanted to understand and analyse how and why, so I can learn from it.

While my previous trip to Central America and Guyana were prolific in pristine nature sounds, I was taken by surprise on what I found in Ecuador.

How/Why did that happen:

1) Surprisingly I found many roads on location which were not indicated on map. I discovered them once there! I have been told about Oil industry that overtook lands on government grasping many areas in the country. Thus they built a lot of roads on these parcels, generating traffic with big trucks, bus, from workers. It is sad to say but this disrupts the natural soundscape. And of course these roads are not officially indicated however I found afterwards the maps.me application which looks much more accurate than Google map. Roads that do not show up on google appears on maps.me. so I now know what to use and I have to acknowledge it is better to double or triple check on different maps!

2)¬†Another things that I learned from is this: ¬†I had a friend living for months¬†in the town surrounded by the forest. I contacted him prior to my arrival. He told me he knew guides and places where I could find perfect nature sounds and I wouldn’t be deceived. I thus trusted him and didn’t plan so much for my stay in this village. The reality is that neither my friend nor the guide had experience in field recording. He brought me on a trip, but of course the place where the guide took us were too close from a road which we were able to hear from distance, even after walking 2or3 hours inside the forest. This was a waste of time and energy. I am not angry at friends in a manner because he was trying to help me and I had a great stay there.

3) After these experiences, I decided to go wild and reach the center of a natural reserve, which I thought would be a perfect place for Nature, and where I could have real pristine sounds. So I decided to go to Cuyabeno Reserve. The issue began with the fact that it is not allowed to go by your own  in those parks, you have to have a certified guide along with you. And the best way I found at that time was to book a 4 days trip with a lodge on site. The lodge was reachable only by a 2 hours boats on a small river. The only thought I could have was that it will be perfectly cut from human activities and I would find what I was looking for. But in reality arriving at the lodge, it was packed with tourists and employees (cook, ..), this is just normal since it is a lodge. In my mind  I thought I could just walk around the lodge and find quiet places like I did in Guyana in December. The only problem is that the surrounding of the lodge was all flooded in water, there was no possible way to go further than the wooden structures. I felt trapped in a touristy attraction. No one was quiet, it was kind of a nightmare. Hopefully during the night everybody was sleeping and It was a great moment to capture some pure nature.  At some point, the guide lent me a canoe, which sounded the perfect way to evade the lodge fortress. However I was no previous experience to manipulate a canoe, I did manage to navigate a little further on the river. But then at that point, I realized that all along the river were nonetheless other noisy lodges (4 or 5 in a row), but also a lot of traffic with motor boats every 4 minutes. What a difficult time! Me in the middle of the Amazon, and not finding peace and quietness!

At the end, 22 days in Ecuador and maybe 30 recorded minutes of pristine Nature. Not that bad, but the plan was to bring back at least 4 or 5 hours.

Here are the lessons I can pull from it (things to improve):

  • Plan with various/different maps!
  • Get more informations on the settings of a landscape and what particularities can bring weather. And possible flooded terrains…
  • Don’t trust people who have no previous Field Recording experience.
  • Beware of tourists
  • Avoid lodges farms
  • Learn how to navigate a Canoe
  • Surely more…

Miami express ambiences session

Recording some ambiences in Miami Beach Between 2 flights.

There is a wonderful sun out there.

Honing my ninja stealth skills once again!

I got some nice café ambience as I found one that has no music playing there. Lucky day

Stealth Recording in the café. Who knows?

 

Florida birds singing in the street

Roomtones in Ecuador

roomtone Ecuador

I could record some roomtones in the room I had in Quito. This was in the Marescal Neighborhood, with a vivid nightlife going on at night which could be heard from distance. I captured different times of the day with birds singing in the morning and cars honking  during the days.