Following my recording sessions from New York, Chicago and Philadelphia; I wandered into the city of Toronto in ultra cold winter and snow, I focused mainly on interior public spaces.
It is such a mixed city, with many communities from all around the world.
Arriving in the city was not easy since there was a snow storm all along the road.
Using my SSS Technique (Stealth Surround System),
I finally got into shops, groceries, cafes, undergrounds, malls, subway, streetcars, recreation centers, hotels, …
It’s a long process, where I needed to find the right spot, with good open angles from the variety of sound sources, people, or other noises. Not too close or too far, with good stereo imaging, and a long enough time without disturbances, music, or unwanted noises.
On top of that, it’s always tricky to stay still for few minutes without getting noticed, so it is great to pretend doing something on this particular spot (for example, waiting for someone, or reading something on the phone, or looking at the map, or just being in awe for a supposed touristic landmark). In most cases, the action evolves and people move, so it needs a lot of adaptation on the spot.
It is so rare that the recording unfolds smoothly the way I wish it should. It is a good exercise for nerves, working on patience and tolerance.
And if it doesn’t work in one place maybe it would in another place….
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.
I wandered around the streets of this small touristy village.
It is a really interesting village that is threatened at all time by the neighbor volcano Tungurahua. I think I walked at least 7 times the same streets throughout all the village since it is pretty small. Some streets are steep and as a result I did a lot of exercise ;-). Without counting that I hiked up the mountain this morning.
All in all I surely walked 18km today. I haven’t seen a lot of tourist along the way. It is impressive afterwards to think I didn’t feel insecure at any time. A lot of people told me about crimes in South America but it looks that it doesn’t apply to this little town, at least from what I’ve experienced around.
My recorder is packed with interesting Ecuadorian ambiences from the church, the market, the gymnasium, cafes.
For these recordings I chose to record with my Custom Quad Surround Stealth Setup (CQSSS) since I am really akin to translate the immersive aspect.
At noon, I took a little time spent on top of the roof of the hostel at Cotacachi. Allowing to capture compelling and authentic Ecuadorian ambience.
From distance I can hear announcing trucks, those truck that have speakers and navigate around the village to announce whatever they try to sale.
I found them really typical and they sound great from up here, bouncing all over the houses walls and mountains. Also the view is really nice here. Could spend the day on the roof! But more adventures await me…