I have always wanted to see how North Africa is like. All my life, I have fantasized about how great Morocco cuisines taste, and as a sound recordist, I have wondered how their camels sound. Of course, you can get a few camels sounds off google but I wanted to have a “first-ear” experience. Luckily for me, my friend of mine pitched me the idea to visit Morocco! A marvelous North African country full of history, culture, colors, and smells. At first, it was not my priority because I have other things to do, but after insisting, I bought the idea.
Berber Nomads and Camels
I stayed for one month in the land of the Berbers! The Berbers or also known as “The Amazighs”, are an ethnic group of several nations mostly indigenous to North Africa and some northern parts of West Africa. I stayed near the desert, and on my way between Mhamid and Agdz, I found some nomadic tent near a dune. It was a splendid and intense experience.
They had some camels at their encampment. I was intrigued! I found this the right opportunity to record the growls camels make. I stopped, and the Berbers approached me to talk to me, just like every Moroccan would do. I found this as an opportunity to record remarkable camel growls. They wanted me to go to the dune and ride on the camel’s back. Unknown to them, I had already some kind of similar experience before. So I decided to ask for something else. I asked if I can record the sound of camels. After a little bargain, the Berber nomad whom I was talking to accepted my offer.
I rushed my bag to search for the best setup to record this kind of sound. I took the Sanken Co-100k condenser microphone I had and plugged into the mixpre-6. Unlike the urban areas, there was less noise around which makes it perfect to get the best-unmixed sounds of camels. I recorded in 192KHz, the sound of the camels but only mono. Believe me when I say the camels made incredible vocalizations! Haha. I was thrilled and stunned by the raw aspects of their growls, they are perfect for monsters sounds in movies! And with the Sanken Co-100k condenser mic, they sound even more incredible when pitched down. I recorded 4 of them, they each have various timber and character. You can listen to them here:
I was really happy with the camel sounds I recorded. Recording them was like a dream come true for me. I would love to visit Morocco and get more camel growls one day!