Hours 20 – 25: Country Park

Wahoo! I’ve made it 1/4 through the hours. I’m definitely proud, I hope you are too. I did a massive big long recording session on Saturday last weekend, and this is an expansive look at what I recorded.

This again, was a day of ambience recording. it’s worth noting that this is largely going into a couple of games i’m working on at the moment, and i’m trying to gather as much of a variety of ambience as I possibly can. both of the games I have in mind to use these recordings for both contain worlds where traffic noise would be inappropriate, and as such, i’m attempting to go to places that are as far from traffic as is possible (although as i don’t drive, my travel options are limited – and most locations have to walk-able).

Anyway, this time round I decided to head down to a fairly large country park, about an hour or so walk from my house. I think I arrived at the park at about 2/3ish, and I didn’t get home til about half 9 in the evening. During that time I recorded lots of wonderful natural ambience, at different locations around this park.

For all of these recordings, I decided to try another new mic technique – this time I just went with a matched pair of 414’s, and used a stereo bar to employ the A-B setup, again into the 664 (recording to CF), monitored on a pair of KRK headphones. I’m actually a really big fan of the A-B technique, and in my person opinion, it has provided me with the best stereo ambience i’ve recorded so far. I do like mid-side, but I feel like A-B is the closest (to my ears) to actually being there in the space. To me, the mid-side recordings felt un-natural to listen to so much sonic information being captured from the front – when the ears expect to be hearing from an equally spaced distance around the head. I think in this respect, the A-B almost mimics your own ears – not to the extent of replicating the actual shape of the ear (like binaural microphones), but with a similar width of the microphones to the width of your ears. At the end of the day, ambience isn’t always intended to be heard from the first-person perspective – so I guess mid-side is just as relevant a technique as A-B.

I really enjoyed using A-B in this scenario too, as I worked out a really easy set up/down with the stereo bar and 414’s. Throughout the day I got it down to just a couple of minutes to set up and pack down, plus with great sounding equipment, that was also really easy to carry in my bag, it was pretty ideal. I think i’ll stick with A-B for my ambience in the future.

I started off by the side of one of the big lakes, and captured a nice amount of birds and other wildlife. Regrettably, although a fair distance from the road, I still managed to pick up something of a bed of traffic in the recording, albeit fairly low. I got a few odd looks from strangers (always to be expected) and sat there for about an hour and a half. Again, recording into the 664 – I felt a little guilty to be using just two of the six channels.

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Below is just a minute or so of the recording – you can hear the traffic isn’t great, but with a little bit of a clean up (this is raw from the recorder) I think this is a pretty decent ambience.

Next I moved deeper into the woods, and set up among some tall trees. Again I set the mics up a bit of a distance, and sat for about an hour or so. I was only disturbed by an inquisitive dog at one point – other than that I captured some nice natural ambience.

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Below is a sample of this recording, again, with a bed of traffic. Listening back to these recordings with a critical ear on my monitors, i’m find the traffic to be far more clear than I have initially suspected. I think the next ambient recording I do, I’ll have to find somewhere really secluded.

Anyway, after that I walked for another half an hour or so and got lost. I walked too far into the woods, and lost my bearings. Thanks to trust google maps, I managed to get back on track again, but it cost me a good hour. But that time, it had suddenly got really, really dark. It went from early evening haze to almost completely pitch black within the space of half an hour. I continued walking through the woods, back towards the park entrance, and I heard an owl cooing. It sounded fantastic, so, despite the fact it was now almost pitch black, I sat down on a bench, set up my kit and recorded for about 45 mins.

Again, there was some road noise, but it had subsided a bit as it was later in the day. For some odd reason, there was a multitude of birds chirping a few hundred meters behind me, but they also subsided after a while. The owl itself was really lovely, as you can hear in the recording. I was amazed at how Hollywood it does actually sound – I can’t say I’ve really spent much time around real owls (sadly) but it sounded exactly how I’ve been led to beleive they do.
As I sat there, it became darker and darker, until I could no longer see the path before and behind me. I’ll be honest and say, this was legitimately really scary – and i’m not usually scared by much. I have sucky eyesight, and for some stupid reason I decided to not wear my contacts or glasses – so as the dark drew closer, my eyes began to see shapes and movements in the surrounding black that probably weren’t there. I sat for as long as I possibly could – comforted by the fact I could still hear the road – and made the recording below.

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I think the owl sounds awesome. I wish i’d stayed for longer, but by the time I’d sat there for almost an hour, all I wanted to do was get home. check out 3:27, there’s an awesome owl coo.

I found my way out of the park, and paused near the entrance to make one final recording – by this time the traffic had subsided even moreso, and I decided to quickly set up and grab some ‘silence’. It wasn’t really silence, at all, but put low in a mix, I think it’d be a nice soft outdoor ambience.

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Here’s a bit of the so-called ‘silence’. I think it’s definitely a use-able recording, again, maybe with a little clean up. As usual, this is raw from the recorder.

So that rounds it up for the mean time, thanks for reading and listening thus far. I’m considering some more exciting recordings for the near future, maybe another car, possibly some cool metal impacts, and i’d really love to try and record some guns. Who knows. we’ll see what happens.

Thanks again for reading!

-Barney

http://www.barneyoramgameaudio.co.uk

Hours 20 – 25: Country Park

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