Hello! I’m back once again, after a bit of a break this time, as I’ve been on holiday in the Lake District for a while. Despite the fact it was meant to be a bit of a break from work, I decided to jump on the opportunities that presented themselves in such a lovely area of the world and record a few bits and bobs. I recently got (huge thanks to Nick Dixon for helping me out) a new recorder, the Tascam DR-100. It’s a cool little machine, nice onboard mics plus the option for two XLR inputs. I decided to spend my holiday getting to grips with it, and experimenting with the unidirectional mics that are built in. I unfortunately haven’t had a chance yet to pick up a rycote for it, so I ran with a foam cover that comes with the unit. It’s not perfect, and some of the recordings suffered with some wind interference, but it’s usable.
I’ll begin with two lots of animals that I was lucky enough to record; some sheep, and some pigs. Weirdly, I found both the sheep and the pigs would vocalise quite nicely, if I vocalised at them. I think they mainly thought I was bringing them food.
They made some cool noises, I managed the captured the sheep incredibly clearly, while the recording of the pigs was more random as I recorded a pen of about 10 of them at once. Below you can hear both the pigs and the sheep, I did a little cleaning with RX on the pigs (as annoyingly a car drove past half way through) but it’s fairly raw, just edited to show the best bits.
I also recorded a fair bit of woodland ambience, and I found a gorgeous spot in the middle of a forest and recorded a bit of the surroundings. The result is a really lovely ambience, with some distant farm animals in too, cows and sheep etc.
Interestingly, I left the record on the tree stump and walked around a little as it recorded, and the result of this are these gorgeous crunchy wood footsteps that have that classic ‘forest’ reverb to them, a subtle yet live sound. Although it’s not common practice to have footsteps in an ambience, and the results probably aren’t mega usable, it still sounds pretty sweet.
I also spent some time on a lovely wooden rowing boat, out on one of the lakes. I did my best to record some rowing, but unfortunately the result isn’t quite what I had imagined. It’s relatively clean, captures the boat, some water and some ambience well, but it’s a little too busy to be really usable.
There’s some considerable wind, that i’ve cleaned a little from the recording, but isn’t totally perfect – but the recording is also just fairly unclear, unfortunately. The sound of waves hitting against the wood of the boat created quite a prominent noise, that sounds a lot like the sound of the oars moving, so the result is a bit messy. I think breaking a rowing boat down into it’s elements would be the best way to design it sound wise, but it was a fun experiment.
I also recorded some cool flowing water, both a gentle stream and a more violent waterfall. The onboard mics handled the water okay, but the heavy presence of white noise in the sounds makes it a bit of a challenge to capture detail well.
The recordings are fairly good, and would work as an element of an ambience. Due to the nature of the source, the sound doesn’t really have a lot of variation, particularly not the waterfall.
And lastly, we climbed a big old mountain thing while in the lake district, and I recorded a bit of ambience at the peak (a mere 900m above sea level!). It looked fantastic, but sadly didn’t sound quite as great as it looked.
It’s largely just wind, and due to my poor wind protection, it’s not the most detailed wind – but it’d probably work as an element of some wind sound design.
That’s the lot for now, thanks very much for reading! I shall returneth very soon with some cool bits and bobs.