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Tag: field recording

Favourite sound of the week #6

It’s been a long time since I posted some sounds, but now, because of a project, I have something for you.

As you know vegetables give endless possibilities for great sounds. Recently I needed some bone break sounds but I wasn’t satisfied with the library sounds I’ve found. Then suddenly I knew the solution. Back in the middle of this summer I’ve recorded some material which may just fit to this task.

Many times the easiest, mundane tasks provide the best sound. Shelling peas is not the greatest and more exciting tasks to do, but it sure sounds incredible, perfect sweeteners for bone breaks, cracks, etc.

After some editing and layering I knew I found the perfect bone break sweeteners for this project. As usual, I share it for free, these are the original recordings edited, mastered to some degree. They are free, standard EULA applies here. Enjoy!

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AB test recording with the new kit

As I promised in the Developing the field recorder kit article, I made some test recordings with the new AB pair, the Sennheiser MKE 2 Gold microphones. Through the various examples I hope everyone can hear what a really compact rig is capable of.

All the equipment had been used to record these examples is a Sony PCM d50 and a pair of Sennheiser MKE2 Gold microphone.

First recording

Countryside atmosphere with some ducks, hens and rooster at the house near me (50 metres away) and someone was working there during the recording. An impertinent fly tried to disturb me, you can hear it on the track. I was out at the edge at a plough-land. The two capsules were 40cm away from each other.

It is very interesting that there are many extraneous noise out there what we don’t really notice with our ears, not even when I tried to pay attention to every little thing around me.

Second example

I’m in the middle in a plough-land as a huge harvester pass by. It was about 200 metres away from me, a few obstacles masked the direct sound between me and the harvester. At the adjacent garden there was a sprinkler working and occasionally birds were “tweeting” on some fruit-tree. Another little fly tried to disturb me occasionally.

Being out there the harvester sounded more distant compared to the recording, and the nature sounds seemed/heard more up front. The overall balance of sounds are very life-like.

Third recording

Back in the city. It’s 10 am., the kids are playing in the nearby kindergarten. Few birds are still in the city, very gentle breeze. Nice sunny day. The noticeable echo and reverb on the kids’ voice is made by the tower blocks at the opposite side of the kindergarten.

Compared to real life, the echo and reverb are exaggerated on the recording as our ears very effectively filters or attenuates these things to focus on the important incoming information.

Fourth example

Almost the same place, but a little further away from the kindergarten, opposite side of the road. In the background a huge garbage truck and its staff was working. They were about a 100 metres away from me. We are still between the tower blocks as you can hear the effect on the garbage truck.

The AB pair very honestly convey the real life sonic picture what I’ve been experiencing there. The dynamics, the volume, the effects are breathtakingly similar to my real life experiences.

Fifth recording

One of the main bridges in the city. It’s not really rush our, but still quite busy traffic with varying types of cars, bicyclists.

It’s really interesting that in reality the different cars had even more noticeably different sounds. Not that it cannot be heard on the recording, but still, it somehow homogenised the engine sounds to a degree.

Sixth example

City at night as you can hear the crickets are making noise while a single car pass by. I was up on a balcony, 10 metres from ground level.

As I was sitting there the car seemed more distant and more soft.


Consider the very little effort to make a stealth kit like this, and the quality you get, it is definitely worth purchase and build this little addition to the otherwise great little handheld recorder. Still, the question is not if this would be equal or not to a big rig, because both serves different purpose. Both can do things what the other cannot. These lavaliere mics are relatively cheap, and besides that you only need a few connectors and really basic soldering skills to finish your rig. It is going to be used here, a lot.


This week’s favourite sound #7

I picked this, because it has a funny story. Yesterday we had a thunderstorm here which is not a great surprise. The funny thing is I checked the weather forecast and while it was raining and sky was dark, the weather forecast was showing that the sky is clear, the chance for any precipitation is exactly 0%.

Anyway, we all know that the weather forecast is not really reliable, and as the old wisdom taught us: “Always keep your recorder at hand reach…” I picked up my recorder and pushed the REC button.

It is very interesting to observe/hear that even raining could have very different sounds, as the the drops can be varied in size, speed, directionality. This storm had huge rain drops. Few hit the sill, sometimes it was like if it was ice. Fortunately it was only rain.

The nice crescendos and decrescendos are so natural that it is almost impossible to recreate them. I’ve tried it, and it is really hard. As a bonus, near at the end of the recording I managed to record a big thunder.

It’s freely downloadable, standard EULA applies.
Out of curiosity I checked back the national forecast, and according to them, we didn’t have any storms yesterday. 🙂 Enjoy!

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Swimming pool ambience

I needed some swimming pool ambience for a short film, so I decided to go out to the local pool and record original material instead of using stock ones. The reason was I didn’t find really natural (unaltered) in our libraries.


The operation was stealth as I wanted to capture the original atmosphere without changing it. This is very important with these recordings. If we disturb, direct or alter the scene in any way, we loose the authentic nature of it, hence we won’t have a real good recording.

The place

This is a small local swimming pool lots of kids playing and learning to swim. I had been recording there for a little more than an hour at afternoon. I chose the time because we needed to have kids “walla”, and doing this in post was not possible in this case.

I had time to experiment with different mic positions, so I recorded with 3 different setup. An XY, a wide (120º) cardioid setup and a AB pair with two omnis.

I’ve tried to record from different spots, payed attention to the fact that no one shall know what I’m doing there. Luckily no one really cared, so it wasn’t that hard to hide my real aim.

To use original material turned out to be a good choice. I used a combination from different recordings to craft together a nice swimming pool ambience. I kept the originals, so you can compare them.


I don’t want to be the final judge here, I only offer my opinion in brief. Although it is an open air swimming pool, the basic XY setup still has some nasty off-axis coloration that I really don’t like. The wide setup was the same, still, somehow it is better than the XY, but still not good enough. My favourite (now it’s obvious) is the AB pair as to me this is the most natural, with good stereo spread. And although I cannot post footage from the short film, it is far the most authentic and usable recording when it’s married with the picture.

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