A new tool

For the last twelve years I have been using the Zoom H2 as my primary sound recorder. From footsteps to trains and whatever else was presenting itself. Yet one thing always lacked. The ability to connect more microphones to the unit and have them all work together.

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While for now I have no external mics, there will be a time when I can put the system in place in a forest and come back the next day to collect the recordings.

Normal times

Normal times, who doesn’t want those? Smile I would! When part of your world is on fire, there is nothing normal around you. The pleasure of listening to your surroundings, let alone record them seems far away. Yet something tells me that I need to keep my head calm and not overreact.

Trainstation in Dubinka

That’s easier said than done when your family is close to be in the line of fire.

In the forest

Some go to the sea, some to the mountains and some to the forest. To each his own as far as relaxing goes. But not many people go to the woods when it’s raining.

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Normally, I wouldn’t do that either, but once you start listening aka field recording, your senses become somewhat more keen on more.

Holiday cheer

It’s midwinter. No surprise for anyone. We’ve all noticed that there is hardly any daylight left. It makes me remember when the days got longer and stronger. The silence is overwhelming when you get out of the inhabited areas. Or is it?

Yellow Warbler

It looks like the holidays will bring the cheer. But in reality, it is all silent outside. Cheer may be hard to find for some. For those people, only nature can bring the cheer in their life. So here is a bit of that cheer that is hard to come by in this time of the year.

Recording outside

At times it looks like there is nothing to record. Snow makes no sound, rain destroys your gear on top of destroying your mood. Nothing to be had out there. So, as a sound and vision collector, you dive into your archives to come up with something to show. Preferably something nice and pleasant.

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But is that the right thing to do?

Halloween scare

Ever wanted to go to a cemetery around midnight? For me that was always a hesitant Yes. Well, a “perhaps”. I’m not scared of anything in a cemetery, most of what is there is dead stuff anyway. Liverpool is home to a cemetery called the “Congregational Cemetery” as it was called in 1764, but burials were Carried out here since 1759.

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Since I live fairly close by, I decided to give this a go last week. Armed with my camera and my Zoom H2, I wanted to find out the atmosphere of an old cemetery at night.

Summer atmospheres

Summer has come and gone. We have plenty of pictures, plenty of memories, with or without travels. Yet one thing that often gets “forgotten” is the feeling of summer, a summer evening in the middle of nowhere.

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Or in the middle of a crowded place?

Moving forward

Ever since we were mere babies, we have been moving forward. First on our knees and other body parts, then on our feet. Hardly ever do we listen to the sound of these footsteps. Sure, we do listen when we’re stamping on that old wooden bridge, but really listen?

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Let’s listen to a few samples…

Nauticals

Audio field recording when close to the sea is a dream. Between the loud birds, the wind and crashing waves, there is always something to record. Audio should speak for itself and should, for me at least, evoke feelings, ideas or memories. Often sounds, like smells, can be far more powerful than images. I love images, but it’s only fairly recently that an amateur on a low budget can record sounds of a decent quality.

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The Zoom H2 has been on the market for a while and has been replaced with more powerful models. Yet it did a great job recording the fog horn from this lighthouse in Liverpool a few weeks ago.

Out in the evening

The evenings are usually a little quieter as far as noise goes. It means that I also have less editing to do to get my sounds in good shape. Editing sounds is not as simple as it looks unless you approach it with an axe.

Environmental sound

Sounds boring, right? But we live in a noisy environment every day. Only those who live in the countryside with no living soul for miles around can say they live in a quiet place. But will they have silence? Absolutely not!

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Even in the quietest places, there is sound all around you. All one needs to do is listen.

Like here, to the sounds of the Public Gardens in Halifax. If you have a sound system with 4 speakers, 5.1 or 7.1, you can enjoy this recording in surround.

The gear

Recording audio is an expensive hobby. You need the recorder, you need microphones, you need a mixer, you need filters, you need a studio… Yeah, that’s what we still think from the good old analogue tape-days. Nowadays, things are a little easier, both on the gear and on the wallet. What remains to be purchased is at least a capable recorder.

Coming soon

This site will allow for purchase of sounds and complete sound libraries in the future. Please stay tuned!