Posts Tagged ‘Borgarfjörður’


After a dark winter with an awful weather nothing is as pleasant when migrant birds arrive to the country in the spring. Most birds arrive in April and May, and few species in Mars and June. So in mid May the air is loaded with birds song. What amazes me always is the fact that many of these birds are coming far distances from hot claimed continents like Africa and when they arrive they still have the power to fly around and sing almost 24/7 in several weeks.
It was no exception to this on May 12, 2019 when I arrived at Stafholtstungur in SW of Iceland  with my recording gear. Lot of snow was still in the mountains and the weather was cold but dry.
There are many bird species in this recording. Common Snipe, Golden Plover, Whimbrel, Common Redshank, Black Taled Godwit, White Wagtail, Winter Wren, Northern Wheatrxear, Snow Bunting, Rock Ptarmigan, Common Starling, Redwing, Great Northern Diver, Read Throated Diver, Whooper Swan, Graylag Goose and probably other species too.
This is a part of 9 hour recording I record over night with four Lewitt LCT540s microphones in IRT cross setup.   
Even though this part was recorded early morning, between 3:00 & 3:30, the recording is disturbed by human traffic in air and on ground. Wind noise which is usually difficult to avoid are audible in some moments. 
I do not strictly follow the rules about the IRT setup. I have 30cm / 90° between all capsules.
Counting clockwise normal arrangement for the channels are 1-2-3-4  to  L-R & Rs-Ls. But I pair these four channels L-R-L-R into stereo. This allows me to record 360° soundscape with four separated microphones without exactly noticing any time errors.
At the same time I also have four stereo recordings into individual directions which can be useful in some circumstances.
The problem with this „IRT stereo mix“ is that I can´t locate the direction of the sound source. But if I need that information I can always get it in the original recording file. 
In this recording Ch1 is facing to north, Ch2 to east, Ch3 to south and Ch 4 to west
This is a high gained recording. Recorder with 50dB gain, plus 24dB in post, close to be normalized (-3dB). So this is a „quiet“ recording even though it seems to be loud.. Quality open headphones are recommended while listening at low to mid level, or in speakers at low level.

(mp3 256kbps / 62Mb)
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Recorder: Sound Devices MixPre6
Mics: Lewitt LCT540S (IRT cross arrangement)
Pics: Canon EOS-M
Location: 64.673439, -21.628673
Weather: Calm to light gust, Cloudy  about 2°C 

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IMG_5242 (1400x933)

It is shocking how hard it is to find quiet places. Our planet is completely rumbling of humans machines. It does not matter where it is, in the ocean on land or in the sky. The situation just goes worse every year.
But „quiet nature“ is not „nothing“. It can be a glorious soundscape with lot of details that can be really wonderful to listen. That is one of the reasons why „quiet nature“ is my favorite recording material. It is hard to find and always difficult to record.
It is a luck to get a nice recording of ¨quiet nature“ It must be all in one, right place, correct time and specific calm weather.
Most of Iceland is without trees or forest. It is mostly bare open landscape so sound can travel in long distances. Sometimes is it possible to hear traffic up to 30 km away. So just one car can cover a huge area with noise pollution for a long time.
In October 2013 I was recording over night in Stafholtsunga, west Iceland. I located the microphones in a ditch to avoid traffic noise as much as possible. But traffic noise all over the county and air conditioner at nearby farm infected this recording most of the time.
The recording starts between 6 and 7am.
If you have quality headphones and sound card you will hear many other things than noise. You will hear in several bird species like raven, starling and swans and birds activity near the microphones. Also barking dog, sheep and horses in distance. You will hear some dripping sound from the groundwater in the ditch. Gust will also gently weep grass and nearby bush.
Quality headphones are recommended while listening at low level in relaxed position.

Dögun í Stafholtstungu, fyrsti hluti

Það er orðið skelfilegt hversu erfitt er að komast í „náttúrulega þögn“ án vélrænna hljóða frá manninum. Það skiptir engu hvar maður er og á hvaða tíma dags, hávaðinn er alls staðar frá vélum mannsins, í sjónum, á landi og í lofti.
En stundum kemst maður í ágætis færi við „þögula náttúru“ svo langt sem það nær. Auðvitað mætti komast í þessa þögn fjarri mannabyggð en áskorunin er mest að ná þeim í byggð, enda er þar mjög margt áhugavert sem spennandi er að hlusta á án vélahljóða.
Þann 20. október 2013 var ég í Stafholtstungum í Borgarfirði. Setti ég hljóðnema í skurð svo að umferðin í sveitinni kæmi sem minnst inn á upptökuna.
Þarna má heyra ýmsilegt svo sem í húsdýrum, fuglum sem og ýmsu sem fer fram hjá flestum í dagsins önn.
Mælt er með því að hlusta á þessa upptöku í góðum heyrnartólum og á lágum hljóðstyrk um leið og slakað er á í þægilegum stól eða rúmi.

Download mp3 file. (256kbps / 56.6Mb)

Recorder: Sound devices 744
Mics: Sennheiser MKH20 (AB40)
Pix: EOS-M
Rec. Location: 64.672699, -21.629450
Weather: Clear sky, calm, -4°C

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