Posts Tagged ‘Cliff’


The weather in Snæfellsnes peninsula, west Iceland was beautiful in the last weekend of August 2020. Me and two other friends went there to record nature sounds. Recordings were made from the noisy coastline to the silence on Snæfellsjökull glacier, a glacier which will disappear most likely within the next two decades because of global warming. 
It is sad because this glacier is iconic for the novel „Journey to the Center of the Earth“ by Jules Verne   
It was not only good weather this August weekend. The tourist traffic was very low because of COVID19 so it gave me the opportunity to record places which have been impossible to record without traffic noise and human voices during the last 10 years.  
One of the peaceful places this weekend was Arnarstapi, a small community south of the peninsula. The coastline below is mostly made of basalt columns, which forms all kinds of natural artwork in the cliffs, caves and fissures with and without stone bridges. 
During the summer time the habitats of these cliffs are mainly a Kittiwake but most of them were gone to the sea this weekend so the cliffs were quieter than one month earlier.
I decided to record in one of the fissures named Eystrigjá. Eystrigjá is a rather narrow and one of those who have a natural stone bridge.
Quality open headphones are recommended while listening at low to mid level, or in speakers at low level.

(mp3 256kbps / 43Mb)
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Recorder. Sound devices MixPre6  
Mics: Sennheiser MKH8020/8040 in Parallel AB40. Mixed50/50%
Pix: LG G6

Location: 64.768392, -23.616746
Weather: Sunny, calm, 16°C 

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When I use boom in recording I have used Audio Technica BP4025 stereo mic in Rycote windshield. It is not too heavy and it gives me stereo recordings. But very often I have been disappointed with the „musical“ sound quality, so I don´t often get quality ambiance recordings with this setup. Saying that, it does not mean BP4025 is a bad mic. BP4025 has a very low noise floor. It is the perfect mic for special circumstances like where size does matter and for very quiet environment/nature recordings.
DPA4060 is a pretty sounding miniature mic, sold in pairs and much lighter than any original stereo mic on the market. That means it is perfect to use for boom recordings. But because DPA4060 is an omni mic it is necessary to separate the capsules to get stereo. It is done in two ways. Separate the capsules with space (around 40cm) to get time difference, or place them in two sides of some sonic baffle materials.
The BP4025 was in a short Rycote WS2 windshield which has overall length (wide) 34cm. So it was important to place the capsules each side of some baffle material to get acceptable wide stereo.
I end up with a simple „binaural“ project I made out of wooden leftover (see pictures).
I decided not to use silicon artificial human ears because the ears will change the frequency curve at 2,5Khz and 5,5Khz, which means I needed to fix the EQ afterwards on all recordings made with this rig.
The result was stunning. The rig I made was lighter and better wight balanced than previous BP4025 setup. The overall wight is only 750gr (mics+wood baffle+WS2 basked+fur). It also gives me wider „stereo image“. But best of all, it withstands wind- and handling noise much better than previous BP4025 setup.
Following recordings are 4 and were made in three locations. The two first one are waves on seashore, then one from a cliff, 300 m above sea level with seabirds and the last one is from a football game in Reykjavik. All where recorded on Sound devices 744.
All recordings are straight from the recorder. Just cut and paste, fade in and out and then down grade from WAV to mp3.

(256kbps / 29Mb)

The two first recordings are big and then small waves. The mic have fur, HPF is off and gain at 45db. The mics are faced from the beach to the fjords. You will hear car pass by „behind“ the mic. Notice, you will hear a short „drop out“ when it pass. It is because it passes my car which was located on the road side. See location.
In the cliff recording the mic is without fur. It is possible to hear how strong gust sounds on the Rycote basket, but that is anyway much better (or different) than the my previous BP4025 setup. HPF at 40Hz and gain at 45dB. The boom with the mic reaches the cliff edge about one meter. See location.
The last recording is from a football game celebration in downtown Reykjavik. No fur, HPF at 40Hz and gain at 40dB. The mic stood on a boom about 1 meter above the crowds head. See location.

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Everyone who has travelled on road no.1 between Höfn and Djúpivogur in the east Iceland know the road at Hvalnes- and Þvottárskriður. These places are a huge mountain landslide with cliffs above and below the road. Many days when the weather is bad, with heavy rain or strong wind it can be dangerous to pass the road trough this landslide. Some days the road is closed.
This road at Hvalnes and Þvottárskriður was built 1981, but before, the road lied through difficult valley, high in the mountain named Lónsheiði.
Until 1981 it was unusual to pass this landslide, even the beautiful coast below.
The north Atlantic ocean surf is heavy on the miscellaneous beach which has beautiful gravel beaches and huge cliffs and rocks.
Just below Þrottárskriður landslide is Stapavík, a beautiful gravel beach with high rock in the middle, like a huge stoned giant or troll. Along the beach are low cliffs where fresh water seeps out between the geologic age and wets the rocks.
The following recording was made near one of this place where the fresh water is dripping of the rock down to the gravel below.
Quality headphones are recommended while listening at medium level.

Lindin í Stapavík

Fyrir neðan Þvottárskriður, austur af Hvalnesskriðum, er nokkuð löng malarfjara sem heitir Stapavík. Þessi vík eða fjara skartar gríðarstórum stapa sem minnir á steinrunnið tröll. Stapavík er meira og minna umgirt tiltölulega lágum klettum og skriðum. Þar má víða sjá ferskt vatn streyma undan jarðlögunum og niður klettana.
Upptakan hér fyrir neðan var tekin upp á einum slíkum stað í júní 2014 þar sem vatnið seitlar niður klettavegginn og niður í fjörumölina. Í bakgrunni, bak við malarkamb, má heyra í þungri úthafsöldunni þegar hún skellur á fjörunni í gríð og erg, eins og hún hefur gert á þessum stað í árþúsundir.
Mælt er með því að hlusta á þessa upptöku í góðum heyrnartólum og á miðlungs hljóðstyrk.

Download mp3 file (192Kbps/31,15Mb)

Recorder: Sound deivices 744
Mics: Audio Tecnica AT4022 (binaural)
Pics: Canon EOS M (see more pictures)
Recording location: 64.476665, -14.492781
Weather: Calm, cloudy, around +12°C

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Ásbyrgi was most likely formed by catastrophic glacial flooding of the river Jökulsá á Fjöllum after the last Ice Age, first 8-10,000 years ago, and then again some 3,000 years ago. The river has since changed its course and now runs about 2 km to the east. The legend explains the unusual shape of the canyon differently. Nicknamed Sleipnir’s footprint, it is said that the canyon was formed when Odin’s eight-legged horse, Sleipnir, touched one of its feet to the ground. Legend also relates that the canyon is the capital city of the „hidden people“ (huldufólk), who live in cracks within the surrounding cliffs.
The area is covered in woodland consisting mainly of birch, willow and mountain ash. Several thousand recently planted pines also prospers.
At its innermost end lies Botnstjörn, a small pond surrounded by luxuriant vegetation. The pond is a home to a variety of waterfowl species like Wigeon and Red-necked Phalarope. Arctic Fulmar nest is on the steep cliffs, while many other birds prefer the woods and meadows.
The recording was made around two am the sixth of June 2014.
Thanks to the Friends of Vatnajokull who made this recording trip to Ásbyrgi possible.
Quality headphones are recommended while listening at medium-low level.

Botnstjörn í Ásbygi

Hér er á ferðinni næturupptaka sem gerð var kl 2 eftir miðnætti á útsýnispallinum við Botnsjörn í Ásbyrgi þann 6. júní 2014.
Á upptökunni er helst að heyra í fýl ofan úr bjarginu, rauðhöfðaönd á tjörninni og nokkrum öðrum fuglategundum s.s. músarindli og skógarþresti innan úr skóginum. Þá steypist lítil lækjarspræna ofan af klettinum ofan í grjóturð framan við hljóðnemana.
Þessari upptöku má þakka samtökunum Vinum Vatnajökuls sem gerðu það kleift að af þessari upptökuferð gat orðið.
Mælt er með því að hlusta á þessa upptöku í góðum heyrnartólum og á miðlungs lágum hljóðstyrk.

 Download mp3 file (192kbps / 41.1Mb)

Recorder: Sound Devices 744
Mics: Rode NT1a (NOS)
Pix: Canon EOS-M
Recording location: 65.998393, -16.513573
Weather: Cloudy, about 5°C. Calm, light gust

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