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Posts Tagged ‘Sound devices MixPre6’

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I have recorded various things with LOM geophones. Including electricity pylons as well as other steel structures as for example around the Hellisheidi geothermal power plant.
All these steel structures can sound extremely different, even between different types of electricity pylons. It was also interesting to hear various ambient sounds through the steel, such as birdsong, traffic and spoken words. Wind and rain is also audible through the steel
What you hear in the recording below is a very simple mix of different sources of two electricity pylons which I recorded close to Búrfell power station..
Quality open headphones are recommended while listening at mid.
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  (20Mb mp3 / 256kbps)

Recorder: Sound devices MixPre6
Mics. Two LOM geophones.
Pix: Canon EOS-R

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It has been several years since I published a recording from Flói nature reserve. The reason is more or less because of foul weather in recent years when I have had the opportunity to record there.
It was no exception last summer from late April to mid July. It was cold, windy and wet most of the time which is actually the high season for birdsong recording.
I went there on the 3rd of July 2021 and recorded overnight. The weather was calm in the beginning but the wind increased over the night. I was also struggling with increased sea tide and therefore a surf noise from the coast line, actually at the same time when the birds were most active during the dawn.
My mics were Lewitt LCT540s in IRT cross setup. Most of the bird’s activity was in front of channel 1&2. Most „silence“ was in front of channel 2&3 and most of the surf and traffic noise was at channel 4&1.
It surprised me how much traffic was there the whole night. There was almost constant rumble in the air during the ten hours I was recording, except between four and five o’clock in the morning. This noise was much more audible than I remember in my earlier recordings. The reason could be found in different mic setup and mics. Ten years ago I used to use NT1a in NOS or AB, pointing towards the open field and keeping the nearest road and coastline behind. I have also used MKH20 in AB which is less sensitive for these details than large capsule mics.
It takes time to search in this 10 hour long recording for some nice sounding 30 minutes moments. Listening to the whole four channels it starts with heavy traffic noise in all channels, then surf noise. Then traffic noise again until the wind and the sun makes the air so unstable close to noon, both traffic noise and bird activity almost disappear in the wind noise.
But with an IRT cross rig I have many options. I can turn off the channel or channels which are disturbing for the soundscape I am looking for.
The recording below is a very good example of this. Instead of using all four channels and mixing them to stereo, I use only channel 2&3 (NOS 90°/30cm) to avoid the surf noise. The time when it starts is about 04:15 so there is almost no traffic noise, but anyway, the recording starts and ends with some engine noise in the distance.
Quality open headphones are recommended while listening at mid or low level.
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Recorder: Sound devices MixPre6
Mics: Lewitt LCT540s,  NOS 30cm/90°
Pix: Canon EOS R

Location: 63.900944, -21.191958
Weather: Calm to breeze, partly cloudy, ca 5-10°C

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Jökulsárlón is a fascinating glacial lagoon. It is about 300m deep below the glacier tongue and from Kayak I have measured with sonar a spot which was more than 280m deep. It is deeper than many places far away in the Atlantic ocean. So if something happens in this lagoon, like Iceberg calving, the sound will echo in this huge space down there as in a large dome.
It has been almost eight years since I recorded the sound in Jökulsárlón for the first time. I was both surprised and disappointed. The sound was much richer than I thought and because of this loud and rich sound down there it was clear I could not get a detailed sound of it when an Iceberg was scratching the bottom of the lake, or calving glacier.
The most common sound there is a loud „spark sound“ when highly pressed air bubbles break out of the ice, but also when dripping water falls on the surface from the melting ice above. Sometimes the iceberg moves and scratches the gravel in the bottom of the lagoon.
The following recording is made from a Kayak, where the lagoon is 40-80 meters deep and not far away, about 200-400m, from the place I did the recording 8 years ago.
You will hear a buzzing engine noise from sightseeing boats in this recording which has sadly increased in the past decade on the lagoon. Because of increasing tourist traffic this lagoon has almost constant engine noise pollution, both above and under the surface between 9-19 o´clock every day mainly during the summer time.
It is anyway interesting to use the engine noise to get insight into how loud the natural soundscape is in this lagoon. If there were NO ice surrounded by salty seawater, then engine noise would have been echoing loudly in the space below the surface, just as an noisy moped gang was driving inside Pantheon in Rome.

(mp3 256kbps / 63Mb)

Recorder: Sound devices MixPre6
Mics: Benthowave Bll-7121 hydrophones  1,8meters apart.
Pix: Canon EOS R

Location: 64.048029, -16.192690
Weather: Calm to breeze. cloudy around 13 °C
Recording date: 25th of June 2021

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Hjörleifshöfði is a 221 m-high inselberg in southern Iceland. It consists of palagonite. The mountain is located on the Mýrdalssandur outwash plain about 15 km east of the village Vík í Mýrdal, and was an island in the Atlantic Ocean several centuries ago (More info: Wikipedia).
I have very often visited this mountain, both those years when I was used to travel by bike in Iceland and now resent years when I am on my field recording trips.
But in recent years, mainly because of tourist traffic, it has not been so pleasant to stay there overnight to enjoy the natural soundscape, which can be a very different on each side of the mountain.
Thanks to COVID I got the opportunity on the 21st of June 2021 to record the soundscape on the west side without traffic noise from the main road, motor vehicles or tourists around me.
Even without traffic noise it has always been difficult to record this place because of the surf along the coast line which makes constant rumble in the background.
I arrived just before midnight. It was foggy but bright. This was last night before the summer solstice.
The weather forecast told me I would have more wind and even rain later in the morning so I quickly prepared the recording gear. I use the Kayak trailer behind the car to make a shelter from the breeze from the south and point the microphones toward the north in the middle of a big lupine field.
Most birds were mostly in the distance. But what makes the soundscape actually so interesting in this place is the redwing songs. They start their songs or themes differently from what I have heard in other places in Iceland. There are other places in Iceland where I have noticed this difference and it seems like it is somehow connected to places where lupine grows. These songs are also different between these „lupine locations“ e.g. Bæjarstaðarskógur in Skaftafell national park, while redwing songs sound pretty similar all over the country.
I have not investigated this in detail, but I have noticed this by listening to recordings from these locations and comparing them in spectrograms. What I need to do next is film them singing in these places to be sure I am actually listening to redwings (which is though 98% clear in my mind). Other things which make this a little bit difficult is the fact that not all birds sound similar in these locations so it is necessary to collect „closeup songs“ in good sound quality from several redwings to work with and investigate.
This is not my best quality recording, but it is almost impossible to record this place without traffic or surf noise. So I was just lucky to get this one.
Quality open headphones are recommended while listening at mid or low level
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(mp3 256kbps / 60Mb)

Recorder: Sound devices MixPre6
Mics: Sennheiser MKH8020/8040.  (Parallel AB) 
Pix: Canon EOS R

Location: 63.424336, -18.763861
Weather: Calm to breeze. Foggy, around 10 °C

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It was at Sunday 19th of September 2021 that I suddenly decided to go on sea to record with the hydrophone. The weather- and tide forecast promise me a few hours of decent circumstances.
But when I arrive at the harbor, people there like to chat about my kayak and equipment. So when I finally went on I was getting late. The wind had increased and the tide was getting too low for the place where I was heading to, so after 4 km paddling I ended up beside a pier in Viðey island which is only 800m NE from Reykjavik Sundahöfn harbor.
I tied my boat to the pier and put the hydrophone about three meters below the boat. It surprised me how quiet this place was. Almost no sign of life, mussels or shrimps, probably because just 700 meter away is a dock for cruise ships which have most likely destroyed the ocean floor in this area with their powerful propellers.
Nevertheless the silence is as interesting in the ocean as the silence on open land, so it is worth listening to.
While I was recording, the ferry to Viðey came and went. So be careful, you need to lower the volume between 11 to 14 min because the propeller noise will be very loud .
You can get an idea how Bethowave 7121 hydrophones perform in this recording. It comes straight from the recorder. No noise reduction, just fade in and out and downgrade from 24/48 wav to 256 kbps mp3

(mp3 256 kbps / 58Mb)

Recorder: Sound devices MixPre6
Mics: Benthowave BII-7121
Pix: LG G6

Location: 64.161135, -21.855538
Weather: Gust 5-8m, cloudy, about 7°C

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Snæfellsnes peninsula has long sand and gravel beaches, especially in the south.
These beaches can easily attract everyone who traveled there. So when I was there on the 1st of July 2021 I did a hike along the beach below the Langholt guesthouse (Garðafjara).
Surf is usually not interesting recording material and there are not many „surf recordings“ in my sound blog. But this beach had a special sound that night
I thought something was disturbing my hearing, but soon I noticed it was the gravel in the surf which made this sound. Instead to be almost constant pink noise, then the noise on this beach constantly changes with every wave. From brown noise to white noise.
As usual the recording gear is never far away so I record this interesting soundscape just before midnight. 

(mp3 256Kbps / 52Mb)

Recorder: Sound Devices MixPre6
Mics: Sennheiser MKH8020/8040 Parallel AB
Pix: Canon EOS R

Weather: Calm to 2m/sec, cloudy,  about 15°C
Location: 64.809722, -23.147333

 

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The eruption was in full action on the 17th of July 2021 and the weather forecast was fine, calm and dry when I decided to go and record at the eruption sites.
I decided to stay not near popular sightseeing places, so therefore I went by bike to get further away to another place at the lava field.
But when I arrived, there was a strong wind because both the eruption and the lava itself has its own weather system due to the heat in the area. Pollution was also high, so it was not easy to operate in the area.
Eventually I found a „good place“ where I had to block the microphones between rocks on the ground right by the glowing lava.
As soon as I pressed „Record“ the volcano stopped erupting and it did not erupt in the next few days, which is very typical for me.
It is quite descriptive of this eruption, although it is a small and beautiful „tourist eruption“, I have not been able to record the eruption itself these four times I have dragged equipment to the eruption sites. There have always been strong gusts and sometimes „small“ hurricanes around the volcano which have made sound recording very difficult. Plus, when it erupts it does not make much sound, especially when no water is involved in the eruption or the lava which would have made an explosion. But when the volcano is active the boiling lava sounds like boiling water in a huge pot.
Even though I could not record the eruption that day as was planned, I managed to record the lava itself without too much wind-, tourists chatting-, drones- and helicopter noise.
The lava did not seem to be moving while I was recording, but I could see embers in the cracks.
I have no clue what makes this „pop“ sound in the lava while I could not see it move. The sounds could be coming from the lava that was possibly rising when the liquid lava flowed under a thin shell crust. Or it just sounds like that when the lava cools down.
The gust rumbling sound in this recording sounds pretty similar as the eruption from the volcano so let’s play with with the imagination while listening.

  (mp3 256kbps / 56,3Mb)

Recorder: Sound devices MixPre6
Mics. Sennheiser MKH8020/8040 (Parallel AB40)
Pix:  Canon EOS R

Location:  63.886300, -22.230307
Weather:  Gusty, 15°C and 35°C at the microphone place, cloudy and high gas pollution.

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For several years I have recorded the soundscape at the same spot when I visit a cottage in west Iceland. Every time I record there I get something different and interesting, all year around.  Forestry has changed the birdlife a lot on this spot in the last 20 years.  Birds like Redwings, Common Redpoll, Eurasian Wren and Starlings are now in increased numbers since the beginning in this century.
I recorded this spot overnight both 6th and 7th of July 2021.
Lot of chicks had already left the nests so the grass field around the microphones was full of birds searching for insects which can be heard in this recording.
The following recording is not an example of the „best part“ which I record these two mornings. It is just a part of the first WAV file at the 6th which I choose because of low traffic. So more of these two days’ recordings will be audible in this blog in the future.
The time is between 2:30 am to 3:05. It is calm and quiet in the beginning until the Common Snipe begins to make a noise with its tail. Young Redwings, Common Redshanks and Snipes are all around the microphones. Other birds are not far away such as European Golden Plovers, Whimbrel, White Wagtail, Eurasian Wren, Rock Ptarmigan, and Whooper Swans in the distance.
This was recorded with four channel IRT setup, but sadly one of the cable was broken so I could only use three of the channels which was though easy to mix into INA-3
This was recorded at 48dB gain (HPF@80hz). In post the gain was increased about 30dB plus gentle RX noise reduction.
Quality headphones are recommended while listening at low or mid level or in speaker at low level.
If the media player doesn’t start to play, please reload this individual blog in a new tab or frame.

(mp3 / 256mbps 69,8Mb)

Recorder: Sound devices MixPre6
Mics: Lewitt LCT540  (IRT setup)
Pix: Canon EOS R

Location: 64.673368, -21.628709
Weather: Calm, cloudy, about 12°C
Other recordings from this location in Stafholtstungur:

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The spring of 2021 has either been windy and cold or windy and wet or both.
Even though birds are usually tough lifeforms, it has been clearly audible that they would like to have warmer days, so instead of filling the air with songs they have been quieter than other years.
Iceland is not rich with audible wildlife sounds. Everything sounds distant so if the air is unstable and wind is more than 2m/sec  then it starts to be difficult to record the wildlife   
From end of February until mid June it has been a very poor circumstances to record in an open field, mainly because of unpredictable and windy weather
In the second week of June I saw in the weather forecast a opportunity to get calm weather for a one day in Látrabjag cliffs so I packed my gear and set off.
On the way in Mjóifjörður I drove off the paved road and followed the old gravel main road to relax and make a coffee. I found a good spot. It was under a mountain slope, surrounded by low birch bush and wild flora. Beside me was a small brook and inside the bush was a shelter from the wind. The soundscape was full of life, so I put up the gear and started to record while taking a nap. 

  (mp3 256kbps / 59.7Mb)

Recorder: Sound devices MixPre6
Mics: Lewitt LCT540s (NOS)  
Pix: Canon EOS-R

Location: 65.614159, -22.823796
Weather: Cloudy, dry, 10-15m/sec, 7°C  

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Here is one of my „COVID recordings“ that I managed to record by Glacier lagoon, Jökulsárlón near the lagoon outfall.
This place is close to the ring road around Iceland so it is usually overcrowded by tourists and other traffic all year round, almost 24/7. I have only been able to dream of recording this place without traffic and human interruption.
But thanks to COVID, on the 10th of June 2020 I managed to record there without too much interruption.
The soundscape is different in this place, but the recording here below is typical for summer soundscape. When I first went to this place some decades ago the glacier was much closer, I guess about 2km away, but today it is about 8km away and much thinner. The sounds from the glacier have almost disappeared. But on the lagoon are large icebergs that melt down rapidly near the lagoon’s outfall. They can emit interesting sounds when they break in pieces.
Arctic terns have nested beside the outfall in many years, but probably because of traffic they seem to have moved the biggest colony closer to the glacier.  In the eighties and nineties when I passed this place every year by bike, Great Skua dominated this area with nests in many places.. But today this big bird is hardly seen near the outfall compared to how it was thirty years ago. Arctic Skua is a common bird there as it has been before.
This recording was made a few hundred meters east from the lagoon outfall.
Not far from the microphone are stranded icebergs which are constantly melting with all kinds of sound.
Most common birds in this recording are Arctic tern, Northern Fulmar, Black Headed Gull, and Razorbill. Other species are audible too.
Common Eiders come quietly close to the microphone and Seals have a fight or mating not far away,
The main background noise is a rumble from heavy surf along the Atlantic ocean coastline  several hundreds meters behind the microphones. Traffic from the ring road no1 is also audible.
Quality open headphones are recommended while listening at mid level.
If the media player doesn’t start to play, please reload this individual blog in new tab or frame.

  (mp3 256kbps / 65.5Mb)

Recorder: Sound Devices MixPre6
Mics: Lewitt LCT540s (NOS)
Pix: Canon EOS-R

Weather: Cloudy, calm, around 8°C
Location: 64.052841, -16.178658

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