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Posts Tagged ‘Starri’

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This two midsummer recordings were made around four o´clock in the morning 15th of July 2017 nearby Arnarholt farm in Stafholtstungur, in west of Iceland. It is recorded on two stereo channels with two different microphones because usually every time I recorded in this place the recordings has been disturbed by traffic noise all night long. But somehow for some unexplained reason no car went around nearby road for more than two hours, so I got a wonderful recording this morning.
I placed those two microphone rigs very close to each other and pointed them toward north. Afterwards I could not decided which of those recordings were better so it is yours to decide which you like.
There are many bird species in this recording. Common Snipe, Golden Plover, Whimbrel, Common Redshank, Black Taled Godwit, White Wagtail, Black headed Gull, Winter Wren, Northern Wheatear, Snow Bunting, Rock Ptarmigan, Common Starling, Redwing, Great Northern Dever, Whooper Swan, Graylag Goose and probably other species. Birds like Starling and Redwing are flying between branches in nearby trees.

My favorite microphones for nature recordings are Sennheiser MKH20 an omni-directional condenser microphone and Rode NT1A (slightly modified), a large capsule cardioid polar pattern studio condenser microphone. Both these mics have lowest self-noise available on the market.
I am used to use MKH20 in AB setup which mean the mics are in 40-45cm spaced parallel position (AB40). Then I turn the capsules 2-5° outward which gave me sometimes slightly „wider or more open space feeling“. This setup give me a stereo recording, 360° surround the rig.
My second best omni-directional ultra low noise mic for nature recordings is AT4022 but it does not sound as „musical“ or „natural“ as MKH20, so it is not as often in my tool box,
Cardioid mic detect sound mainly from one direction. so I use NT1A in different circumstances.
Lets say I like to record a birdsong. At the same time it is disturbed with unwanted noise, coming from another direction like waterfall, river flow, surf or traffic noise. I can place the backside of the cardioid mic to the noise source which mean I will get less of the unwanted noise and more of the birdsong.
In last two or three years I have not used NT1A in ORTF or NOS setup for outdoor recordings. But instead use AB4, same as for MKH20, which seems to give less phase error for the sound behind the rig.

These two recordings are NOT good examples for this two different mics in critical circumstances because no car passed by behind the rigs and most of the birds activity was also front of the rigs. But it gives a nice insight how this two different mics sounds and how the self-noise act in „quiet“ nature recordings.
NT1A was inside Rycote Cyclone + fur. MKH20 was inside Rycote WS2 windshield + fur. Both rigs are in AB40 +3°
I use MixPre6 in this recording. There is no doubt, the new Sound devices Kashmir mic preamplifier is ultra low noise and a sweet step forward to get better field recordings.
The HPF was at 40Hz and the gain was at 50dB for NT1A and 43dB for MKH20. The gain settings mainly get this arrangement because then both rigs sounds have equal level in the headphones while I was recording. In post the gain was increased almost 30dB on both stereo channels, up to -10dB.
Specrogram shows „all“ frequencies was bellow 8Khz so to lower unwanted mic self-noise I pull everything above 10Khz down with EQ (-5db @ 11Khz & -30dB @ 15Khz) .
This is a „quiet“ recording which mean you should listen to it at low level in quality headphones or speakers in quiet place.

NT1A recording
(mp3, 256kbps / 50,6Mb)

MKH20 recording
(mp3, 256kbps / 50,6Mb)

Here are two shorter version of this recording but now without high frequency cutoff and the gain level is normalized up to 0dB, so it should be easy to hear the mic self-noise in low quality headphones and PC amplifiers.
It is also easy to notice that MKH20 is covering 360° of the surround soundscape, while NT1A is only covering 180° with less bird songs and other activity.

NT1A. Without high freq cut off, normalized to 0dB
(mp3, 256kbps / 11Mb)

MKH20 Without high freq cut off, normalized to 0dB
(mp3, 256kbps / 11Mb)

Recorder: Sound devices MixPre6
Mics: Rode NT1a and Sennheiser MKH20 (AB40 setup)
Pix. Canon EOSM

Location: 64.673460, -21.629304
Weather: Calm, cloudy, ca. 7°C

Auglýsingar

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Starling Starri

It has been my work passing weekends recording birds and other sounds in my garden. Sometimes I am just testing microphones, microphones’ setups, wind protections or batteries. Sometimes I am just hoping to get something unusual, car crash in the neighborhood, earthquake or just something nice and interesting.
This recordings could be many hours long. Then usually this recordings go through different audio software and spectrum analyzer. If nothing interesting is found then most of the files are deleted. Most of them are just traffic noises.
I am used to feed birds in my garden so they are an ideal sound source and the following recording is one of this feeding day in November.
After almost four hours recordings a very big group of Starlings visited my garden. They fly and walk around the microphones. A raven was not far away and frightened most of the starlings when he flew close by.
For many reasons this is a nice recording, but for one reason I was not satisfied with the result.
I will let the listeners to find out what it is and discuss it and response. I will give my answer before Xmas.

Umferð starra

Ég hef gert mikið af því undanfarnar helgar að taka upp umhverfishljóð úti í garði. Oft er ég að prófa hljóðnema, hljóðnemauppsetningar, vindhlífar eða rafhlöður. Oftar en ekki eru spörfuglar sem ég fóðra úti í garði viðfangsefnið þó ég láti mig alltaf dreyma um hið óvænta. Þessar upptökur geta verið margra klukkustunda langar og fátt annað á þeim en hávaðasöm bílaumferð. En áður en upptökunum er hent er þeim rennt í gegnum forrit sem sýna í fljótheitum hvort eitthvað áhugavert sé á þeim að finna. Ef svo er þá er það geymt.
Hér er á ferðinni eins slík upptaka. Eftir nærri fjögurra klukkustunda upptöku kom stór starrahópur í fóðrið sem lagt hafði verið fyrir þá.
Þarna spígspora og flögra fuglarnir umhverfis hljóðnemana, en stór hópur þeirra er uppi í trjánum. Hrafn er í hverfinu og fær hund til að gelta og hræðir síðan fuglana þegar hann flýgur of nærri.
Þetta er að mörgu leyti lífleg og skemmtileg upptaka. En það var eitt atriði sem varð til þess að ég var nærri búinn að henda þessari upptöku.
Ég ætla ekki að segja hvað það er, en ætla að lát hlustendum eftir að dæma upptökuna og segja frá því hvað hafi hugsanlega misfarist og fá þá til að rita ummæli hér fyrir neðan. Ég mun svo segja hvað mér finnst fyrir jól.

Download mp3 file (192kbps / 23,3Mb)

Recorder: Sound Devices 744
Mics: Sennheiser MKH30/40 (MS setup)
Pix: Canon 30D (see more pictures)

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Starri á leið í hreiður

Vindur, væta og kuldi er lýsandi fyrir veðráttuna vorið 2011. Fuglar hættu við eða frestuðu varpi. Á sumarsólstöðum var ég staddur á friðlandi í Flóa í leit af fuglahljóðum. Ekki gekk það vel því úti var bæði rok og rigning. Á meðan ég lét tímann líða ákvað ég að taka upp inni í fuglaskoðunarhúsinu. Reglulega mátti heyra þrusk í starra sem var við hreiðurgerð í þakskegginu, nokkuð seint en líklega vegna ótíðar. Hér heyrist helst í vindi lemja kofann, í mófuglum og einmanna kind. En öðru hverju heyrist þrusk sem er annaðhvort vegna þess að starrinn er að koma eða fara og stundum að krafsa í vegginn. Ekki var að heyra að komnir væru ungar enda var hann í óða önn að bera strá í hreiðrið. Hér er á ferð ein af þeim upptökum þar sem ég gerði engar kröfur um árangur, en viti menn, hún skilar óvæntum uppákomum. Nokkuð sem gerist ansi oft ef maður einfaldlega byrjar að taka upp, skilur tækin eftir og hverfur sjálfur af vettvangi.

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Foolish weather at summer solstice.
The spring at 2011 will be remembered as one of the strangest season for a long time in Iceland. The weather was cold, windy and wet, even snowing in June in the north and east. Many birds waited for nesting or even skiped it this year. Because of food shortage in sea many popular birds species like Puffins and Sterna at coast side have almost disappeared. In south west Iceland the weather was not so bad but anyway some birds was late to make their nest.
This session was recorded 21st of June, inside the bird watching house in nature reserve in Flóa, south Iceland. Because of wind and rain I could not record outside, so I just started recording inside the house. During that time I was outside, walking around and “waiting for better weather”. Wind was blowing in the house trough open window, in fact so much, Deadkitten dressed microphones could sometimes not withstand the wind. Outside birds and sheeps have their daily life. But under the roof of the house a sparrow was making a nest. Most of his action is audible trough the blowing wind as a wing flaps and “scratches” on the wooden wall.
This is one of the many recording there I did not expect anything, but surprise, the record have a plot.
Recorder: Korg MR1000 / w. Sound devices 552 preamp. 24bit/96khz
Mics: Rode NT1a
Pix: Canon D30 (see more pictures)

Sækja mp3 skrá (192kbps / 21Mb)

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