Posts Tagged ‘Traffic noise’


I don’t expect many people to be interested in listening to this recording. It is mainly a silence. But this is just a normal natural Icelandic soundscape in calm winter weather, so I have a lot of stuff like that in my collection which I think should be published in this blog
At least I can tell. it is very good to fall asleep from recording like this.
This one was made overnight on 4th of March 2023 and the time is around 5 o’clock. For some reason, there was unusually low traffic that night. Perhaps it had to do with the fact that the television that evening had some musical contest, so lots of folks in the county had been drinking alcohol that night. So there were few people who could or had to drive unnecessarily around the countryside that night.
But anyway it is a traffic noise in this recording. Mainly from the main road no:1 for about 5km away and one car will pass by the recording location, 250 meters away. So don’t play this too loud.
As expected at this time of year, silence was something that was significant from nature’s side. Fortunately, the weather was completely calm. It gave me the opportunity not to use low pass filter LPF, which gave me the ability to listen for a variety of low-frequency sounds that I’ve often encountered on this recording site before but has been hard to explain. Was it an earthquake or something else?
When silence is greatest, there is little or nothing that attracts attention in this recording. Two foxes can be heard calling. Rock ptarmigan, ducks and swans in the distance. But as ears sink deeper into the material and every sound is separated from each other and from the background noise, there is the „sound of water“. Sound of wet grass. Maybe an ice crystal transformed to a drop of water. At times, you may hear a „flow of water“. Probably a small creek far away or maybe as well an underground water flow because there is no stream nearby. But the ground in this place has thin soil on a rocky glacial soil
The background noise is equally fascinating. Some of them are known and could best be considered as „technical problems“. But there are also intriguing things to be found because sometimes it is hard to figure out where this noise comes from.
So let’s talk about „background noise“
At the lowest frequency, the vibrations caused by the wind are usually almost always detected, i.e. “Brown noise”. Hence, it is usually necessary to use HPF for all outdoor recordings, except in recordings like this where the weather’s so calm that it’s like being in a wardrobe. This recording, as well as others I’ve done at this location, may include rumbles or knocks that may come from a horse or horses from a great distance, possibly some kilometers away. I think this noise coming this distance travels through the ground. It might be earthquakes, but it is unlikely in this recording. Apart from the distinctly low frequency of sounds that take place in a particular setting, I suspect that the constant rumblings that can be heard in the recording have both technical and natural explanations, which mostly though is related to turbulence in the air.
On the other side of the frequency curve, at the highest frequencies, “blue noise”.
It is usually only self noise from the microphones and recorder’s amplifiers. I tried very carefully to use RX for noise reduction, but there is always a limit to what is possible to do without spoiling the recording.
In the middle is “Green noise,” something that always interests me. This is a background noise that normally includes sounds that may come from far away and be heard only in a calm weather.
There is something called “Sea State Zero Noise,” a natural silence, or background noise in the oceans. I believe that something similar is happening here. This is noise, which is due to a number of natural factors, but mainly because of the wind and water in the combination of temperature and atmospheric conditions. Today, though, „mechanical traffic“ has constantly been overwhelming the natural noise. The source of this “green noise” like the recording below has a possible origin from car traffic up to 20Km away. From the surf at the beach shoreline 20 to 30 km away as well from a waterfall behind hills, in a canyon 7km away. None of these sounds are discernible to the bare ears. So for me it is often good to identify which direction this theme comes from by recording in IRT setup as this one.
In this recording (or that night) this green noise varies as a calm wave in different frequencies. Whether it is due to variations in air pressures or layering of temperatures or something else, I cannot easily confirm
Therefore, it is best to listen and let the imagination guide you to the course.
For those of you who find a lot of noise in this recording, I would like to remind you that it was recorded with 50dB gain. In post-production the gain is increased by another 25db, up to -10dB peak. So I agree, this recording certainly doesn’t sound good. But I think you can’t do better with the Lewitt 540s and Sonosax SX-R4+ in silence.
Quality open headphones are recommended while listening at low to mid volume.
If the media player doesn’t start to play, please reload this individual blog in a new tab or frame.

  (mp3 256kbps / 56Mb)

Recorder: Sonosax SX R4+
Mics: Lewitt LCT540s in IRT setup
Pix: Canon EOS-R
Location: 64.673374, -21.628710
Weather: Calm, partly cloudy, 0°C
Information about „color of noise

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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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At 13th of May I cycled to the shore, west side of Reykjavik to make some microphones setup test in quiet environment. It was sunny and calm, but cold as it has been all this year’s spring.
This coastline is mostly unspoiled from humans works so there is miscellaneous birdlife. Along is a very popular walking and cycle path. Some places can be very quiet like the beach south of Skildinganes where I have recorded many times nature sounds…as far as it goes.
As usual where nature are close to humans automotive world there is a deep rumbling noise, a terrifying noise from burning fossil fuel. It does not only disturb my ears or recordings, it is a very clear warning about our stupid lifestyle that will sooner or later destroy our planet within a century.

Drunurnar frá Mordor

Upptaka af notalegri vorstemmningu í Grófinni sunnan við Skeljanes.
En í bakgrunni heyrast drunur frá vítisvélum borgarbúa sem fyrr en síðar munu breyta þessum ljúfu vorhljóðum í fjörunni.

Download mp3file (192kbps / 37,3Mb)

Recorder: Sound devices 788
Mics: Sennheiser MKH8040 (ORTF setup)
Pix: Canon EOS-M

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