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Posts Tagged ‘Wind’

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One of my friends for many years is Gísli Sigurgeirsson. He is a genius in many fields. In recent years, he has had strong opinions on climate change, and I therefore have great respect for him as a climate activist. I myself have given up on fighting for cycling infrastructure and a sustainable life for everyone, although I try my best to live as sustainably as possible in a western society. I am also always ready and waiting for radical movement if the governments like to change society into a sustainable lifestyle.
On August 20, 2022, a Climate festival was held in Reykjavík downtown in connection with a Reykjavik Culture Night. That day I was recording several things, including Gísla Sigurgeirsson’s speech.
Before and after the speech there were musical performances. The first was Maria Viktoria who sang and played. Then came Gísla’s speech and after that Vala Yates and Maria Viktoria sang and played a song together. Both these ladies are very talented, so everyone should remember these names.
Everyone involved in this recording gave me permission to put this content on the web.
It was very windy that day so I didn’t have much choice of microphone. My best stereo microphone for that is actually a homemade „baffled – binaural“ array with double EM172 and LOM mic amps in a Rycote WS2 windshield.
I have to admit that it always surprises me how good this DIY microphone is with unbelievable low „handling noise“ and low wind noise, even without HPF.
Although there were strong gusts of wind, you can hardly hear it in this recording, other than the sound waves from the sound system from the stage is distorted because of the wind.

  (mp3 26,7Mb / 265kbps)

Recorder: Sound devices MixPre6
Mics: Promo EM172 Baffled – Binaural.
Pix: Samsung S6

Location:  64.147287, -21.940348
Weather: Strong gust, partly cloudy, around 14°C

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IMG_2200

This recording is actually recorded in a „natural silence“, far away from traffic in open landscape, which can be said to be my area of interest. But the weather, as so often before, was no way to work with me. Windy and wet which means I was not able to record the „depth in the field“ that can often be heard through good recordings, recorded in calm, dry weather.
There is no doubt when I say that 95% of all the recordings I record in Icelandic nature sounds like this. Therefore, it is also wrong not to report it with examples.
Here is one. The location is the highland at Arnarvatnsheiði, northwest Iceland near a place called Hæðarsporður
I had to find a sheltered place close to the ground to protect the microphones as much as possible from wind and rain. Close to the ground isn’t a good position for microphones, but often only way to record something for a days or a weeks
While Rode NT1 is a cardioid I couldn’t find an ideal location, so it is not a good balance between right and left channels. Right channel has noise from the Norðlingafljót river just over a km away, as well as there is less bird life on the left side
The result is as it is.
This is a part of a ten hours long overnight recording. During the night the windshield gets very wet, so one of the reasons why this recording sounds a bit „dull“.
The soundscape was quiet as usual on the Icelandic highland. It was almost impossible to hear anything except wind noise. The recorder was at +50 db gain on SD788. In post the gain was increased by about +25db (up to -7db). RX noise reduction was not used. Wind noise was decreased below 100Hz with EQ, also NT1´s white noise was lowered above 10Khz about -3db,  and -6db at 15khz.  Normally it does not harm the recording while bird songs which have the highest frequency range in Icelandic nature are mostly below 7Khz.
Quality open headphones are recommended while listening at low volume
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  (mp3 256kbps / 55,8Mb)

Recorder: Sound Devices 788
Mics: Rode NT1 (NOS 90°/30cm)
Pix: Canon EOS-R

Weather: Windy up to 8m/sec, drizzle rain, foggy & 5°C
Location: 64.854845, -20.545331

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I always miss those times in the last century when I rode on a bicycle alone for weeks in the highlands. I knew every single road and trail that could be found on maps, and other routes too. I had a special ability to look at maps and make detailed travel plans based on route conditions and weather forecasts. I knew very well my physical limitations and all the places where I could seek from bad weather. Therefore I never had any problems in my travels.
Without meeting people or seeing human structure, nature and I merged into one. The journeys were therefore both mentally and physically rejuvenation.
After the year 2002, cars and traffic began to increase rapidly in Iceland. Mountain huts that used to be shelters were now closed. Many emergency huts were removed due to poor handling. It became increasingly difficult to travel without being disturbed by noisy humans and without shelter in remote locations.
One of these very few emergency huts that still exist and are open and have saved many lives is on a Kaldidalur route. For me this hut was often a first overnight stop from Reyakjavík on the way to cross the highland.
I was in Kaldidalur 28th of May 2017 to record the surroundings. I decided to record beside the hut to record a familiar sound.
This is a typical soundscape for Icelandic highland. Birds in the distance and windy and if not windy and rainy then complete silence.
Inside the hut was normally the same sound but more silent, except if there was buzzing fly in the window.
Even though it is many years since this soundscape was part of my daily experience, I get an undeniable nostalgia for the past for listening to this recording
Quality open headphones are recommended while listening at mid or low level.
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  (mp3 256Kbps / 63,7Mb)

Recorder: Sound Devices 744T
Mics: Rode NT1 NOS
Pix: Canon EOS-M

Location: 64.447652, -20.961026
Weather. Cloudy, 4-10m/sec, drizzle rain. 5°C

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IMG_2200

The natural acoustic in Iceland for 8 months a year is little more than silence or noise created by the wind. It is obvious that my recording collection contains a large amount of this sound of silence. These are usually 6-10 hour long recordings. I usually do not listen to these recordings, but I run them all through a spectrogram to look for something interesting. Sometimes something interesting happens near the microphone, but it is rare. It is usually just different weather and of course the traffic that interrupts almost all recordings except for two to three hours overnight.
It was recently that the musician Hazal Elif Yalvaç contacted me and asked me about all kinds of „wind sounds“. So I searched through the collection, which made me find an interesting recording like this below.
It contains all kinds of wind sounds, both near the microphones and far away. The whole recording sounds like you are in the middle of a huge symphony orchestra. When it is calm and silent you can hear when the frost bites with a tiny „pop sound“. Straws and branches rub together in the wind and the ice breaks in the soil. Literally everything between falling snowflakes to strong winds blowing through tall trees in the distance.
This is a high gain recording (+50dB at rec.+ 20db in post) with microcosmic sound which was recorded in west Iceland 15th of February 2021.
This Gust symphony starts in Larghissimo, so be patient. The tempo will increase within a few minutes.
Quality open headphones are recommended while listening at mid level
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(mp3 256kbps / 62Mb)

Recorder: Sound devices 788 
Mics: Lewitt LCT540s  (IRT cross setup, mixed to stereo)
Pix: Canon EOS R

Location:  64.673367, -21.628704
Weather:  partly cloudy, slightly snowing, around -7 to -12°C

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There are two things which are always possible to record almost everywhere, any time and all year around. That is traffic noise and all kinds of wind.
Traffic noise is easy to record, but wind noise is more difficult. Wind is like an instrument or a symphony orchestra. But what makes it even more difficult is that you can´t place the microphone everywhere you like. A „pure and clean“ wind recording may not include a mechanical wind noise from the windshield, cable or the tripod. So location of the microphone rig plays normally a big role. But when the microphone is placed close to ground or a wall it will affect the frequency spectrum, mainly of sound reflection and therefore a phase issue.
It is possible this happened to me in December when I recorded gust over night in the country side, west Iceland. But I am still not sure, because when all the straws on the ground were rubbing each other, they made a sound or a constant noise which was limited to specific frequency range.
There is no other recording I have made which sounds as differently between different headphones and speakers as this one. I have not EQ this recording much, just pulled down the subsonic at 20Hz and slightly lifted 250Hz (+/-100Hz) The microphone was about 30-50cm from the ground. It was very bumpy and because of that I think I was probably not struggling with a phase issue, only the noise from the rubbing straws.
This recording starts very calm, with an „intro“. But suddenly the wind starts to blow and and gets stronger in the third part of this beautiful winter song..
I am used to record exactly on this location almost every time I visit this place so it is interesting to listen how this place sounds six months later, in July. Listen here.
Quality open headphones are recommended while listening at low or medium level.

(mp3 256kbps / 49Mb)
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Recorder. Sound devices MixPre6
Mics: Lewwitt LCT540s (NOS)
Pix: Canon EOS M
Location:64.673500, -21.629361
Weather: Calm to breez, around -8°C

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For me nothing is as pleasant as laying in the grass on a warm summer day in good distance from human activity, looking at the sky and listen to the wind wipe the grass until I fall a sleep.
This is something I did the 30th of July 2017 when I decided to visit places I remembered as a child, almost 50 years ago. It was at my grandparents´ farmland, Efri-Brú, which they owned most of the last century.
About 2 km northeast of the farm is a place named Hvítingshæðir. There is an old ruin of sheep shield, surrounded in grass field and remnants of old fence. This sheep shield in Hvítingshæðir was one of three or four sheep houses in distance from the main farm buildings. These sheep shields were usually built in places where it was easy to mow and keep hey for sheep during the winter months.
There is not much going on in this recording. Many decades have passed since farming was in the area and most birds are quiet this time of the day. So gust is playing the main role in the recording.
This was one the first recording I did with my parallel MKH8020/8040 AB setup in Rycote windshield. It was recorded on four channels with 50dB gain and HPF at 80Hz.
Quality open headphones are recommended while listening at low to mid level, or in speakers at low level.

(mp3 256kbps / 48Mb)

Recorder: Sound devices MixPre6
Mics: Parallel Sennheiser MKH8020/8040 AB setup
Pix: Canon EOS-M
Location: 64.111163, -20.972373
Weather: Dry, sunny, light clouds, 3-5 m/sec

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Wind is very often the recordist´s enemy. Especially if the rumbling noise of „hammering membrane“ is not acceptable.
Some recordists may say this rumbling noise is just normal. Everyone will hear similar rumbling noise when they stay in wind.
For me it sounds like „clipping distortion“.
Wind protection is one of the most important thing for nature recordings, especially in the country where wind below 3m/sec. is almost unique.
I have tried several wind protections. My own, Rode Blimp and Rycote Softie and Modular series. All of them sounds similar. So it was welcomed when Rycote introduced the Cyclone windshield. Cyclone have Floating Basket Suspension, which is very nice. Until now, it has been only be used in the overpriced Cinela products.
Rode NT1a is one of the best cardioid microphones available today for nature recording. But sadly it is not build for outdoor use, so it has some poor futures like handling noise.
So when I choose it on the field, it has been important to keep it in Rycote modular windshield, place it close to the ground (sadly very often too close) and pray for completely calm weather. Then pray again for nice outcome.
I per-order a pair of Cyclone mini windshield last summer and got it in mid September. My plan was to fix them with parallel MKH20/40. But I also gave my modified NT1a a try when I saw it was almost „plug and play“ to fix it .
Without fur Cyclone was not far from to be equal to Rycote modular series with fur. But when Cyclone was dressed in fur the rumbling noise almost disappeared in wind around 5-7 m/s. That was a huge success.
Following recording is a short part of overnight recording from Stafholtstungur, in the west of Iceland. The gust goes up to ca. 7m/sec. and the recorder HPF was set at 80Hz. The rig is about 1 meter above the ground.
Some rumble noise is audible in this recording, but some of it could as well be a vibration from the tripod. Keep it in mind this is NT1a which is particularly sensitive for handling noise.
I will spend more time to test this setup but it looks like I need to order another pair for my MKH20/40 rig.
Quality open headphones are recommended while listening at low to mid level.

(265kbps / 36Mb)

Recorder: Sound devices 744
Mics: Rode Nt1a NOS setup
Pic: Canon EOS-M

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Last weekend in February I and my brother in law went to Skaftafell national park. Our sons were with us and we spent one night in a tent on the campsite. One of the reasons that we drove all this way from Reykjavík was to get in touch with the place where I will be recording the nature next spring and summer.
We were lucky with the weather. It was dry and the temp. about zero. But most of the time strong gust was blowing down from the glacier over the place.
This recording was made during midday on the campsite where the gust was blowing through the naked branches.

Skaftafell í febrúar 2014

Síðustu viku í febrúar fór ég með mági mínum í stutt ferðalag austur að Skaftafelli. Höfðum við syni okkar með því veðurútlit var gott og við ætluðum að tjalda. Var ferðin að hluta til farinn vegna hljóðritunarverkefnis sem ég fékk styrk til að sinna næsta vor og sumar. En styrkinn fékk ég hjá samtökunum Vinum Vatnajökuls.
Á meðan við dvöldum þar þá gekk á með hvössum vindstrengjum ofan af Skaftafellsjökli. Það var því kjörið tækifæri að hefja hljóðritunarverkefnið með því að hljóðrita vindinn sem geystist í gegn um kjarrið á svæðinu.

Download mp3 file (192kbps/37.1Mb)

Recorder: Sound devices 744
Mics: RodeNT1a in NOS setup
Pix: Canon EOSM

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Last summer was mainly wet, windy and cold in Iceland. It was no exception while I was recording birds in the nature reserve Flói, south of Iceland.
I was three weeks later than usual, so it was probably too late to record a reach bird chorus.
I spend two nights in the area and tried to record surrounding ambient through soaking wet windscreens. I stayed most of the time in a bird watching shelter to keep me dry. It was different from last tree years. Surroundings looked more like a swamp than grassland.
I kept one recorder in the field in a plastic box. The second one was in the bird watching shelter.
Just before I fell a sleep on the floor I started to record. The following recording is a short part of that moment while shower passes over.
Most windows on the shelter were open so birds surround are audible. Background noise is not a traffic, it is the surf at nearby south coast, about 3 km away.

Flói 2013. 1. hluti

Síðast sumar var kalt og blautt miðað við það sem maður hefur vanist síðustu ár. Alla vega elti óheppnin mig með leiðinda veðri á röndum hvert sem ég fór með upptökutækin. Hin árlega ferð í Flóann var þar enginn undantekning. Ég mætti á svæðið þremur vikum seinna enn vanalega. Ég mátti því búast við að fjöldasöngur fugla væri farinn að dvína. Vindasamt veður gerði svo erfitt um vik, hvað þá að hljóð gæti borist langar leiðir.
Að vanda tók ég upp í tvær nætur í flóanum. Í þetta sinn flaut allt í vatni og því ekki hægt að liggja úti í grasinu eins og vanalega, heldur var leitað skjóls inni í fuglaskoðunarskýlinu.
Fyrir utan var eitt upptökutæki að taka upp á hefðbundnum stað. Annað var aðgerðarlaust inni í skýlinu. Rétt áður en ég fékk mér lúr á gólfinu ræsti ég upptökutækið. Hér kemur partur af þeirri upptöku þegar skúr gekk yfir svæðið. Gluggar voru opnir svo það heyrist í fuglum í grennd. Suðið í bakgrunni kemur frá briminu suður við Ölfusárósa.

Download mp3 file (192kbps / 34,5Mb)

Recorder Sound devices 744T
Mic: Rode NT1a
Pics: Canon EOSM (more pictures soon)

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In last week of August the first “real winter storm” arrived to Iceland, with strong cold wind and snow down to 300 m o.s. Luckily it was not as bad as weather forecast expected.
But for sure more and stronger storms will arrive in coming months. Sometimes it happens during high tide and with extremely low air pressure so the whole harbor is floating in deep seawater.
Last autumn 2012, we got at last two times a “real storm”, and both this storms arrived while I was at work. It was really dangerous to be outside so we spent most of the day inside. Regularly we heard loud “drumming sound” and got a taste of an earthquake when containers and reefers flew of the stacks to the ground.
Following recording was recorded in one of those bad weather situations 2nd of November 2012. It is mostly audible wind noises with flying garbage around when suddenly somewhere in the harbor one container take off from a stack and fells to the ground.

Fljgúandi gámar

Upptaka frá Sundahafnarsvæðinu í Reykavik frá því 2. november 2012, þegar gekk á með miklu norðan hvassviðri. Þá fór mikið af Sundahafnarsvæðinu á flot og nokkrir gámar tókust á loft með miklum látum. Í upptökunni sem hér fylgir má heyra í gám þegar hann fellur úr stæðu einhvers staðar á svæðinu.

Download mp3 file (192kbps / 29,7Mb)

Recorder: Sound Devices 788
Mics: Sennheier MKH30/40. MS setup in Recote windshield
Pics: Nokia N82

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