Soundcatcher

www.fieldrecording.net

The dock at Holtstangi. Part 1

IMG_5583

In Önundarfjörður (fjord) northwest of Iceland is a small village, Flateyri. During the winter, avalanches are falling in the mountains all around the fjord.
In Oktober 1995 a huge avalanche hit Flateyri. Many houses were wiped away and 20 died. Several other avalanches and the crazy weather closed the road to the village so the only way for rescue team was from sea.
The first rescue unit pass a molded 45 years old dock in the bottom of the fjord at Holtstangi. This dock was made in 1950 for security reason if avalanches close the road and other communication to Flateyri
This terrible avalanche in the October night 1995, shows how important this dock was for the community, so it was rebuilt in the spring 1996.
This recording was made in the beach close to this dock 19th of June 2012

Download mp3 file (192kbps / 29,4Mb)

Recorder: Sound devices 744
Mics. Rode NT1a (NOS)
Pix. Canon EOS30D

Dance project for three tons of fireworks

IMG_4495

Reykjavik Culture Night was held for the nineteenth time on 23rd of August 2014. As usual it normally ends with a big concert and a fireworks in Reykjavík downtown.
This year the weather was wet but warm.
I was soaked when the fireworks started, and I was probably not in the best place to record fireworks. But it was as interesting to listen to the joyful crowd during the show.
In just 9 minutes they blew up three tons of fireworks from several places around the concert stage.  More information about this dance project and Reykjavik culture nights.

Download mp3 file (192kbps / 23,2Mb)

Recorder. Sound Devices 744
Mics: Sennheiser MKH8040 (ORTF)
Pix: Nokia N82. (see video of this fireworks)

Krosslaug pool at Bardastrond.

DSC05272

In Iceland it is possible to find many hot springs all over the country. Many of them have optimal temperature for bath and to relax. For centurys people have piled stones and turf around some of this known natural hot springs.
In the beginning of last centuries many of this natural hot springs were used to teach people to swim. Soon, many communities all over the country built real swimming pools of concrete near these springs.
One of these places can be found at Krossholt at Barðastönd, Southwest Iceland. There is Krosslaug, a 12 meters long swiming pool, built in 1948. There is also newly built natural hot tub, build on a hot spring in traditional style. It was the Youth Association of Barðaströnd County who piled this tub with stones, gravel and turf.
From the bottom through the ground of the tub comes the warm water with bobbles that gives relaxing sound while laying there with the ear below the surface. You can hear the bobbles moving upwards trough the gravel deep from the ground under the tub.
This recording was made with hydrophones at 15th of June 2012.
Another interesting recording from Krossholt, nearby place is: Opus for power line, bass, wind and birds.

Download mp3 file (192kbps / 28,8Mb)
See more and listen at: www.fieldrecording.net

Recorder: Sound Devices 744
Mics: Aquarian H2a-XLR
Pics. Sony CyberShot DSC-P120 & Olympus 4040 & EOS 30D (see more pictures)

Christmas 1964

jol1964

I was born in Germany while my father was studying and working there between 1954 to 1966.  My older sister was also born in Germany.
Probably in December 1964 my father recorded me and my sister singing the traditional song “O Tannenbaum”.
My mother’s voice is there also while she helps us through the text.
Later one I sing a short solo in my “southern German” I have completely lost today.
The text was composed by Ernst Anschütz, 1824

O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum,
wie treu sind deine Blätter!
Du grünst nicht nur
zur Sommerzeit,
Nein auch im Winter, wenn es schneit.
O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum,
wie treu sind deine Blätter!
O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum!
Du kannst mir sehr gefallen!
Wie oft hat nicht zur Weihnachtszeit
Ein Baum von dir mich hoch erfreut!
O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum!
Du kannst mir sehr gefallen!
O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum!
Dein Kleid will mich
was lehren:
Die Hoffnung und Beständigkeit
Gibt Trost und Kraft
zu jeder Zeit.
O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum!
Das soll dein Kleid
mich lehren.

Download mp3 file (192kbps / 2,2Mb)
See more and listen at: www.fieldrecording.net

Recorder: unknown open reel deck.
Transferred from Revox B77 MkII to Sound devices 744
Mic. Unkown
Pics: Syster and brother (Bergþóra & Magnús, picture taken at Christmas 1964)

Hagavik at Thingvallavatn lake. Part 1

IMG_3965

In 27th July I decided to cycle with recording gear out of Reykjavik. It was late in the evening when I left my house. Just after I left the street lights, I cycled into dark, wet fog.
I was both whet and cold when I passed the fog on the highest peak of the road in the mountain Hengill.
I waited there almost for two hours in a very calm weather, just to enjoy the prospect. Noise from nearby hydroelectric plant filled the air with a powerful rumbling noise. Below, all around me, was this thick fog and a clear sky above.
I was getting tired when I saw the sun rice above the horizon around 4 am.  After several photo shots I decided to find a place to sleep and feed my recorder with “early morning summer sound”.
On my way, was a place named Hagavik, a very nice cove in the southwest of Þingvallavatn lake. When I arrived, the fog was still very thick. I spread out my bivi sack on a place I remembered I put up my tent for about 35 years ago, when this place was not so popular. It was now a filthy motorist parking and fish hunting place. But, just as in the past, the soundscape was glorious.
Two MKH20 was placed close to the lake and I went to sleep 10 meters away.
The time was about 5:40 in the morning and the atmosphere was very quiet in the fog when the recording start.

Download mp3 file (192kbps / 35,2Mb)

Recorder: Sound Devices 788
Mics: Sennheiser MKH20. AB40 setup
Pics: EOS M (see picture from this bicycle trip)

See more and listen at: www.fieldrecording.net

Flying containers

021120124385

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.

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

Recorder: Sound Devices 788
Mics: Sennheier MKH30/40. MS setup in Recote windshield
Pics: Nokia N8

The sound in Raufarholshellir

IMG_1107

Early May I went into the Raufarhólshellir cave with a group of peoples. The tour was done to listen to the sound in the cave when water drops fall on ice on the floor. This sound can be really amazing when hundreds of drops fall in to all kinds of sizes and depths of holes in the ice.
But, most of the ice was gone, so the sound was not as expected.
Anyway, the experience and the sound was nice.

Download mp3 file (192kbps / 35Mb)

Recorder: Sound Devises 744
Mics: Sennheiser MKH8040 (ORTF)
Pix: Nokia N82

This is just a 3 minutes recording of almost 6 hours recording made in west Iceland. It was recorded close to farm building to make shelter from wind and traffic noise.
In this recording the Starling is impersonate Redwing. But he also make a “song mix” of Golden Plover, Raven and probably many other bird spices.
The main song start around 1:01 and end around 1:55 when he fly away.
Recorded on Sound devices 788t with MKH20 mics in AB50 setup.

Walk through the city hall

Reykjavik City hall

Last spring was cold and windy and 26th of May was no exception when I cycle downtown Reykjavik with my recording gear. It was a accordion day and members of the Accordion club of Reykjavik was playing in the city hall. When I arrive it was overcrowded and the sound quality was poor from the amplified monitors. So I decided to stay outside and listen instead to the birds on the pound, close to the hall.
This recording contain my walk beside the pond, from the southeast side (as seen on the picture) trough the city hall to the northwest side, into very different atmosphere.

Download mp3 file (16Mb / 192kbps)

Recorder: Sound devices 744t
Mics: Sennheiser MKH8040 (ORTF setup) in Rycote Windshield
Pics: Canon EOS M

Nature reserve in Floi 2012. Part 5

Red throated Diver

Last autumn and winter I published some of my recordings from 25th of June 2012 in the nature reserve at Flói in the south of Iceland.
Day after, during the night and early morning at 26th I continued to record, but now I moved the microphones about 3-5 meter closer to nearby pond.
Something happened. There was a strange echo or reverb in some directions. It sounded strange because this area is very flat. But afterwards I thought it came from a ridge about 50cm high along the pond. This echo was sometimes very nice so it is worth to continue to put this recordings from Flói on the web, maybe in 2 to 4 parts.
I skip the first two hours of this night recording, mostly because of a high noise from the surf along the coast site, 3-4 km behind the microphones and some truck traffic 7 -14 km front of the microphones.
As usual this recording are made in virtually quiet environment. It starts around 1 am and lasts for 25 minutes. It is mostly very quiet, but in the end a choir of Red throated Diver gets very loud.

Download mp3 file (35Mb / 192kbps)

Recorder: Sound devices 744T
Mics: Rode NT1a (NOS)
Pics: Canon 30D (see more pictures)
Older post from nature reserve in Flói 2012

Watch and wake up!!!!

Stereo microphone comparison

060520135027

Three stereo microphones noise and sensitivity comparison.
Shure VP88 – Rode NT4 – Audio Technica BP4025

This recordings include a spoken word from pocket radio at very low volume and ticking alarm clock in 1,6m distance. The volume settings on the radio was so low, the sound was hardly audible with bare ears. Noise from radiator pipeline is audible in the background. Miscellaneous bird life is outside and should be also clearly audible.
Keep in mind. This test is only noise and sensitivity comparison. High sensitivity and low noise is VERY important for nature recordings. This comparison does not give any information how this microphones sounds for music recording or how they withstand high pressure sound level.
See spectrogram and pictures
Quality headphones recommended while listen.

Shure VP88, Rode NT4 and Audio Technica BP4025 direct from recorder. All at same gain level at 55dB.

All three recordings are now independently level normalized up to 0dB.

Links to the products:
Shure VP88
Rode NT4
Audio Technica BP4025

Rumbling noise from Mordor

IMG_0631

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.

Download mp3file (192kbps / 37,3Mb)

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

See more and listen at: www.fieldrecording.net

Chris in Swedish television