They don’t really work in wind, and they aren’t the quietest, but they are as stealthy as you can get, looking just like earbuds. A decade ago you still looked a little bit of a geek using them and monitoring on a recorder, but nowadays most people are looking at their smartphones, rather than the lamp-post/road they are about to encounter. On the off-chance that they do look up, they will assume you are just another human trying to escape the real world for the virtual one inside your phone, which happens to be a field recorder.
I was going for a general recce on the Somerset levels, looking for interesting sounds. I heard a lot of birds congregating in some trees, and started the OKMII. There was a lovely little flurry of about 100 starlings flying overhead at about 2 and 4 secs against a background of other starlings gathering in the trees
The OKMII isn’t really a birding mic, but it picked up some of the essence of these guys
and then I encountered this ghastly full-scale 0dBFS noise on the left
a bad contact on the left channel. After 10 years these mics don’t owe me anything, but I figured it’s worth a look if a fix is possible. Skinning the foam earpads shows this
It’s possible to separate these with a craft knife along the obvious seam, concentrating on the melted bits. The microphone is glued to the shell with a hole, try and keep this together to expose the contacts on the rear of the capsule. Continue reading “Soundman OKMII repair”
Wind is normally the enemy of sound recordists, but going through some recordings from last year I found this recording of ex-hurricane Ophelia from the 16th October 2017. Ophelia had been pretty nasty originally and was still bad when it got to Ireland.
I recorded it in Glastonbury in the south-west, by finding a sheltered spot and pointing the mic in a windshield at a bunch of trees, which made a good recording given the wind. The key was that I had good shelter at the mic, but the trees were exposed to the full force of the wind.
The storm dragged up a load fo Saharan dust, making the sky the sickly yellow in the pic.
Becoming a housing estate will clearly change this part of the Fonnereau Way, so I walked this to capture some pictures and soon to be historical sounds from the route. The farmland is intensively farmed and heavily sprayed as I’ve observed a few times, it’s quite possible that being turned into a housing estate may actually increase the biodiversity. Although the birds will be persecuted by hundreds of domestic cats and the gardens will no doubt be tiny, the farmland doesn’t support that many birds at the moment.
The Fonnereau Way starts from Christchurch Park, but I started where the changes will be made, where it crosses Valley Road. In the local plan all vehicle access will be from Henley Road rather than Valley Road.
and it’s a noisy place. It gets better quickly as the old path threads its way past some sports facilities and the playing fields
before reaching farmland
There are a few birds in the farmland, but to be honest the urban Brunswick Road Rec has more diversity to my ears, the birds are few and far between
The Meare at Thorpeness is only three feet deep and even a light breeze seems to rock these boats making a lot of noise.
A nice place in the summer – not so rammed with people as nearby Aldeburgh can be, and the boating lake is fun. Easy reach of the beach, too. The lake gets a good view of the whimsical House in the Clouds water tower
The Peter Pan-themed lake and the House in the Clouds are the creation of Scottish barrister Glencairn Stuart Ogilvie at the start of the 1900s
Ipswich council did a nice job making this rec better for wildlife while keeping the facilities, and it’s a pleasant little oasis of birdlife. The birds are getting up earlier than the Sunday traffic on the ring road, this recording is a lovely piece of avian exuberance and joie de vivre.
In an attempt to show how lethal these things are, or perhaps how much the pedestrians are in need of a Darwin award they have erected this panjandrum to bark out dire audio warnings about walking into the path of an oncoming train while you are glued to your phone, distracted by children and various other hazards.
I stood by the annunicator tripping the PIR sensor to get the full sequence of announcements this thing barks out at passers-by. (recording edited slightly to shorten dead space)
To be honest, if you don’t pick up that something is amiss when you see this
and hear this
then you’re tired of living and should spend all of your time in your phone, else go collect your Darwin award.
Network Rail is trying to harangue the local landowners into going along with their scheming
The Fonnereau Way has been used for a long time, although it’s been the subject of a fight when someone into horseyculture bought a property in 2009 at the Westerfield terminal, claiming to be all surprised there was a footpath there, trying to block it up and have it stopped on several occasions. Unsuccessfully, it appears. Nevertheless, Network Rail may yet succeed.
The east coast has to be defended from the sea by placing massive rocks on the beach. Hopton is almost about as far east as you can get. The rocks make little inlets which make for an interesting soundscape, with the rattle of the pebbles against the long swoosh of the incoming waves, with some very low-frequency rumble from the rocks.