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Re: New member

Subject: Re: New member
From: Doug Von Gausig <>
Date: Tue, 30 Sep 2003 09:45:53 -0700
At 09:29 AM 9/30/2003, Clea Boschert-Zielsdorf wrote:
>Hello, all! I just joined your group, and thought I would introduce 
>myself. My name is Clea and I live in Longmont, Colorado (about 45 minutes 
>north of Denver). I actually have no experience recording nature sounds, 
>but I am working on a project with nature sounds and hoped you all might 
>be willing to help, or at the least I hope to learn more about what you 
>all do. I love listening to animal sounds, like bird calls and whales and 
>so on. My new favorite sound is that slowed-down sound inside a cottonwood 
>on the nature sounds site.
>Anyway, the project I am working on involves slowing down or speeding up 
>sounds to see what happens. I am an artist and my fiance is a music 
>therapist. We also both do sound healing (see for more 
>info about that).

Welcome to the group, Clea,

I play around with altering the playback speed of natural sounds a lot, 
too. In fact I've recently "discovered" that many animals communicate at a 
faster pace than we humans. What I mean by that is that many small animals 
operate on higher "time resolution" than humans, and many larger animals 
(like whales) operate at lower time resolution. To experience this, take 
the fast chittering sounds of many hummingbirds and slow them to about 1/3 
speed - they seem more like our own communication - we can more easily pick 
up the subtleties in them. By the same token, you can speed up the "songs" 
of a Humpback Whale and they sound more like either human speech or bird 
song, depending on how much they are sped up.

In general animals smaller than humans (including most birds and insects) 
"talk faster" than we do, and larger animals "talk slower". It helps me get 
a better understanding of their communication to alter the playback speed 
until it sounds more like the resolution, timing  and cadence that is more 
familiar to humans. I imagine that the reason for these differences has to 
do with the size of the neural pathways that are used to detect, process 
and actualize sounds. The smaller you are (generally) the faster nerve 
impulses travel from one part of your body to and from your brain. In the 
case of birds, it is well known that they have much higher frequency and 
temporal discrimination than humans - interesting stuff!


Doug Von Gausig
Clarkdale, Arizona, USA
Nature Recordists e-mail group

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