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RE: First audio recordings (samples posted). Also, trials and tri=

Subject: RE: First audio recordings (samples posted). Also, trials and tri=
From: "Martyn Stewart" <>
Date: Mon, 23 Aug 2004 07:46:44 -0700
bulations of a novice, getting to this point

There is no substitute for practice John and to me you are on the right
track, but believe me, the money issue will increase as you go into
recording nature! More mics, another recording machine, preamps, headphones=
I hope you have an understanding wife, mine doesn't understand why I don't
spend it on her!!!!!!!!!


Martyn Stewart
Bird and Animal Sounds Digitally Recorded at:
N47.65543   W121.98428
Redmond. Washington. USA
Make every Garden a wildlife Habitat!


-----Original Message-----
From: John Piekos 
Sent: Monday, August 23, 2004 5:21 AM
Subject: [Nature Recordists] First audio recordings (samples posted). Also,
trials and tribulations of a novice, getting to this point

I've got a few recordings (finally).  The only one I'm really "proud" of is
that while recording swamp sounds (mainly frogs) one evening, I saw motion
in the swamp water.  This creature turned out to be a beaver who promptly
wacked its tail on the water (like a cannonball).  I caught the moment on
audio.  You can listen to it at

If anyone has any Adobe Audition editing suggestions to clean this snippet
up, I'd appreciate it.  I'm new to this stuff, but I did run some of the
canned noise reduction operations on these clips.

It's been tough for me getting to this point (of actually creating digital
recordings to post on the web).  Here's a summary of what has happened, my
journey from totally clueless, to semi-clueless, but with a few recordings
under my belt.

Earlier this year I got the idea to make nature recordings.  I have
previously dabbled with remote camera wildlife photography (see my intro/bi=
to this list earlier this year).  I wanted to dabble in nature audio
recordings, and foolishly thought I could get away with it without spending
a lot of money. :-)

To start out, I bought a cheap MD player, a Sony MD Walkman, MZ-S1, that,
according to Sony (I sent them email) can make personal recordings.  Approx
$120, if I remember correctly.=20

I then decided to buy a decent microphone.  I purchased a decent stereo
microphone.  From a link I found on this list, I bought a stereo mic from
The Sound Professionals for about $175.

Once I had the microphone, I tried to make recordings.  No such luck,
nothing was recorded.  The Sound Professionals informed me that I needed a
power source as I was using "line in".  $60 later I had a compact
powersource with a level adjustment switch.

I also bought the Krause book on nature audio, based on an email suggestion
from someone on this list (thanks!).  Haven't read a lot of it yet, but it
definitely is a worthwhile book to own. $14.

Now I was really ready to record.  So I recorded the ocean on Martha's
Vineyard one evening, dodging the skunks roaming around the beach at night
looking for food (seriously).  Of course, it was dark and I did not push th=
mic all the way into the unit, and only got 1 channel recorded.=20

Turns out I left my mic power supply connected to my mic, so the next time =
tried to record, I got nothing (note to self, always test setup before
recording).  Could not find right battery at local stores (Radio Shack) so
had to put my 3rd Sound Professionals order in ($15).

Finally, I tried recording waves again on my next visit to the Vineyard, bu=
it was very windy and I have tons of wind noises that I have been unable to
edit out at this point.  See for the clip.

Now that I had a few recordings, I now needed a new PC.  My 300mhz laptop
wasn't going to cut it.  So I bought a HP media center pc w/ lots of disk
space, 3ghz processor and a decent sound card.  I needed a new computer
anyway so this expense ($850) really doesn't count (nor does the flat panel
monitor [$600], right?).

Ok, now time to get the audio onto the computer.  Ooops, Sony is a bunch of
idiots and there is no way to upload recorded audio to the computer
digitally.  Sony support (the people who essentaily lied, or at least
mislead me on my initial product query), suggested plugging a line from the
headphone output to the line in jack on my computer.  Lame, but that's abou=
the only convenient way of doing it at this point.  $5 for a cable.

Of course, the default windows record program only records 1 minute of
audio.  Useless.  Now time to buy the editing software.  I bought a $60
package Sound Foundry?  from Best Buy, but after reading this list, I knew =
really needed Cool Edit, the latest Adobe Audition.  I was hesitant to spen=
$300 on software.  Ugh.  Then I found it, unopened, unregistered, on ebay
for $150.  My first ebay purchase.

So I am now $500+ into it, and have a few recordings under my belt.  I like
the hobby and hope to get bigger and better recordings in the future.

John Piekos

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

"Microphones are not ears,
Loudspeakers are not birds,
A listening room is not nature."
Klas Strandberg
Yahoo! Groups Links


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