[Top] [All Lists]

First audio recordings (samples posted). Also, trials and tribulations

Subject: First audio recordings (samples posted). Also, trials and tribulations of a novice, getting to this point
From: "John Piekos" <>
Date: Mon, 23 Aug 2004 08:20:55 -0400
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/bio 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.  

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 the mic all the 
way into the unit, and only got 1 channel recorded.  

Turns out I left my mic power supply connected to my mic, so the next time I 
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, but 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 about 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 I really needed 
Cool Edit, the latest Adobe Audition.  I was hesitant to spend $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

<*> To visit your group on the web, go to:

<*> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:

<*> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to:

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>
  • First audio recordings (samples posted). Also, trials and tribulations of a novice, getting to this point, John Piekos <=

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the naturerecordists mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU