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 www.johnpiekos.com/sounds.
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
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 www.johnpiekos.com/sounds 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
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.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
"Microphones are not ears,
Loudspeakers are not birds,
A listening room is not nature."
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