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Re: Common Raven, Northern Flicker, Dark-eyed Junco, Western Meadowl

Subject: Re: Common Raven, Northern Flicker, Dark-eyed Junco, Western Meadowl
From: "hartogj" hartogj
Date: Thu May 31, 2012 8:13 pm ((PDT))
My exercise of calibration, even though very imprecise, has been personally=
 helpful in developing a deeper understanding of the natural environments I=
 am recording in.

While some soundscapes display their distances quite boldly, for most a sen=
se of vastness of space comes from very subtle cues.  The subtitles lose me=
aning when at played at a "natural" level - because they get confused in th=
e noise of the playback environment. By providing a textual reference to am=
ount of amplification applied, I suppose I hope a listener might take the c=
ue to turn it down if just for a second to imagine the possible vastness of=
 that natural acoustical space.

John Hartog

--- In  Peter Shute <> wrote:
> It seemed fine to me, comparing to some of your other tracks.
> I find the idea of calibration interesting. If it's just to help set the =
levels, in my case I don't see the point because I've only got two mics, so=
 I can just remember what I used last time. If it's to be able to estimate =
SPLs, as someone mentioned in another thread today, when would that be usef=
ul? And doesn't the same thing apply about remembering the levels?
> Or are there other factors that make sound levels vary that I haven't yet=
 enountered in my short recording career? Do different cables affect sound =
levels (I've only got one set I use)?
> I've given up trying to listen to nature recordings other than with headp=
hones. It's just too noisy around here.
> I hope I'm not side tracking the original purpose of your posting here.
> Peter Shute
> From:  =] On Behalf Of hartogj
> Sent: Friday, 1 June 2012 11:17 AM
> To: 
> Subject: Re: [Nature Recordists] Common Raven, Northern Flicker, Dark-eye=
d Junco, Western Meadowlark...
> Hi Peter,
> Yes, they could always turn it down - or turn it up.
> Did it seem to loud to you?
> "Natural" in this case is based on my embarrassingly imprecise calibratio=
n method of speaking in a natural voice one meter in front of the mics, and=
 noting the gain setting on the recorder where that voice comes to about -3=
0dB on the recording levels. I arbitrarily chose -30dB because that is what=
 Martyn says he uses with his calibration method, plus it seems to allow pl=
enty of headroom while still enough saturation for accuracy of most quiet n=
atural ambience.
> I amplify or attenuate for consistency in comfortable playback levels bet=
ween a variety of my material.
> For this particular location the natural ambience was probably at least 1=
0 dB lower than the ambient noise level of my listening environment at home=
. For that reason trying to listen to the recording at a "natural" level wo=
uld be completely futile.
> John Hartog
> --- In <naturerecordists%40yahoogr=>, Peter Shute <pshute@> wrote:
> >
> > Hartogj wrote:
> >
> > > Edits: Amplified 20 dB above natural to bring out the nuances of this
> > > quiet soundscape ...
> >
> > How do you define "natural", John? Won't the listener just adjust it to=
 a different level on playback?
> >
> > Peter Shute
> >

"While a picture is worth a thousand words, a
sound is worth a thousand pictures." R. Murray Schafer via Bernie Krause.

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