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Question for anyone with ambient sound recording knowledge


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#1 ScottLaRock

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 10:51 AM

Hi Folks

Been a while since my first post but still loving MWS and it's versatility for creating sessions.

I am looking to make several relaxation sessions ranging from 10mins to 1 hour and want to add my own recordings which will be taken mostly in the countryside and mountains into the track. I haven't any experience of recording outdoor sounds and was wondering if anyone on the forums has experience of this and what machines they would recommend to do so? Ideally a digital audio recorder that will do the work to a decent standard but won't cost a fortune would be good.

The second part of the question is regarding what mwthod of entrainment to apply to the tracks. Would I need to use binaural entrainment to make sure the ambient sounds were still audible when listening or would isochronic be okay?

Thanks in advance.

Scotty

#2 Mackeydoc

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 12:09 PM

Scotty,
You are correct, a digital recorder (portable) is most convenient. Find your recording location and do a short test record. Playback the test recording to make sure the sound is acceptable to you. If so. Record away! I have used an Olympus DS-2 for a number of years without problem.
You can also craft your own soundscapes using "canned" sounds of the environment--a little more work intensive than simply recording in the outdoor environ, but just as effective.
Your choice on tones. Binaural beats are noted to be somewhat more "hypnotic" in their effect, isochronic tones are perhaps the most used for entrainment purposes.
Hopes this helps,
Ed

#3 brewmasher

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 09:29 PM

Scotty,
You are correct, a digital recorder (portable) is most convenient. Find your recording location and do a short test record. Playback the test recording to make sure the sound is acceptable to you. If so. Record away! I have used an Olympus DS-2 for a number of years without problem.
You can also craft your own soundscapes using "canned" sounds of the environment--a little more work intensive than simply recording in the outdoor environ, but just as effective.
Your choice on tones. Binaural beats are noted to be somewhat more "hypnotic" in their effect, isochronic tones are perhaps the most used for entrainment purposes.
Hopes this helps,
Ed


How is the microphone on these devices? Can an external mic be used? I am wondering your experience in recording ambient sounds such as wind, forest sounds, waves etc with these devices? My concern is the amplification of the sounds. Will it be loud enough to use in a session? Lastly, can the recording be exported to Audacity and would you recommend doing so?

Sorry for all the questions, I just think that recording your own soundscapes would be fun. It would also be cool to add a sound personal to you in a session such as the ocean on your last vacation or the sound of the stream on your last fishing trip.
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#4 neuroasis

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 03:29 AM

Hands down I would recommend the Zoom H4n. It has directional stereo onboard mics that can be positioned in different patterns. It has XLR/ 1/4" powered jacks for 2 more additional mics. Up to 4 channels of audio can be recorded at one time.

I use Sound Professional binarual mics in the 1/8" stereo jack on the back for 3D holophonic recordings with the 2 onboard mics for a wide ambient spread pattern. There is software that can mix this to surround or to binaural stereo.

The recordings are very realistic with a wide stage and sense of presence.

Whatever you do, get a furry wind screen to cover the mics. Something like a RedHead. Search on eBay for them. They make all the difference in the world in reducing the wind so you can get high gain recordings.

For less money and features you could get the Zoom H1.

BTW musical instruments including this recorder are 15% off at Amazon now!

Hope this helps,
Scott

Edited by neuroasis, 29 March 2012 - 03:31 AM.


#5 Mackeydoc

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 01:26 PM

Hands down I would recommend the Zoom H4n. It has directional stereo onboard mics that can be positioned in different patterns. It has XLR/ 1/4" powered jacks for 2 more additional mics. Up to 4 channels of audio can be recorded at one time.

I use Sound Professional binarual mics in the 1/8" stereo jack on the back for 3D holophonic recordings with the 2 onboard mics for a wide ambient spread pattern. There is software that can mix this to surround or to binaural stereo.

The recordings are very realistic with a wide stage and sense of presence.

Whatever you do, get a furry wind screen to cover the mics. Something like a RedHead. Search on eBay for them. They make all the difference in the world in reducing the wind so you can get high gain recordings.

For less money and features you could get the Zoom H1.

BTW musical instruments including this recorder are 15% off at Amazon now!

Hope this helps,
Scott



This sounds too much like an advertisement!

#6 Mackeydoc

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 01:35 PM

How is the microphone on these devices? Can an external mic be used? I am wondering your experience in recording ambient sounds such as wind, forest sounds, waves etc with these devices? My concern is the amplification of the sounds. Will it be loud enough to use in a session? Lastly, can the recording be exported to Audacity and would you recommend doing so?

Sorry for all the questions, I just think that recording your own soundscapes would be fun. It would also be cool to add a sound personal to you in a session such as the ocean on your last vacation or the sound of the stream on your last fishing trip.


Brewmasher,
External microphone can be used. Wind noise/sound can be controlled with windscreen sock over external microphone head. using audacity is fine, I use Adobe audition for most recording work and can adjust amplification as needed. Audacity can do pretty much all you need for free. I have very expensive sound recording equipment that is in my office and I have an extensive portable array of equipment as well. The real message here is one can begin to record ambient environmental sounds at a reasonable cost and with minimal equipment. Then you can have fun adjusting those sounds in an audio program and place them into the various Transparentcorp programs!
Hope this helps.
Ed

#7 neuroasis

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 02:59 PM

I wouldn't say advertisement as I stand nothing to gain not owning the company or a dealership or anything..

Maybe more like a testimonial based on experience and use...

Do you want an enthusiastic user or a lukewarm one?

#8 brewmasher

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 05:34 PM

Brewmasher,
External microphone can be used. Wind noise/sound can be controlled with windscreen sock over external microphone head. using audacity is fine, I use Adobe audition for most recording work and can adjust amplification as needed. Audacity can do pretty much all you need for free. I have very expensive sound recording equipment that is in my office and I have an extensive portable array of equipment as well. The real message here is one can begin to record ambient environmental sounds at a reasonable cost and with minimal equipment. Then you can have fun adjusting those sounds in an audio program and place them into the various Transparentcorp programs!
Hope this helps.
Ed


Thanks Ed. This does help. I see another facet of AVS that I had not realized it's full potential. If I use any background sound at all besides noise, I almost always include some kind of nature sounds. I have always used the "canned" clips in NP3, the Ambiance Generator in MWS, and clips from Freesound. I never thought about recording my own. I feel another obsession coming on! :D

I wouldn't say advertisement as I stand nothing to gain not owning the company or a dealership or anything..

Maybe more like a testimonial based on experience and use...

Do you want an enthusiastic user or a lukewarm one?


An enthusiastic one for sure! :D Actually I was up late looking at these units, and decided on the H2, which is a good compromise between the H1 and H4. Only 109.99 at B&H!. That's only $10 more than the H1! Oh boy! something else I can buy gadgets for! :P
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#9 ScottLaRock

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 07:00 PM

Thanks guys for the informative advice, I really appreciate the level of knowledge and passion the people have on this forum which helps those of us who are just learning immensley.

I will have a look at the machines Mackeydoc and Neuroasis discussed and make a choice soon. Due to getting married I have not ventured into the mountains for some time but that should be remedied soon. There is a sound when you hit about 1500M and up which I cannot really describe but it does wonders for the soul and I'm planning to try and record it on my next sojurn.

Glad you have gotten the bug Brewmasher, maybe the guys here and any others with a pull towards this kind of thing could share recordings via Transparent Corp to make our entrainment sessions soar! Sky's the limit!

Anyway back to searching the web for my recording weapon of choice.

Cheers All!!

Edited by ScottLaRock, 29 March 2012 - 07:23 PM.


#10 CraigT

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 01:15 AM

Hi,

I've been very happy with the Medeli DR2 (aka Alesis Palmtrack)as reviewed here... http://craigtavs.wor...avmp3-recorder/ . One of my readers tried both the DR2 and the DR3, choosing the DR3 which I have not had a chance to meet - comments on the blog post.

I also use an iPod with a Blue Mikey (http://craigtavs.wor...ield-recording/) but it is let down by the iPod's rather unfortunate connector. Several rubber bands makes a workable but untidy solution. I have had similar problems with the iPod with other hardware.

I have no commercial interest in these products.

Cheers,
Craig

#11 brewmasher

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 02:03 AM

I just got my H2 and read through the user's guide. I'm impressed in not only in the capabilities of this little gem, but also how well the guide is written. It is pretty simple to understand right out of the box. Now, what kind of soothing ambiance can I record in the city? :P
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#12 Mackeydoc

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 02:48 PM

I just got my H2 and read through the user's guide. I'm impressed in not only in the capabilities of this little gem, but also how well the guide is written. It is pretty simple to understand right out of the box. Now, what kind of soothing ambiance can I record in the city? :P


Brew,
As far as the city ambience? Cars and buses moving by, sounds of people walking, birds in the park, distant horn sounds, If you are near the river sounds of horns, etc.
i was always partial to the sounds of the old GM buses from the 60's. they had that unmistakable sound when moving off (and the smoke and smell was great too!!)
Ed

#13 ScottLaRock

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 03:35 PM

After much deliberating I went for the Olympus LS-11 with a Rycote WindJammer to stop the wind blowing into the mic and affecting the recordings. I was looking at the Olympus and the Zoom H4n, the Olympus swung it on battery life (I am planning to take this on holiday to Martinique & St Lucia at the weekend and wanted the flexibility of lengthy battery life to get as many recordings while I'm out and about). I have a gorrilapod for my camera which I will use to set it up on and leave it recording at the beach and other choice locations.

There is a wealth of knowledge out there on field recording and I'm just scratching the surface. I did end up doing my usual and looking at a Sound Devices 722 recorder with Sennheiser mic setups but this would have been unaffordable and a bit silly as I a just learning about making outdoor recordings. If this turns into a passion I will probably look at getting a Fostex FR2LE and a good quality second hand mic but that's on hold till I figure out what I am doing and get some good recordings down.

Brewmasher - if you want a windscreen for your Zoom, the ones on this site are rated pretty well online http://www.redheadwindscreens.com/

All the best guys!!

#14 brewmasher

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 07:06 PM

Brew,
As far as the city ambience? Cars and buses moving by, sounds of people walking, birds in the park, distant horn sounds, If you are near the river sounds of horns, etc.
i was always partial to the sounds of the old GM buses from the 60's. they had that unmistakable sound when moving off (and the smoke and smell was great too!!)
Ed


Great ideas! I thought of a train, recording the crossing bells, and the train moving by in 3D. There is a coffee shop in town where I can have a coffee in the street side patio and record the pedestrians and traffic. After going through a vicious hail storm last week, which would have been great to record, the forecast now is clear and sunny! :( I also live by a major river, and have fond memories of listening to the freighters passing by early in the morning when it was quiet enough for the sound to be heard. Unfortunately, in this day and age of GPS, they rarely sound the horn, if ever. I know what you mean about the smoke and smell. Every time I get a whiff of diesel, It brings back memories of sitting on the deck of a fishing charter with my dad, waiting to go out to sea.

Brewmasher - if you want a windscreen for your Zoom, the ones on this site are rated pretty well online http://www.redheadwindscreens.com/



Thanks for that. They seem kind of expensive for what they are. It looks like the material they make those fuzzy toilet seat covers out of. My gal sews for a hobby, and she volunteered to make one for me, unless there is more to them than just that. It's just against my principals to spend $30 on a piece of cloth, especially when the recorder itself was only $110!
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