Archives for category: Gear

Finally back on track with ten more hours of upload time on Soundcloud.

I’ll start out with sharing some recordings made in the forests of Blekinge an early morning a couple of weeks ago. After walking on a hiking trail about half an hour from where I left the car I found a fallen tree in a small beech forest surrounded by grassland. The tree made these lovely squeaking noises when the wind took hold of it. Despite efforts of putting the mics in cover I still had to use the high pass-filter to remove some of the rumbling caused by the fairly strong gusts.


Geek note: 2xRøde NT1-A’s (ORTF, 17 cm spacing, 110 degrees) -> Sound Devices 702

Below is a recording made the same morning of a small stream close by.


Geek note: 2xRøde NT1-A’s (ORTF, 17 cm spacing, 90 degrees) -> Sound Devices 702

These two recordings where part of the first test run I did with a used Sound Devices 702 I recently bought. And yes, the 702 is the main reason I couldn’t afford the Soundcloud upgrade sooner. All in all I agree with Audiofieldrecorders thoughts about it, a lovely piece of machinery that you will definitely hear more from.

Me and Matilda went out on a short hiking trip last Saturday to Sunday. The ambivalence that shows itself in nature being dragged back and forth between winter and spring truly is fascinating and beautiful.
Arriving at Listersjön, a lake in the middle of Blekinge, we decided to set up camp and go for dinner after which we set out exploring the surroundings while collecting firewood. The area consisted of several small frozen lakes framed by coniferous as well as beech woods.
Once back at camp we went to bed for what on my behalf would turn out to be a restless night. I was awakened several times by loud cracks and strange sounds I couldn’t relate to in my drowsiness. After a while I realized that the sounds were coming from the frozen lake just 20 meters away. At about 5.30 in the morning I got up just as the sun started to rise. Those of you who have been following this blog for the last month knows that I recorded a few sessions of cracking ice, but nothing I’ve heard before comes close to the sounds that the ice on Listersjön emitted. Have a listen at these extracts (headphones recommended for best results);

 

When finished with the ice recording many of the forests inhabitants had awakened. Birds where singing as the sun was rising so I grabbed my gear and went up on a small crest just behind camp to record some birdsong, in the meantime I took the opportunity to warm up in the sunlight.

 

Spring will surely prevail sooner or later.

About load and carrying

This is what I brought with me:

-Sony PCM-D50
-Rolls PB224
-2 x Røde NT1-As
-Aquarian H2a-hydrophone
-Sennheiser headphones
-Camera tripod with DIY-shockmounts for the NT1-As
-2 x DIY-windscreens for the NT1-As
-2 x Røde WS2 Windscreens
-Goniometer
-2 x socket wrenches
-4 x 9v-batteries
-8 x AA-batteries
+Everything else you need not to starve or freeze to death when hiking in temperatures sub zero.

As you can see this gear is far from portable in the sense that you would not like to carry it with you for longer periods of time. However when out trekking for just a couple of days you’ll be fine, even during winter when you need to bring a heavier sleeping bag, more clothes and so on.
What I did was to distribute the weight like this: On my back I had the backpack containing everything excepts the audio gear which I carried in a camera-bag on my chest strapped to the backpacks shoulder straps. This somewhat evened out the load even though the strain on my shoulders increased some.
When going out trekking later on this year I’ll probably try to fit my audio gear into the backpack as I think this will put more of the pressure on my hips where it doesn’t feel so burdensome. The downside of this will be a bulkier backpack as well as the fact that it will be harder to reach and assemble your gear quickly when needed.
Some of you reading this probably have vast experience trailing different kinds of gear around and I’d be more than happy if you want to share your experiences with me.

Despite bulky equipment I’m glad that I made the decision to bring all the gear with me as the memory of this audio intense spring hike will live on forever.

Geek note: Both recordings made with 2 x Røde NT1-As (ORTF position, angled 110 degrees 17 cm apart) -> Rolls PB224 -> Sony PCM-D50

A couple of days ago this arrived at my local post office:

With winds blowing around 10m/s today I decided to go out for a test run bringing my Sennheiser ME64 and the Røde blimp. Being used to DIY windscreens as I am I must say that this blimp really impresses me with its performance.

The recording below is made at what probably is one of Malmö’s windiest spots; down by the ocean on Ön (an artificial island in Öresund). There were some strong gusts battering down on the blimp but my ME64 didn’t clip once even though I had chosen not to turn on the low cut filter for this test.

 

Having my mic suspended in a schockmount on a pistol grip I for the first time experienced the freedom of being able to poke my mic into holes. I found some cavities between the rocks of the breakwaters on Ön that I lowered my blimp into. I like the low frequency rumble emitted in between the rocks combined with the random splashes of water. At 2:05 you can hear an airplane going in for landing on Kastrup, Copenhagen’s airport situated across the straight.

 

Geek note: Sennheiser ME64 (mounted in a Røde blimp) -> Sony PCM-D50

So, while being at my grandparents place this weekend I took the chance to use their numerous tools and workbench to build a stereo array for my pair of Røde NT1-A’s.

Press here to see Tom Williams nice guide that I followed. I must say that I’m kind of proud that I actually managed to put this together.

Attaching the metal plate to a tripod quick mount.Attaching the metal plate to the tripod quick mount.

Adjusting the plastic tubes to the length of the NT1-A’s

Voila, shock mounts completed

Here you can see how the suspensions for the mics are attached

My grandmother showed how to go about sewing the windscreens

Here the completed rig is seen under my test. I’m going to cut of an additional 10-15cms from the windscreens.

The pre-drilled holes in the 20cm long metal plate that the microphones are attached to makes it easy to play around with different distances between them, 17cm apart being the ortf-standard. This gives me plenty of in-field options for my rig when it comes to experimenting with different stereo images. So from this day on I’ll always bring a wrench.

As the weekend indeed have been very windy at the Swedish west coast I was offered the perfect opportunity to try out my new gear. The recording found below captures the wind taking hold of trees, bushes and leaves in the forest next to my grandparents backyard just minutes before a light rain began to fall. The low frequency thumps that can be heard is the product of me sloppily leaving one of the mic-cables hanging freely in the wind, resulting in it repeatedly hitting the tripod that the NT1-A’s were mounted on. As I was stressed by the oncoming rain i decided to keep on recording, it just being a test and all.

Geek note: 2xRøde NT1-A (ortf-position, 17 cm spacing, improvised angle) -> Rolls PB223 -> Sony PCM-D50 (low cut filter on to reduce the effects of the wind)