Nature Sounds Society 2013 Workshop

Friday, June 28th, 2013

Dan Dugan giving a presentation on microphone directivity. NSS 2013

 

In June of 2013 the Nature Sounds Society hosted the annual field workshop in the Sierra Nevada mountains of northern California.  Preeminent recordist Lang Elliot was there to inspire us to great recordings and update us on his latest projects.  Along with Lang, his collaborator Marie Read wowed us with her great images and stories of wildlife photography.

Dan Dugan, Steve Sargent and I put together the ever popular microphone directivity session (above) while other attendees were learning how to make their own windscreen with Sharon Perry.  If you ever get a chance it is a weekend well spent.

I’m sorry I didn’t get a photo of the beautiful site at Yuba Pass, I was so tired, as soon as the mics started rolling I fell asleep:

 

Creative Commons License All recordings by GT Weddig are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Nature Sounds Society 2010 Workshop

Saturday, June 26th, 2010

This year was a bountiful one at the San Francisco State University High Sierra Field Camp.  In addition to the wonderful location there were many recordists with diverse interests ready to record or try recording for the first time.  A  documentary film about the Soundtracker, Gordon Hempton, was presented by it’s filmmaker Nick Sherman,  keep your eye out for it on the festival circuit.   The film was an excellent portrait of one of the foremost nature recordists in the world.

Also John Muir Laws was in attendance providing a much welcome background and context about the natural world (which I sorely need).   John is the author of the definitive field guide(s) to the Sierras.  John introduced us to drawing techniques and suggested we look behind the names and explore the systems that work together to create the ecosystems that we live in.

All in all it was a wonderful weekend, many old friends and new were made and remade.  Some other links from the weekend are below.  For now enjoy a clip from Carman Valley:

Other recordings:

Rudy Trubitt:

Link #1

Nathan Moody:

Link #2

and:

Link #3

Creative Commons LicenseThese Carman Valley recordings by GT Weddig are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Nature Sounds Society 2009 Workshop I

Saturday, June 27th, 2009

At the end of June I attended the annual workshop put on by the Bay Area based Nature Sounds Society.  Although this years workshop was lightly attended it allowed greater flexibility and mobility in selecting recording locations and activities.  Dan and Sharon led us through through the expected amazing sessions that touch on art, education, listening, activism and hands on construction.

I have been to the workshops in past years but this year was a bounty of new recording locations surrounding the Yuba Pass/Sierra Valley area of Northern California.

Friday night we had a interesting presentation by hummingbird researcher Chris Clark on the tail noises that occur during mating.

Saturday Morning:

Sierra Valley 4:30 am brought out a bunch of tired lightly caffinated recordists to the usual spot at Marble Hot Springs, the scenery  did not dissapoint.  Somehow I felt that the diversity of species was not a large as it had been in previous years but it was still an enjoyable morning.  I think you hear in this recording Wilson’s Snip, Marsh Wren, American Bittern, Red-winged Blackbird among others.  This is an ORTF soundscape using Schoeps MK-21 sub-cardioid capsules.

 

The time is 6:20, we are still in Sierra Valley at the Marble Hot Springs Bridge, the predominant callers are Cliff Swallows, Yellow-headed Blackbirds, Bullfrog, American Coot, Western Meadowlark, and the domesticated cow (distant).   This is an ORTF soundscape using Schoeps MK-21 sub-cardioid capsules.

 

After breakfast in a picturesque mosquito covered highway rest area we were off scouting a new recording location.  It was reported that Carman Valley is in the process of having it’s wetland restored in collaboration with the local ranchers (and land owners).  Most of the recording at this location is a pastoral morning soundscape, but the end of the recording the Scrub Jays were acting up, so that is what you get to hear.  From my perspective this will be a popular stop on future recording trips.  This is an ORTF soundscape using Schoeps MK-21 sub-cardioid capsules.

 

Creative Commons License

These recordings and photos by GT Weddig is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Gray Lodge State Wildlife Area, Spring & Crop Duster May 2009

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

Image of dawn at the recording site

I have been out recording the last several weeks, just not finding the time to post here.  Because of it’s proximity I have been exploring Gray Lodge more fully.  This time of the year it means getting up pretty early, even though I only live 50 minutes away it means leaving at 4:00am or so to capture the dawn chorus.  Which is precisely what I have done this week.

Every time I visit I hope to find out something new, the second recording you hear is a reminder that the wildlife area is surrounded by working agricultural fields, which need to be seeded which in the case of rice is done by bi-plane, at 5:30 on a Sunday morning.  I would assume this is a similar process to crop dusting.

The first recording is the earlier recording, there is some distant traffic, trains and you can hear the bi-plane begin.  There are occasional Wild Turkeys and American Coot among the Red-winged Black Birds Marsh Wrens and others, if you can identify anything please let me know and I will update, thanks. This is an ORTF recording using Schoeps MK21 capsules.

First Recording:

The recording below is an Jecklin recording using DPA 4006 capsules.

Second Recording (caution loud planes throughout, unedited except for some rolloff):

Ranch near Flournoy, California

Sunday, April 12th, 2009

This last weekend I finally made it out for an overnight trip to a local private ranch I have had my eye on.  After obtaining permission from the owners I spent a beautiful night in California’s Coastal Range foothills.  As you can see from the photos everything is still green from the spring rain, in a few weeks it will start to turn a shimmering gold.  The oak trees show in these pictures The weather was partly cloudy and I was hoping to catch some frogs at the man made watering hole for the cattle that call this land home.  In the evening recording you will hear some Pacific Chorus Frogs over a bed of Spring Field Crickets.  This is an ORTF recording using Schoeps MK21 capsules.

I used the Gregga Array to support two stereo pair of mics the left side is a rear facing Jecklin disc and the right is a pair of MK21 Sub-cardioid micsin an ORTF configuration in a  windscreen.  Note how the wide stance of the tripod allows a very stable platform for the two arrays, no worries about cows tipping them over.  In the background you can see my yellow GPS and weather station.
The next morning came too early after  a fitful night of sleep, I had not counted on the moon being full and bright.   The cooing of Mourning Doves and the territorial call of the Western Meadowlark.  An early morning motorcycle broke the peace.  This was recorded using the Jecklin disk barrier with some DPA 4006 omni mics.

Creative Commons License

These Flournoy recordings and photos by GT Weddig is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

May 31, 2008 8:15pm Week #9

Saturday, May 31st, 2008

This is a night recording I did a few weeks ago , but am only getting to post until now.  There is a close squirrel (Eastern Gray?) and some other favorite friends, I picked up a touch of poison ivy fumbling around in the declining light, it has now pretty much healed but still, use caution recording at night.

Danny was also recording this night, we did hear some relatively close gunshots, but they didn’t continue long.

This weeks recording:

May 10, 2008 5:24 am Week #7

Saturday, May 10th, 2008

Foggy, rainy morning caused a rain out, I recorded about 20 minutes or so before the rain started growing more heavy.  The undergrowth is filling out, as is the canopy.  Again the whip-poor-will was calling when I arrived, in fact two or three of them were calling near the road before my hike in.  I must try a night recording here soon.  This recording was so nice I did cut out a short mid-section that I check how wet the mics were, enjoy.
ORTF, Schoeps MK21, 744t Creative Commons License

May 24, 2008 5:04am Week #8

Thursday, May 8th, 2008

The sun was just rising as I once again got out of the car at the trailhead to the sound of deuling whip-poor-wills. One night I will record them. This soundscape has a featured knocker, the piliated woodpecker was a prominent caller this morning towards the end of the recording, in addition to other birds that I haven’t yet ID’d.

While the air traffic was limited today, I did notice some sort of farm machinery in the distance, the recording location is less than a mile away from some agricultural fields and a pastoral farm. Usually they are quiet save for the occasional cock-a-doodle-do..

This weeks recording:

Prettyboy Project Audio

On the way out I noticed what appeared to be an albino plant, is this possible? See the photo below, does anyone know what this is?

Albino Plant or ...?

April 26, 2008 5:45 am Week #6

Saturday, April 26th, 2008

I am trying to get up earlier to capture first light every week, but due to a number of factors I can only get so close.

This week we have a technical comparison between two sets of microphones. The first set is my standard Schoeps ORTF configuration, a set of MK21 capsules directly into the Sound Devices 744t mic preamplifier. The second set, a demo set of the Sennheiser MKH 8040 configured in ORTF. Keep in mind that the pattern of the two sets is slightly different: the Schoeps is a wide cardioid, the Sennheiser is a classic cardioid. I have done my best to match levels on these two samples.

The same part of the sound file was used for each sample. in about the middle of the recording you will hear me swatting a spider, I was recovering from a few spider bites from the previous week at the time.

Prettyboy Project Audio

ORTF, Schoeps MK21, 744t

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Prettyboy Project Audio

ORTF, Sennheiser MKH 8040, Grace V3, 744t

Creative Commons License

April 20, 2008 6:15 am Week #5

Sunday, April 20th, 2008

This seems to be the quietest recording (in terms of wildlife) I’ve done here yet. The forecast was calling for a morning thunderstorms but it didn’t start to rain until we were leaving. The wind however was pretty constant. The trees haven’t started to fill in yet, they are only now starting to bud.

Prettyboy Project Audio


Jecklin, DPA 4006, 744t
Creative Commons License

April 12, 2008 5:49 am Week #4

Saturday, April 12th, 2008

A foggy, warm morning, after a thunderstorm, the first I’ve seen this spring, temp was about 60 degrees farenheit. It was dark when I arrived, but the Northern Cardinal just started to call. I was hoping to get there early enough to catch the owls, but all I got was a few eastern grey squrrels waking up (at about 15:50). I left most of the slate on this track. The transient pops you hear is water rolling off the trees close to the microphones. USE CAUTION, SOME OF THESE POPS MAY BE LOUD!

The smaller version is actually a continuation of the large recording, note there is a loud jet about halfway through the compressed version (at about 13:30).

Prettyboy Project Audio

Or a more compressed version for those with slower connections:

Prettyboy Project Audio

Jecklin, DPA 4006, 744t Creative Commons License

March 30, 2008 6:30 am Week #3

Sunday, March 30th, 2008

As this recording begins you will hear my wife and I heading out for a hike, it was about 34 degrees Fahrenheit so we wanted to keep moving. We returned about 45 minutes later as the morning chorus was drawing to an end. During the slate, which I chose not to include on the recording a great horned owl called once to another in the distance. You’ll hear the usual calls that I have outlined before.

Prettyboy Project Audio

ORTF, Schoeps MK21, 744t Creative Commons License

March 23, 2008 6:15am Week #2

Sunday, March 23rd, 2008

Northern Cardinal, Mourning Dove, Red-bellied woodpecker, American Crow

Prettyboy Project Audio
ORTF, Schoeps MK21, 744t Creative Commons License

March 15, 2008 7:45 am Week #1

Saturday, March 15th, 2008

This was done as part of a Maryland Nature Recordists outing, Danny Meltzer attended. Northern Cardinal, Sapsuckers, Mourning Dove, Blue Jay, American Crow.

Prettyboy Project Audio

Jecklin, DPA 4006, 744t Creative Commons License

White-throated sparrow, Algonquin Provincial Park, Canada

Monday, July 2nd, 2007

This call was heard prominently throughout our journey.  On our journey the bird was dubbed “poor Ethel” due to it’s melancholy call.  It is, from what I’m told, a very common call in Canada, and that is my experience on this trip.  Swainson’s Thrush and other birds I don’t know are also prominent in the background.

Jecklin, DPA 4006,SD 744t Creative Commons License

White-throated sparrow, Algonquin Provincial Park, Canada, Jecklin, DPA 4006,SD 744t

Triple Splash, Algonquin Provincial Park, Canada

Monday, July 2nd, 2007

Three mysterious splashes at 5:30 am, we are on the Tim river, are they beavers, muskrats or is someone  trying to dupe us?

Jecklin, DPA 4006,SD 744t Creative Commons License

Triple Splash, Algonquin Provincial Park, Canada, Jecklin, DPA 4006,SD 744t

Robert E. Lee Park Baltimore, Maryland USA

Sunday, April 1st, 2007

Maryland Nature Recordists outing with Danny Meltzer, his recording can be found here.  This is based on a double MS recording, featuring Schoeps MK21 sub -cardioid  capsules.

Robert E. Lee  Park Baltimore, Maryland USA

Morning Ambiance Kewaskum, Wisconsin US

Saturday, July 3rd, 2004

3rd of July, 2004
The morning was full of mosquitoes, a cardinal was calling, a few red-wing blackbirds were around as well.  I retreated to the car as soon as I started rolling.
M-S, Schoeps MK41/MK8, Grace V3, HHB MDP500

Morning Ambiance Kewaskum, Wisconsin US M-S, Schoeps MK41/MK8, Grace V3, HHB MDP500

Sierra Valley Singing, California, US

Saturday, June 21st, 2003

Sierra ValleySierra Valley CA June 2003 This was during the Nature Sounds Society workshop that year.  I’m sure there was a fine mist burning off of the sunrise, and the cows were getting ready to break into their morning song.
ORTF, Schoeps MK21, Grace V2, HHB MDP500

Sierra Valley Singing, California, US ORTF, Schoeps MK21, Grace V2, HHB MDP500