March 14th, 2013

On 5th March 2013 I took out with me a large and a small set of cheap bamboo chimes and three sets of quality metal wind chimes, to my regular field recording location for wind chimes - the Teign Gorge, Drewsteignton, Devon, UK. On this occasion, for the first hour of my walk-in from Drewsteignton, I was greeted by unexpected lack of wind altogether. Fine for recording birds, but not for the chimes! Then, rather resigning myself to recording birds-only, and to my chimes being just a tiresome dead-weight, out on the long mostly open and relatively level stretch of the Hunter's Path, high up on the north side of the steep sided valley, I noticed a particular nicely situated stunted oak tree that seemed to be beckoning me, pointing out to me that it had a nice arrangement of suitable branches, which would enable me to get the right balance between the different sets of chimes. All very well, of course, and for noting to use another time, but, of course, no wind! - Well, except that just that moment breaths of wind started coming on, just enough to make twigs move. And so it was that I set up here, with the wind gradually getting up and actually giving me a fine and particularly beautiful performance from the chimes after all.

There was more than one fly in the ointment, however, for a whole succession of mostly high-altitude aeroplanes came over, so I had to cut out quite a number of bits in this recording, and still there are some brief bits of very distant aeroplane sound in the edited recording - and also, there must have been a tractor at work in the field that tops the hill on this side, for I could hear a quiet sort-of nag-nag-nagging of very low frequency motor noise. That affected primarily the previous recording, but is also in this recording, primarily in the opening few minutes. Once I had cut the most badly affected bits out I chose to draw a line and just accept all the sounds that were still 'in' as part of the particular countryside soundscape.

The chimes used are bamboo chimes, large and small set (imprecisely tuned to a semblance of the whole tone scale) and Music of the Spheres Gypsy Chimes, Mezzo and Soprano sizes (tuned to a troubled and melancholy-sounding Eastern European Gypsy scale).

As for the birds in this recording, I am unable to name them all (as yet), and in any case they sang less and less during my session at this position, so I was glad to move on presently for recording lower down, where a reasonable number of birds were still singing.

This is a 5-minute excerpt from the 29+ minutes' recording.

(Later note: This recording - with better sound than here - is on one of my commercial CDs, and can be found in my e-Store.)

This photo shows this recording taking place. Note the placement of the Gypsy chimes distinctly further back than the bamboo chimes, and the recorder fairly well back from them all in order to get a good balance.

Recording made with a Sony PCM-M10 on a Velbon mini-tripod, using the built-in microphones covered with a Rode Dead Kitten windshield. I have used Audacity to apply a custom EQ profile to correct for the high frequency muffling caused by the windshield, and also to correct for an audible 'hump' in the lower bass frequencies, which I get in ALL my recordings prior to processing.

** Please remember to give this recording a rating! http://www.broad-horizon-nature.co.uk/me-icon_wink.gif **


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