May 8th, 2016

On 24 April 2016 I took out my recently purchased Sony PCM-D100 recorder to Branscombe Landslip, near Beer, Devon, UK, to record there, in the landslip's beautiful reverberant acoustic, for as much of the day as was practical (about 10.15 a.m. to 6.0 p.m.), making concurrent recordings with that recorder and a PCM-M10, to see how they compared. The results can reasonably be described as astounding. Over these last few years I'd been under the impression, like many other people, that the PCM-M10's recordings were brilliant - spacious and full of detail, and generally greatly lifelike. But now, having heard the M10 recordings alongside similar albeit not completely identical recordings made with the D100 on this day, I've been feeling quite embarrassed that I'd been putting in public display recordings that I now recognise as actually having a seriously blurred stereo image and a sort of sonic fogginess that obscures a whole mass of detail.

I came to the conclusion that I was very unlikely ever again to record with a PCM-M10. After toying with the idea of using external mics with the M10 in future, I came to the conclusion that I was very unlikely ever again to record with a PCM-M10 at all, as external mics are a lot of additional gear to squeezed into my already very full rucksack on my hiking outings. Instead, in order to have two recorders as I'm used to working with, I actually ordered a second D100.

I should emphasize that I always use the D100 with the 120-degree wide stereo mic configuration. Its 90-degree XY setting produces a very narrow soundstage that has no relevance to recordings of natural soundscapes.

Anyway, I decided I would delete the M10 recordings I made on this day, to save space on my computer, despite their being excellent recordings in terms of what the M10 can do. I thought, however, that some people would appreciate these recordings despite their shortcomings, and so I am sharing them all here before I delete them from my system.

This is the final of the two parts of the third of these M10 recordings made on that day, and was made from a tripod right beside the coast path in an openly wooded part of the landslip, just round the corner from where a steep and precarious narrow track leading towards a cave high up on the chalk cliff towering above comes out on the main path. The recorder is facing approximately north, facing the chalk cliff towering above, in an attempt to maximally capture the echo of each wave as it spread along the cliff from left to right - but as usual it has made a complete hash of that. The 'direct' (actually shielded) sea sound was actually hard left, not just left-of-centre, and the echo of each wave could be clearly heard moving from left to right on the cliff, instead of just the vague haze of sound from the cliff that the M10 'hears'. By contrast, the D100 captured the echoes faithfully, to such an extent that I really felt I could hear the shape of the cliff face towering above!

As usual the windshield was the Rode DeadKitten (old light-grey version, which performs better than the current black version). I used Audacity to apply a custom EQ profile to correct for the high frequency muffling caused by the windshield and also to correct for the audible broad 'hump' in the bass frequencies of ALL my PCM-M10 recordings prior to processing.

Various birds are singing and often answering others of same species in different parts of the landslip and undercliff. The striking and perhaps rather scary-sounding repeated squealing wails are from a peregrine falcon, one or a pair of which periodically did little flyabouts, no doubt as a courtship thing at this time of year. Often such calls were preceded by the sound of an agitated and no doubt frightened raven being chased by the peregrine that was subsequently to utter its wailing calls. Another distinctive sound from the peregrine(s) was a sort of chattering - a fast succession of 'clicks' with an intense rather squealed quality about them; this was actually a very loud sound compared with the various alarm calls made by the songbirds, for it was generally made from high cliff perch or nesting positions and yet still stood out from all the nearby songbirds' alarm calls.

Please note that the volume level of this recording has been carefully adjusted for listening purposes, and, except where otherwise expressly indicated, ALL my recordings so far are meant to be listened to with a volume setting that would give a realistic level for playback of CLASSICAL music (a large but not exceptional symphony orchestra). If you have the right volume setting, you should not need to change that setting from one recording of mine to another.

(Commercial CDs of many of my recordings can be found in my natural soundscapes CD Store.)

ALL my recordings are COPYRIGHT, with all rights reserved apart from the 'attribution' non-commercial use provision of the licence given for this recording. You must give a clearly visible / legible attribution to me and if at all possible with a reference or (preferably) link to this page. If you want to use the recording for a materially money-making purpose, then you must agree a fee with me. Fair's fair!

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