Jul 21 2011
You will remember an earlier post about the plovers nesting outside the bedroom window. Well, 3 of the 4 eggs have hatched, and they are running around looking cute. A few more weeks and they’ll be just as terrifying.
Jun 30 2011
Recently I drove North from Hahndorf in the Adelaide Hills to Innamincka (1,120 km) in South Australia’s far North East desert region. Then, a couple of days later, North East from Innamincka to Eromanga (410 km) in Qld’s South West corner. (Got that?) From there I travelled South to Broken Hill in NSW and then South West returning to Adelaide and, ultimately, Hahndorf (35km East of Adelaide). A total of just under 3,200 km, the last 1,300 km of that in one day (Eromanga 06:30 to Hahndorf 00:15 (17 hours & 45 minutes)). For the math wizards amongst you, the missing 370 km was taken up by driving around the local areas.
The majority of travel was on outback desert roads, but these were in good (although bumpy) dry condition. Spending two nights at Innamincka, I managed to drag myself out of bed on one of the very frosty mornings. The clear night sky had allowed the air to chill to very close to zero. So I reluctantly got out of bed before first light and walked to the Cooper Creek causeway on the edge of town.
This recording was made near a small body of water about 30 metres from the main Cooper Creek. Due to mud from receding water levels, I was unable to get as close to the Cooper as I would have liked. The roaring sound to the right, is the water of the Cooper Creek flooding over the causeway about 200 metres distant. I have edited the recording to remove the clicking of my camera (I didn’t realise how loud it was even at a distance).
I made another recording two days later, in the late afternoon at Eromanga, while relaxing with a book on the shady deck of our accommodation. I’ll post that shortly.
Jun 27 2011
Plovers nest on the ground and, during nesting season, will often terrorise anyone trying to walk through a park, an oval or even crossing the medium strip of a road. If any of you have had the misfortune of being attacked by the Spur Winged Plover, their attack calls are something you never forget. For the last 16 years, Spur Winged Plovers have been nesting in our paddock. Each year, a pair nest within 10 metres of the year before. The image below shows the current nest about 3 metres from the bedroom window. In the night, their protective calls are the things nightmares grow from.
I found this photo on Wiki that clearly shows the spur on the leading edge of the wing. Being hit by the spur causes severe pain and the blood to flow quite freely.
They attack with a coordinated effort. One bird will fly up and swoop in from the front and the other, having circled around, will come in at 90 degrees to the first. They both arrive on target within a second of each other and from two directions. One calling, to distract you, and the other often silent.
In flying, pilots perform what is called a procedure turn. Fly away from an object, turn 90 degrees (in either direction) reverse the turn and continue for 270 degrees to come back at the object. Plovers have mastered this manouvre with ease. I’ve watched this happen time after time. Attack, swoop past, turn, reverse, attack. What a fantastic bird.
Apr 27 2011
Whilst setting up my gear to record a friend performing her own compositions for piano, her husband gave a short demonstration of didgeridoo playing. Linda joined in with her cello and I just managed to finish and hit record in time to grab a short snippet of it before they stopped.
Linda Weddell (Cello) and Andrew Salmon (Didgeridoo). Impromptu and unrehearsed. I will be back to record more from this duet of disparate instruments in the near future. Possibly in the nearby Kuitpo forest.
Schoeps CCM4Lg/CCM8Lg in M/S
Mar 07 2011
It’s that time of the year again for the two day gathering that is the ‘Power Of The Past’ in Mt Barker. With another great display of stationary engines.
The sounds that emanate from them range from fast stacatto clicking, to slow clunking thumps, to asthmatic wheezing and arthritic groans.
Whilst this event has a lot of engines running at once, I’ve tried to capture individual engines without too much background noise. Not always successful, but still very satisfying.
Recording set-up consists of a Schoeps CCM4Lg & CCM8Lg in M/S configuration, inside a Schoeps/Rycote blimp. Tracked directly into a Sound Devices 702 (originally at 24/96 & converted to MP3 at 320 kbps)
Sep 03 2010
I finally managed to record some thunder. Since I’ve had this gear we’ve not had a decent thunder storm. Or, if we have, I’ve been elsewhere without any recording equipment with me. This is a mix of several hours of recordings today. I basically hit record and went and watched TV to catch up on all the documentaries I’ve recorded over the last few weeks. (ABC have had some good programs on lately) These have been ‘time’ edited to remove the long wait for the next clap (commonly referred to in Meteorological circles as clapgaps and not to be confused with claptrap)
Recorded from under our carport using a Schoeps M/S pair of CCM4Lg & CCM8Lg directly into my SD 702 from the comfort of my lounge chair. I was concerned that the microphone stand may get hit by lightening, and Kerry would come home to a charred cable with a charred microphone at one end and a charred man wearing headphones at the other…..
May 26 2010
A steady rain fell during the night so just after 6:00am I put my Schoeps M/S pair and Rycote Blimp in the carport. Raised high enough into the eaves to get the rain lightly hitting the roof and the trickle of water into the gutter.
Kookaburras waking up and testing their voice, Magpies choralling, New Holland Honey Eaters chirping and the Red Wattle Bird’s rattling cough. The occasional ‘creek’ of Pseudophryne bibronii, the Bibron’s Toadlet that is hiding amongst our plants.
A Spur Winged Plover can be heard 4 minutes into the recording. If you’ve been attack by one of these whilst trying to cross it’s nesting ground, you NEVER forget the sound. Many nights I have woken suddenly as one of the nearby nesting Plovers warns off a cat or fox. For several years, we had a Plover nesting about 20 metres from our bedroom window. Each year it would nest within a metre or so of the previous spot. One year I felt sorry for it sitting on the nest on freezing rain, so I built a small makeshift shelter over the spot and I like to think it was happier because of it. One of our Suffolk Rams was alone in a paddock having ‘done his thing’ with the ewes, and would sit next to it for company. The Plover would stand on the Rams head and beat him around the ears with its wings, but the ram wouldn’t give up. Eventually the Plover was the one that gave up and accepted the rams presence, and it was always amusing to watch it walk over and sit down when the bird returned to the nest.
Several years ago, a husband & wife further along our road got divorced. He got the car, she got the kids and for some reason, we got his pigeons and they’ve inhabited our barn since. They can be heard waking up, followed shortly after by an approaching train as the recording ends.
This is about 11:30 long MP3 encoded at 256 kbps (about 21 Mb)
Apr 02 2010
I usually have my blimp filled with a Schoeps CCM4Lg/CCM8Lg in M/S configuration. But it was suggested to me that ORTF is very good for ambient recording, giving a nice stereo image. So after a bit of thought I came up with a way to use ORTF in my Schoeps/Rycote stereo blimp. This blimp is usually supplied for the M/S rig by Schoeps. Using the theory that a picture tells a thousand words, here is a 13,000 word instruction manual on how to do it. Be aware that this method is only good for use when mounting the blimp on a tripod or stand because there is only one clip holding it. And the handle is still in it’s normal orientation.
Mar 19 2010
I think that somewhere deep down, we all love the sound of trains. I do, and I’m not sure if the kid in me won’t let go of the enjoyment of these sounds, or my older romantic side just wants these behemoths to keep travelling around our country, providing the goods and services that they always have. This freight train, having originated in Melbourne, is passing through Balhannah, at 10:50 am today, about an hour from Adelaide.
Although this train sounds as though it’s going in the same direction, (left to right) it’s actually heading to Melbourne. I recorded it at 8:30 pm tonight near Blakiston, but on the other side of the track. I’m guessing that it was doing about 40 kmh as it passed which took two minutes. That makes it about 1,300 metres long.
Recording set-up consists of two Schoeps CCM4Lg in ORTF configuration, inside a Schoeps/Rycote blimp. Tracked directly into a Sound Devices 702 (originally at 24/96)
Mar 06 2010
In March each year, there is two day gathering of collectors in Mt Barker. Old cars are polished and brought out for a drive, but the main attraction is all of the wonderful old ‘stationary engines’.
There are several hundred stationary engines on display and most are restored to working order. The sound of these beautifully restored bits of history are fantastic. If you get there early enough, the noise is bearable, as most people are still setting up and only a few engines are running. Too late and the sounds clash into an un-recordable chaos.
Recording set-up consists of a Schoeps CCM4Lg & CCM8Lg in M/S configuration, inside a Schoeps/Rycote blimp. Tracked directly into a Sound Devices 702 (originally at 24/96 & converted to MP3)