November 7th, 2012

Recording made on 6th November 2012 with a Sony PCM-M10 on a Hama mini-tripod, using the built-in microphones covered with a Rycote Mini Windjammer. I have used a graphic EQ profile in WavePad to compensate for the slight muffling of the sound caused by the Windjammer.

My three wind chimes recordings made on this particular day mark the beginning of a new project of mine, which I provisionally call Wind Chimes In the Wild, to produce a collection of truly authentic recordings of a range of quality wind chimes out in Nature, where 'the elements' are an important aspect of each recording. I was moved to point myself towards this project because of the sheer awfulness of all the commercial wind chimes recordings that I'd bought or otherwise heard. The problem was usually not the chimes themselves, but the sheer laziness and contempt for the listener of whoever recorded / produced those recordings, which turned out ALL to be faked in various ways - either being just repeating loops of a very short recording, or jiggled mechanically and not by any wind, as shown by regularly repeating patterns in the waveform (and far too consistent a sound level), and any wind or other natural sounds clearly just dubbed on, with no relationship between wind strength variations and the chimes activity.

The only decent wind chimes recordings that I'd found were a small number on Freesound, and they include some really beautiful ones. So, I decided to help fill the gap left by the lazy and profiteering commercial producers of wind chimes recordings, and make real 'in the wild' wind chimes recordings, with full authenticity, including even wind noise in the microphones at times. The latter, although for many purposes regarded as undesirable, actually enhances my recordings - at least provided it doesn't get really disruptively loud. After all, if you're out in the wind you do get the wind rumbling, booming and drumming in your ears, and really it's a nuisance only when it gets really strong and gets drowning out what you actually mean to be listening to out there.

On 6th November 2012 I took out with me three sets of Woodstock wind chimes, with the intent to record some 10 minutes of each solo, and a full half-hour of each of the four possible combinations of these. In the event conditions enabled me to get only three recordings. I hung the chimes on small low branches of stunted trees by the Hunter's Path overlooking the over-steepened valley (popularly known as the Teign Gorge, though it is not actually a gorge) in the vicinity of Sharp Tor, very near Drogo Castle.

This recording is of the tenor-pitched Gregorian Chimes together with the smaller and thus higher-pitched Chimes of Pluto. The Gregorian chimes are tuned to a Gregorian chant scale, while the Pluto chimes are tuned to a very sweet sounding pentatonic scale (actually a bit sweeter than I prefer!), and thus there is an intriguing interaction between the two sound worlds, which helps to keep one's attention rather than send one to sleep. I hung them on low branches of a stunted tree very slightly off the track, where a rock crag jutted out over the very steep slope to the valley bottom. However, I could not workably put the chimes actually on top of the crag because of lack of trees just there, so the situation of this recording is a bit odd, for the recorder is actually pointing more or less back towards the track, facing away from the valley slope, and, in this case, placed on the ground, pointing up at about 45 degrees at the chimes, with the crag's hunk of rock behind the recorder and blocking direct sound from the River Teign far below in the bottom of the valley. However, you still hear the sound indirectly, as a distinct continuous rushing, which is neither wind nor traffic.

I made this recording with the recorder on the ground rather than the more 'intuitive' position on a prominence on the crag, because I was concerned that the recording I'd just made with the Olympos and Pluto chimes might be spoiled by too much wind noise in the microphones, and I thought there might be less of that with this different placement. In the end it turned out that this recording got very little wind noise at all in the microphones - and, ironically, I find that the other recording comes out better because of its wind noise in the microphones, which to me was 'just right'.

Actually, for some people wind in the microphones would be more or less troublesome anyway, simply because it works well only with listening equipment that has a reasonably flat and well extended bass response. Any tendency to boominess, or indeed a significant deficiency in very low frequency response (as would be the case in virtually all computer speakers) would make that wind noise more problematical.

This excerpt from the 14+ minutes full recording is the opening five minutes. For some reason, as with the other two recordings I made on that day, there is a fair bit more 'action' and indeed at times boisterousness after the first five minutes - which works out quite satisfyingly when listening to the full recordings.

Please note that the volume level of this recording has been carefully adjusted for listening purposes, and 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.

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


  • avatar
    lucymheeg 4 years, 7 months ago

    glad you like the "crediting," Philip. i thought people would enjoy knowing more about your project. i loved how the wind chimes not only added natural, ambient sound of wind, but how the chimes became a free form part of the song, too. i take it maybe you are finding the Pluto chimes not too sweet, after all? :) I thought they were perfect and loved their combination with Gregorian chimes. i look forward to following your work.

  • avatar
    Philip Goddard 4 years, 7 months ago

    That's very nice of you, Lucy, to give such a plug for my project rather than just the bare-bones credit that is 'legally' required! So glad my recordings are being so appreciated! I see, though, that I need to slightly update my original remark on the sound of the Pluto chimes, now that I have got to know them better.

  • avatar
    lucymheeg 4 years, 7 months ago

    Such beautiful sounds and so beautifully recorded! I love the whole series. I have used your recording as a layer of natural ambient sound underneath a gentle, acoustic song, to serve as soundtrack for a video I just produced. Many thanks. The wind and the chimes add such a perfect dimension to the overall sound. Grateful! http://youtu.be/JYcLT639sAs

  • avatar
    tbrunt 4 years, 8 months ago

    Wow thats really quite incredible. Thanks for spending the time to create this and for sharing.

  • avatar
    MatthewFishwick 4 years, 10 months ago

    Very beautiful and tranquil. Additionally, I'm sure if I weren't listening to it on a tablet, it would be incredibly grounding, definitely worth downloading therefore.

    If only everyone could appreciate nature enough to produce proper recordings (haha)!


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