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 smallest of the chimes I'd brought - the Chimes of Pluto, which are moderately high-pitched and are tuned to a very sweet sounding pentatonic scale (actually a bit sweeter than I prefer!). I hung them on a stunted tree right beside the track, overlooking the very steep slope to the valley bottom, from where you can hear a distinct continuous background rushing sound of the River Teign. The only workable place where I could put the recorder was actually with the mini-tripod straddled on a junction of low branches of this tree, and it was distinctly exposed to the wind, which made quite a lot of noise in the microphones, but, at least to me, makes a lot more variety and interest in the recording, though I wouldn't want it any stronger than it gets later in this recording. I chose not to make further recordings at that spot that day - and since I uploaded this excerpt I have used a graphic EQ profile on the full recording to slightly 'tame' the heaviness of that noise.

Actually, for some people the 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 12-minute 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.

The photo below is of the actual setup for this recording, with the recorder on the mini-tripod just visible rather awkwardly astride the base of a branch.


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.

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

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


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