January 11th, 2013

Recording made on 9th January 2013, on the north-east side of Boscastle Harbour, at a rather precarious position somewhat below the main path along there, overlooking the stone jetty on that side of the harbour and pointing obliquely across the mouth of the harbour - though my saying that actually wouldn't mean very much to anyone who doesn't know the funny shape of the harbour, which bends round to the left and then opens to the right (seaward). The blow-hole is at the waterline when the tide is low-to-middling, and is a bit right of centre in this soundscape. It is actually an early stage of the breaking-through of a sea cave on the seaward side of the hulk of Penally Point, and waves hitting the end of the cave there cause shockwaves in the air and cause the violent ejection of often quite long jets of spray with impressive heavy whoomphs. Those jets of spray are generally roughly horizontal or very slightly inclined upwards, and you can hear the ejected water splashing down following many of the whoomphs.

The blow-hole in operation at the foot of the cliff.
This recording was made on this side of the harbour,
but a fair bit further removed, in the inland direction.

Much of the straightforward ongoing water noise in this recording is actually not so much the sea but the Boscastle stream (which flooded so devastatingly a few years ago), which is normally very shallow and lazily tumbles over the stones in the stream / harbour bed while the tide is out.

I really would have liked to continue this recording for at least half an hour, but changed my mind about that once I had started this recording and then got reconnoitring to see what would be the best next position to place the recorder. Not only did I find that I could make a recording from directly above and fairly close to the blow-hole, but I was also aware that the tide was coming in and would presently stop the noticeable blow-hole ejections - so I chose to ensure that my recording from directly above the blow-hole had priority to ensure maximum duration before I lost the 'dramatics', and thus I returned to terminate this recording.

Interestingly, the heaviest whoomphs caused clipping on this recording, but only for one peak on that second recording here, which was so much nearer the blow-hole. Although I couldn't hear the effects of any of the peak clippings, this time I chose experimentally to use the 'clip fix' plug-in in Audacity, first lowering the level of this recording to allow headroom for reconstruction of clipped peaks, and then normalizing to virtually 100% afterwards. Presumably that processing would have softened any slightly abrasive and fatiguing effect of the clipped peaks - though there were only about ten of them, so there wouldn't have been much of an issue about that anyway.

This recording was made with a Sony PCM-M10 on a Hama mini-tripod, using the built-in microphones covered with a Rode Deadkitten. There was a very light breeze coming from behind / left of the recorder, but not enough to notice at all in the recording.

Higher quality version of this recording available
The recordings that I upload to Freesound are of standard CD quality (44.1KHz, 16-bit). As from my recordings made on 9th January 2013, all my recordings are additionally available in 48KHz 24-bit, FLAC format. If interested, please see my Broad Horizon Natural Soundscapes page for details.
http://www.broad-horizon-nature.co.uk/arrow-long-right.gif Please note that all recordings from 5th January to 2nd Feb 2013, inclusive (i.e. including this one) did not receive any correction for high-frequency attenuation caused by the new Rode Dead Kitten windshield. Subsequently I was able to work out a graphic EQ profile to apply to all recordings that used that windshield, and have applied it retrospectively - but I have no plans to go through the hassle of re-uploading here the recordings that originally missed out on that correction. Therefore, copies of recordings made in that period, including this one, which I supply on CDs or as licensed copies for commercial use, will have better sound quality and will sound clearer, more 'present', and with more precision of detail than what you hear from here.

Please note that only very good speakers / headphones with a very extended bass response will do this recording real justice. Also, it may sound unpleasantly boomy on speakers that have any sort of boominess (like my computer speakers!). Please also 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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