January 11th, 2013

Recording made on 9th January 2013, on the very tip of the top of the Willapark headland (highest point is 97 metres above sea level) on the south-west side of the mouth of Boscastle Harbour, Cornwall, UK. The cliffs here are all very rugged and slabby, mostly being of slate and related rock types, and the south-west tip of this very steep sided to precipitous abrupt hulk of a headland (with coastguard lookout on top) consists of only sparsely vegetated slaty slabs, which jut out aggressively at that south-west tip. On this day I had come up high actually looking for some wind so that I could hang a smallish set of wind chimes on a cliff-top tree and make a recording of that, but in the event there was almost no wind up on top, so wind chimes were 'out' and I was thinking that probably my recording for the day was already finished, following my blow-hole and related recordings far below. Up here on Willapark it seemed at first to be almost silent, but, particularly when I got over to that exceptionally exposed and 'panoramic' spot - the furthest-out jutting tip of slabby rock on that south-west end of the top of this headland - actually there was here a most amazing aural panorama of distant wave altercations with rugged and complex cliffs. And, what's more, that most outstanding tip of rock just happened to be just right for placing my mini-tripod really securely.

Yes, that really is the recorder actually in the process of making this recording, on the very tip of the rock, on the left! Meachard rock island to right.

It was thus that I surprised myself by getting this actually quite marvellous recording that I had never before thought of taking. The aural cliffs / sea panorama covers something like 270 degrees (yes, I do mean that much!), with the recorder facing squarely south-west to Firebeacon Hill, which latter blocks the view of the more distant coastline to Tintagel and beyond. Thus to the left the sea is pounding and thumping on the cliffs right round into Western Blackapit (behind / left), while that sound becomes increasingly distant round to Firebeacon Hill (ahead), and then round to the right you have the relative silence of the open sea until you get to Meachard rock island (behind / right) and very likely some of the thumps in that direction also coming up from the bottom of this headland, which is hidden from me up here.

You really have to tune into this recording and listen carefully to really get the best out of it, for otherwise it can easily seem to be just a rather undifferentiated wash of distant sea sound. It greatly helps to have a very wide stereo separation for your listening, and really good headphones should pick out the details more clearly. You may notice what seems to be very slight wind noise in the right-hand microphone at times, but I can assure you that what that really is, is a multitude of very distant thumps and whoomphs from the sea's arguments with a multitude of obstructive bits of cliff, I think particularly on Meachard island. Indeed, the extremely light breeze when I arrived up here fell to actual calm, so the faint booming / drumming sounds had to be coming from another source 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, though with almost no wind to absolute calm.

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.

(Later note: This recording - with better sound than here - is on one of my commercial CDs, paired with a springtime recording from the same headland; for that, go to my e-Store.)

Please note that only very good speakers / headphones with a very extended bass response will do this recording real justice. 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. In the case of this recording, it really is meant to be quiet.

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


  • avatar
    dkaufman 1 year, 10 months ago


  • avatar
    leroibaba 2 years, 9 months ago

    Nice recording (and pics ;-) Philip. I promise I listened to your sound on good speakers ; I really loved to slowly increase the volume and feel how the sound evoluates from a kind of a "moving white noise" to this wide, deep and rich ocean atmosphere. Good job, thx for sharing.

  • avatar
    danb1 2 years, 9 months ago

    Beautiful Recording!

  • avatar
    Jsmear 3 years ago

    Wonderful recording!

  • avatar
    daflutzz 3 years, 5 months ago

    very good! just what i needed

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