February 4th, 2013

Recording made on 2nd February 2013, on the north-east side of Boscastle Harbour, in a decidedly unusual 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.

I had intended to place the recorder in exactly the same precarious position on a protruding ledge, where I placed it for the equivalent 9th January recording, but as I came round the side of that crag I thought the wind was a bit on the strong side there, and also I was looking rather nervously at the clouds, which had lightly showered on me several times during the morning and were looking as though they might fairly imminently do so again. I was in fact about to give up the idea of setting up this recording and just make do with the one right above the blowhole, when I noticed right beside me a small overhung recess in the crag, probably about 60 to 70cm high and not much wider, and I noticed that as I stuck my ear in there I could hear a whole lot of booming from the sea that I was not otherwise hearing. So, for the hell of it I placed the recorder in there.

That has predictably resulted in a really weird recording, which is not only very boomy but also has a narrow, sort of 'tunnel-vision' main stereo image, apart from the thumps and booms, which are more omnidirectional. This recording, therefore, is, in normal terms, an extremely BAD one, but I present it here as a GREAT recording of the sound of Boscastle Harbour and blowhole as could be heard by a mouse or small bird in a little recess in a crag! :-) -- Well, except that I eventually came to recognise that it could be MUCH improved - see further below. do please listen to the newer version of this recording and see what a dramatic improvement I was able to bring about by applying a carefully worked out shaped bass adjustment to counter my recorder's inherent broad bass 'hump'.

Some peaks caused by the exaggerated thumps and booms from the blowhole got clipped, and I didn't increase the level to get a more accurate rendering of the sea sound, in order not to get a lot more clipping. I could have given this lot a bass cut of course, but then that wouldn't have properly represented what was actually to be heard within that recess.

- Well, that was how I was viewing the matter, but after being confronted with certain issues in my birds and wind chimes recordings of 5th March 2013 and then checking back through previous recordings, I established that I had been unwittingly accepting a significant and quite audible broad 'hump' in the lower bass frequencies of ALL my recordings. I have now rectified that retrospectively, using a carefully constructed EQ curve in Audacity, and I now present the newer version of this recording. Suffice it to say, the newer version, although still inevitably sounding weird, does not now sound anything like as boomy, and because the peaks are reduced, I have been able to bring up the level to a more realistic one for the sea sound, revealing a distinctly wider stereo image and indeed sounding beautiful enough that, against it, this original version sounds quite horrible, steeped in a detail-swallowing low-frequency 'fug'!

Much later note:
Oops, I got the above wrong! The apparent bass hump in my recordings was NOT in the recordings but was a room resonance issue affecting the sound of my hi-fi system! So I had a lot of work to do in processing and editing new copies from my archived unprocessed originals, without the bass being interfered with. This recording in its authentic state can, then, sound great, but only with correction for any room resonance affecting the sound from one's playback system. I nowadays use an Anti-Mode 2.0 Dual Core for that purpose, and it is really great.

This recording was made with a Sony PCM-M10 on a Hama mini-tripod, using the built-in microphones covered with a Rode Deadkitten. The breeze reaching the recorder appeared to be a straight-on force 3 on the Beaufort scale (upper end of 'light').

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. Although in general I have no plans to go through the hassle of re-uploading here the recordings that originally missed out on that correction, in this particular case the newer version of this recording already mentioned has that improvement as well as its dramatic bass 'improvement', which latter, sadly, was actually a degradation!

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 **

(N.B. This description may have changed a bit since it was featured, because about half of it got wiped out for some reason when I attempted to add a smiley, and I then had a bit of 'rebuilding' work to do!)


  • avatar
    jjwallace 4 years, 6 months ago

    Love it, listened to with my BOSE speakers :D

  • avatar
    unfa 4 years, 6 months ago

    Lovely and relaxing.
    I like long, long field recordings.

  • avatar
    Philip Goddard 4 years, 6 months ago

    Ah, I see - Just checked Bram's profile. Hey, looks like I've got some sort of quasi-'official' Freesound accolade! :-)

  • avatar
    Philip Goddard 4 years, 6 months ago

    :-) I'm curious to know - who are 'We'? - or are there more than one of you, Bram? :-)

  • avatar
    Bram 4 years, 6 months ago

    Just wanted to let you know we now consider this the new gold-standard for sound descriptions on freesound. This is a 100% description, all the rest of freesound is just... lower.


Please log in to comment

  • Currently /5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Flac (.flac)
165.3 MB
44100.0 Hz
16 bit
Sound illegal or offensive? Flag it!