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    Recording running water... how??

    So, I've got a bit of a project working on and I'd like to nab a good 30-40+ minute loop of nature and a flowing creek...

    My equipment is a Zoom H4n, using the internal X/Y mics. I do have the option to use an old EV 635a if I need it, but that's a dynamic mic and one that generally wants a lot of gain versus the internal Zoom.

    Recording with 120 degree angle and 44k/16bit.

    Current post-processing has been done in Audacity.

    I've got no windscreen/deadcat/etc in front of it.

    My creek is about 20-25' wide, and has been slightly up (a lot of rain lately) at about 170 CFS.

    I've tried being right up next it by a jackdam/rock weir. It's pure white noise.

    I've tried being next to frog water (read a long, slow pool with no movement) and it's silent.

    I've tried being maybe 10' away from it, up from a smaller set of riffles. White noise.

    I've tried being maybe 10' away from it near a smooth, but quick, flow. There's a definite aural burble to my ears, but on the recording.. it's white noise.

    If I use Audacity's noise reduction, I can grab about 3 seconds of the solid noisey bit, isolate it..and nothing but birdsong, which is nice, mind you, but not the burble I want.

    Do I just need to find a smaller source of water? Is there a trick to this? Should I be doing some post-processing EQ magic?

    I can hit YouTube up and find hundreds of examples of perfectly executed "burbling creek" but for the life of me.. *how??!*

    Thanks for reading.

  • avatar
    328 sounds
    2936 posts

    Remember, when shooting sound, it's all about the source. Your choice of microphone is fine. Not the best but still fine for this purpose.

    After reading your post, it's pretty evident to me you are choosing the wrong location for what you want to capture. There is no "magic".

    In general, the way these people are getting good recordings is capturing very close to the water with little to no discolourations to the sound e.g. water hiss noise. You have to find the right conditions to record something worthy, a shallow stream obscured with some rocks and large pebbles would be an ideal choice.

    I am the thing that goes bump in the night...

    The Freesound Team

    2 posts