November 12th, 2012

Recording made on 11th 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.


This photo of the Shag Rock headland was taken during my previous recording there.
N.B. The sea and Shag Rock are bigger and further below than they look, because this is a long-focus shot.

This recording was made on the very steep and rather precarious grassy slope below the rather exposed coast path a bit south-west of Perranporth, Cornwall, which contours the main cliff slope from near Cligga Head to Droskyn Point, at which latter point you are in Perranporth proper. It was made at exactly the same spot as http://www.freesound.org/people/Philip%20Goddard/sounds/168716/, with the recorder pointing in the same direction.

As in that recording, I placed the recorder on a very low drystone wall running down the slope, whose top was covered with vegetation, and the minor headland with Shag Rock connected at the headland's tip was ahead and somewhat to the right. This grassy slope ends just a little further below, in sheer and indeed more or less undercut cliff, so that the big waves are in a state of pandemonium as they hit the cliff (invisible to me on the steep slope above). However, the state of the sea is quite different from when I made that previous recording here. Then the sea was relatively smooth apart from a big Atlantic swell, which was tending to start breaking before meeting the cliffs. This time the swell itself was probably not quite so large, BUT the sea as a whole was much rougher, and the tide was higher, so that none of the waves were breaking before meeting the cliffs, apart from the odd transient local eruptive 'breakings' where a rebound wave interacted with an incoming one.

One thing that mystified me was the absence of obvious deep booms and thumps from the undercut cliff immediately below me in this position - because (a) they were quite a feature in the previous recording here and (b) before I arrived at this spot this time I had looked across the line of cliffs and had seen a real continuous mayhem occurring just there, with repeated violent eruptions of spray as the waves hit the cliff, and with distinct 'whoomphs' clearly audible from something like half a mile away (i.e. in addition to those coming from the Shag Rock ructions) - but as it was undercut I wouldn't be able to see any of that once at that spot, but at least I should have been hearing those 'whoomphs', which, as I say, seemed to be lacking this time. However, the sea made up for that by giving a whole succesion of dramatic eruptions of spray, with heavy 'whoomphs', as it kept hitting Shag Rock and the attached cliff of that little headland. The plumes of spray regularly shot up to or higher than the top of the cliff there. Also, some of the 'whoomphs' are strangely extended. Each of those was accompanied by a violent jet of spray shooting up at a 45 degree angle back over the sea. I guess there might actually be a blowhole there responsible for that.

It was a bit bold of me to be making this recording at all, for, at 4.30 in the afternoon in early to mid-November, the light was already fading, and by 5.0 the dusk would really be deepening (requiring care on the exposed and rather stony and uneven track)- and, once I'd got to Perranporth I still would have to hitch-hike (in the dark) back to Exeter.

I cut out about 45 seconds of the recording, at about 2 minutes in, because of a loudly conversational couple of walkers passing by on the track above. I would not mind the odd quiet human noises, but this was too obtrusive.

This recording actually has continuous very gentle wind noise in the microphones - but most of the time it is impossible to tell how much of the gentle booming and rumbling is from the sea on the cliffs and how much from the wind. However, the frequent discrete heavy booms and rumbles are at least almost all not wind gusts but the sea yet again hitting the cliffs.

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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