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March 14th, 2013

This is the first and longer of two additional recordings made with a second recorder, while my two consecutive 'main' chimes recordings were taking place at this spot.

On 5th March 2013 I took out with me a large and a small set of cheap bamboo chimes and three sets of quality metal wind chimes, to my regular field recording location for wind chimes - the Teign Gorge, Drewsteignton, Devon, UK. On this occasion, for the first hour of my walk-in from Drewsteignton, I was greeted by unexpected lack of wind altogether. Fine for recording birds, but not for the chimes! Then, rather resigning myself to recording birds-only, and to my chimes being just a tiresome dead-weight, out on the long mostly open and relatively level stretch of the Hunter's Path, high up on the north side of the steep sided valley, I noticed a particular nicely situated stunted oak tree that seemed to be beckoning me, pointing out to me that it had a nice arrangement of suitable branches, which would enable me to get the right balance between the different sets of chimes. All very well, but of course just for noting to use another time, for right now I'd look silly trying to record chimes with no wind! - Well, except that just that moment breaths of wind started coming on, just enough to make twigs move. And so it was that I set up here, with the wind gradually getting up and actually giving me a lovely performance from the chimes after all.

There was more than one fly in the ointment, however, for a whole succession of mostly high-altitude aeroplanes came over, so I had to cut out quite a number of bits in this recording, and still there are some brief bits of very distant aeroplane sound in the edited recording - and also, there must have been a tractor at work in the field that tops the hill on this side, for I could hear a quiet sort-of nag-nag-nagging of very low frequency motor noise, which could not sensibly all be removed from the recordings. Despite that, though, I ended up with four very beautiful recordings from this spot - two 'main' chimes recordings, and then two natural soundscape recordings with the chimes at a distance.

As already noted, this is the first and longer of the two 'distant' recordings, and for this I used a Joby GorillaPod to seat the recorder on a tree branch on the other (uphill) side of the Hunter's Path, just a little further along, so probably about 25 metres from the 'main' chimes recorder position. It is thus a particularly quiet recording, and it would be a mistake to turn the volume up for this. I left this recording running when I took down the Pluto chimes for the second 'main' recording, and because that meant an intrusive disturbance in this recording, I chose, rather than break this recording into two, to simply cut out the disturbance. So, part-way through, the tone of the chimes 'mysteriously' changes once the Pluto chimes are removed from the mix. You then hear just how intensely mysterious and melancholy the Gypsy chimes sound at a distance.

The chimes used are bamboo chimes, large and small set (imprecisely tuned to a semblance of the whole tone scale), Woodstock Chimes of Pluto (tuned to a radiant 'happy' pentatonic scale), and Music of the Spheres Gypsy Chimes, Mezzo and Soprano sizes (tuned to a troubled and melancholy-sounding Eastern European Gypsy scale). The combination of the metal chimes sounds remarkably different from either on their own, and is very beautiful indeed.

As for the birds in this recording, I am unable to name them all (as yet), though chaffinch, skylark, raven, pheasant and many others did figure. However, they sang less and less during my session at this position, so, rather late in the recording session, I then moved this recorder to a still more distant position further along the path (probably some 40-50 metres away) for the second and much shorter 'distant' recording.

This is a 5-minute excerpt from the full 30 minutes' recording.

(Later note: This recording - with better sound than here - is on one of my commercial CDs, and can be found in my e-Store.)

http://www.broad-horizon-nature.co.uk/recording-chimes-by-mid-hunters-path.jpg
This photo shows the second of the 'main' recordings taking place. Note the placement of the Gypsy chimes distinctly further back than the bamboo chimes, and the recorder fairly well back from them all in order to get a good balance.

Recording made with a Sony PCM-M10 on a Joby GorillaPod, using the built-in microphones covered with a Rode Dead Kitten windshield. I have used Audacity to apply a custom EQ profile to correct for the high frequency muffling caused by the windshield, and also to correct for an audible 'hump' in the lower bass frequencies, which I get in ALL my recordings prior to processing.

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Type
Flac (.flac)
Duration
05:10:533
Filesize
26.0 MB
Samplerate
44100.0 Hz
Bitdepth
16 bit
Channels
Stereo
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