April 7th, 2013

Note that this version has been superseded by a much more recent version which has been greatly enhanced by the use of the A1 Stereo Control VST plugin to widen and sharpen the stereo soundstage. Please go to that one ( https://freesound.org/people/Philip_Goddard/sounds/699870/ ) unless you're on this page to compare the two versions.

Peaceful and gentle, yes (please don't turn the volume up!), but commonplace, no - with an unusual and quite haunting aspect!

I made this recording on 6th April 2013 at the same spot as a previous one of mine, at a quite exposed position on Beeny Cliff, not far from Boscastle, Cornwall, UK. This is at a point where the original and very exposed section of the coast path had been abandoned and a less exposed diversion established, but here I got onto that exposed bit, where the sea is undercutting the cliffs.

This time I chose this position for a lunch stop on a hike from Crackington Haven to Tintagel, as it was relatively sheltered from a brisk and cold breeze - but the sea was even more gentle than last time, so I had doubts as to whether any recording made here this time would be really worth keeping - the dull and commonplace is not at all what I seek or wish to share with others! Because it is relatively deep sea here against the cliff, you don't get the sound of breaking waves, but instead, with the gentle swell on this day, you get a constant gentle rippling and splashing.

So, rather disappointed at such an apparently uninteresting sound, I rather forlornly set the recording going and retreated to unpack and start my lunch. Then, after an immediate disturbance of an aeroplane passing over (a bit that I'd have to cut out of the recording), I was surprised to find that there was another disturbance - some very distant-sounding deep rumbling booms.

Initially I thought they were from some extraneous source, but soon it dawned on me that they must be not disturbances at all, but coming from a cave somewhere at the bottom of this cliff - though I could not actually see any cave at all down there. The boomings come at varying intervals, but typically at around 20 seconds, and have a decidedly subterranean quality about them; they also have the tone of some very distant rumbles of thunder. Also there is a rather ill-defined cyclic variation over a few to several minutes in the strength of the booming. The picture is slightly confused at times, because there is occasionally a little microphone wind noise.

It seemed quite eerie, to be getting such booming sounds, when superficially the sea seemed so gentle and lacking in 'decent' swell. Thus my initial disappointment changed over to a certain excitement that once again I had serendipitously got a really quite special recording.

The very noisy birds briefly heard early in the recording are oystercatchers. A group of them was flying quite close to the sea surface, coming from the left and then flying round in a full circle way below the recorder before flying off again.

This recording in progress. The arrow points to the tiny light grey speck, which is the furry windshield on the recorder.

Recording made with a Sony PCM-M10 on a Hama mini-tripod, 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 the audible broad 'hump' in the bass frequencies of ALL my recordings prior to processing.

Please 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 one of my CD-quality downloads, and can be found in my e-Store.)

Please remember to give this recording a rating!

This recording can be used free of charge, provided that it's not part of a materially profit-making project, and it is properly and clearly attributed. The attribution must give my name (Philip Goddard) and link to https://freesound.org/people/Philip_Goddard/sounds/184175/


  • avatar
    Christie007 6 years, 9 months ago

    Thank you for sharing this excellent quality recording.

  • avatar
    umBum 7 years, 6 months ago

    Great capture and even more impressive intention... :-) Thx!

  • avatar
    Couchthat 8 years, 8 months ago

    awesome recording! keep it up:)

  • avatar
    Philip_Goddard 8 years, 8 months ago

    Marcel, nice friend, you're going to have to be patient! :-)

    My previous comment here still applies. I honestly still haven't worked out my best approach to further Freesound uploads in the light of all the commercial CDs that I'm producing via the CreateSpace system.

    Incidentally, three of my commercial CDs contain better and more powerful recordings from this particular Beeny Cliff location, recorded in September 2014. That cliff alcove has two major cave entrances, and the booming occurs very deep within, with amazingly 'huge'-sounding extremely deep booms and rumbles, often with their peak energy at or below 20Hz and so audible only on particularly good playback systems.

  • avatar
    klankbeeld 8 years, 8 months ago

    Waiting for next recording???????

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