December 12th, 2010

This was an interesting set of waves to record, mainly a test just to see what would work and what would not. Recorded on a Marantz PMD661 (super mod from OadeBrothers) with 2 Rode NT1A mic's at 120 degree mic angle/20 cm's apart/SRA 42 degrees (kind of a narrower Olson stereo technique, which is 20cm/135 degrees/SRA 38.4), and about 24 inches off the ground. Also used 4-inch long fur on the wind cage surrounding the mics, an enclosure I custom-built to block the wind from the mics (kind of resembles a deer-feeder with 3 telescoping legs). It was recorded on Nov. 15, 2010 in the late afternoon at McFaddin Beach, about 12 miles west of Sabine Pass, Texas. Not too hard of a place to find since the highway that once connected Sabine Pass to High Island (Hwy 87), along the Gulf of Mexico, is no longer open – too many hurricanes. I had difficulty with the waves on this day (no hurricanes, though). Winds were a steady 10 mph and offshore (meaning they were blowing from shore to water). You'll also notice a very distant but low, eerie vibration when the waves crash. I haven't figured that out yet. If you use a narrow-band EQ in your software, and push the band's volume way up, you'll notice the sound even more. Very eerie. I assume it's the vibrations in the sand from the massive miles of waves continuously falling over. I also tried to enhance the lack of quiet-to-loud dynamics inside Wavelab using the free plugin, IQ4Gui [free] (I like it far better than the Sonalksis DQ1 [$], but not just because it's free - IQ4Gui allows you to make much more dramatic settings than the DQ1). The problem was that there was a constant roar - the waves weren't getting quiet enough after crashing to where the detail of the after-crash wavelets, which continued onto the beach another 20 feet, could be heard. I also read online in different sites that wind tends to be the main thing that generates waves in the Gulf of Mexico, rather than deep swells. Swells travel miles to get there (like on the East and West coasts) and continue to move even after the wind stops blowing. So, to give these waves a little help, I used the IQ4Gui plug-in in downward-expander mode. This mode basically causes the quiet sounds to drop even further in volume (or, to get quieter) when they drop under the threshold you manually set. Finally came up with what you hear in this segment, which is taken from the longer hour-and-twenty-minute recording. I discovered that I really needed to have been further out in the water to where the mics would be closer to the wavelets so as to capture the detail of their higher harmonics. Sadly, that part is hard to hear in this wav file :-(. I was set up maybe 25 feet from the bulk of the waves crashing, right at the outer edge of the wavelet area. Given the massive saturation of harmonics, from the huge number of waves crashing up and down the coastline, it would have been better had I been out in the water with mic stand and recorder to zero in on the higher frequencies and detail of the wavelets, plus also those of the waves when they first fall over and you hear that initial crashing sound. Another reason for getting in closer is based on my understanding of the work of Michael Williams’ regarding the Stereophonic Zoom principal. This principal is essentially a technique for how to experiment with setting different spacings and angles of your microphones when recording in stereo so that the sounds in the image don’t end up crowding to the outside of the playback image, or into the middle of the image too far – complicated stuff, but very fascinating. Interesting graphs for seeing ahead of time how to stereo-mic stuff so that when you play your recordings back they spatially and positionally translate exactly like you mic’ed them. More info on all that in the following docs/sites:

* "http://www.rycote.com/images/uploads/The_Stereophonic_Zoom.pdf"
* "http://www.mmad.info/"
* "http://www.sengpielaudio.com/Visualization-EBS-E.htm"
* "http://www.linkwitzlab.com/Recording/recording_angles.htm" .................................... In the event that this description isn't long enough, I have a much longer, more detailed description of the adventures involved with this day of recording here: "http://naturenutt.wordpress.com/2010/12/27/sabine-pass/"


  • avatar
    Duckipedia 7 months, 1 week ago

    Thank you for creating this and sharing it! It's been used in the most recent episode of the YouTube:)
    이 음원을 만들어주고 공유해줘서 고맙습니다. 제 유튜브 동영상에 이 음원을 사용하였습니다.^^

  • avatar
    GBastien 9 months, 1 week ago

    Marvelous ... Thank you so much for your dedication!!! Have a Nice ONE!!!

  • avatar
    jarmosaari 6 years, 7 months ago

    Most beautiful and hi-fi, too! I feel/sense it.
    Hugs & congratulations!
    Jarmo Helsinki

  • avatar
    williamconnorbond 7 years, 4 months ago

    this is awesome to see someone truly take the necessary time to record something like this. BRAVO

  • avatar
    unorfordox@yahoo.com 7 years, 11 months ago

    Thanks for the detailed reflection on the recording process as well as the excellent recording.

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