Field recording



Not all… But let’s make some!


That describes pretty well a lot of the work of Alejandra Salinas & Aeron Bergman. Unfortunately not a lot to point to available to stream, but it’s all worth tracking down…

A more recent one (well, 2005 I guess, damn…) “Be Mine” is on youtube:

This one is really great – pieced together from field recordings of interviews of folks trying to remember songs they sang or were sung to them as children:

Another personal favorite is “The Tale of Pip” which is a proper children’s read-along storybook. And “Scotch Monsters” which profiles in audio different mythological spirit-creatures… and “Bousha Blue Blazes” is another characteristic field recording and interview based beautiful sound construction… I mean it’s really all excellent. They’re really really great. :slight_smile:


Katrina tzedaki’s Walls (2013) combines field recordings along with narration based on the poem by K.Kavafis as well as some texts by V.Amanatidis. The narration is in greek. the text of “the walls”,translated in english, is the following:

Without reflection, without mercy, without shame,
they built strong walls and high, and compassed me about.
_ And now I sit here and consider and despair._
_ My brain is worn with meditating on my fate:_
I had outside so many things to terminate.
_ Oh! why when they were building did I not beware!_
_ But never a sound of building, never an echo came._
Out of the world, insensibly, they shut me out.

you can listen to the whole piece here:


the electroacoustic composition Ricordiamo Forlì (2005) by John Young
combines processed / unproccessed field recordings along with text readings and narration.
you can read extended liner notes and listen to some experts at electrocd’s site:

it’s a very long composition, more than 50 min.


and without doubt various electroacoustic compositions by Hildegard Westerkamp.
She is one of the pioneers in the field of soundscape composition.
here are some of her compositions combining field recordings and text reading or interviews:

A Walk Through The City (1981)
Voices for the Wilderness (1986)
The Deep Blue Sea (1989)
Kits Beach Soundwalk_ (1989)
My Horse and I_ (1991)
Für Dich-For You (2005)


wow so in love with all of these! thanks for the inspiration… now i’m off to go get some recordings


Thanks a lot @lettersonsounds @vals @sixnon for your recommendations!
Maybe a thread about soundart is a good idea.

Sound Art, Sound Poetry, Storytelling

this feels like it fits in here…

Recordings made with hydrophone, ambient and contact microphone recordings of rivers, spring houses, manhole covers, pub barrel rooms, pipelines and taps are mixed with the peals and drones of 1960s transistor organs, harmoniums, Swedish micro-synths, drum machines and iPads: a blend of the natural and unnatural; modern and antiquated; hi-fi and lo-fi. Drum beats were sampled from underwater recordings, and reverbs created using the convolution reverb technique to recreate the sonic space of different bodies of water.


I use the same technique, it was recommend to me by Chris Watson, it works a treat (even if it looks a bit odd).
The things is I tapped my omni-mics to the metal hanger about 2 years ago with so much tape I can’t actually get them off!


Has anyone got any experience with the Zoom H5/H6 interchangeable mic system? I have a H5 that I like (with the default stereo mic), but was considering getting one of their shotgun mics. Any opinions on quality?


i have the h5, with the standard XY stereo mic capsule, and the sgh-6 shotgun mic capsule. both are pretty good quality. i’ve used them for a few years now in pretty much all my music, adding background layers of field recordings. almost everything i’ve made since late 2015 (including my album from last year) has an sgh-6 recording, as i usually try to incorporate specific nature sounds. though it loses the stereo field of the XY mic, the mono shotgun mic is a good way to get focused close-ups to remove some of the urban background noise that leaks into spaces. make sure to get a windjammer, though, as the mic tube is kinda sensitive to crosswind noise.


That’s great to know. Did you ever consider the SSH-6, which appears to have another mic to build a slightly better stereo field?


i looked into it, but at the time i was able to find a much cheaper used sgh-6 in like-new condition, than a new sgh or ssh. also, i’m still not familiar with mid-side recording techniques. i do ocasionally wish that i could have a very directional stereo sound, not a mono point source and then the stereo field immediately around me. i’m also mostly deaf, so i’m very hesitant to work with or try to find any stereo sound sound sources at all, since i know my perception and ability to process these things correctly is far below a normal listener.

most of the time i’m trying to isolate certain nature sounds, which the mono sgh-6 can do well, and i let the rest of the elements in a song inform the stereo field. besides, i’ve discovered that the listener is quite capable of their own mental stereo image where they perceive and place the nature sounds, so i’m fairly content with mono sources.

lately, though, i’ve been getting stereo recordings with the XY capsule, handheld or on a small tripod a few inches from the source–such as a trickling creek. that might be one of the times when the stereo ssh-6 mic might be better able to focus in on a particular source, rather than the more omnidirectional XY mics. i’d probably go for a normal stereo mic in a parabolic dish if i really wanted to focus on a sound and get it in stereo, with a separate mic (or additional recording take) to capture additional ambience.

it’s actually been a slow, joyful awakening to hear (through IEMs at least) the differing rivulets of water pouring through leaves in a stream, or raindrops scattering across the yard in midnight storm, but in those cases, no stereo shotgun mic is needed.


I figure, if you’re wandering about doing field recordings, you are going to look odd anyway, holding a clothes hanger isnt going to add anything much else…


about looking odd and people’s reaction to a recordist in public spaces, one thing i have noticed over the years : when there is a camera, most people forget there is also a microphone. They somehow know how to stay out of the picture frame (or so they think) and feel safe standing there. When there is just a microphone, they more than often act like their privacy is at risk and picture an attitude of defiance (mistrust?) and make unfunny jokes about dead animals hanging up there or anything that will feel to render the recording useless (no scissors ever existed, you know). Sometimes you end up recording a nice conversation between you and a genuinely curious stranger just before running out of power ^^.


Hi guys, just thought I’d share a little custom design I’ve thrown together for my recordings: I like to attach my DPAs to my shoulders so that I can have my hands free to do things and to be a little more subtle, but I got tired of the cables dangling everywhere which drew a lot of attention. I’ve modified an old baggy hoodie so that the mic cables can run underneath and then pop through some eyelets I’ve added, making everything a lot more discrete and tidy. I’m no haberdasher but it was actually really easy to learn how to do it and only cost a couple quid.

I’ve included a before and after shot to compare, as well as an explanatory photo crudely edited in MS paint in case anyone’s interested in trying it themselves.

I’ve been lurking for a while so I also just want to say hi and thanks for sharing all the great recordings!


Does anyone have any hot windjammer advice for handheld recorders? Specifically a Sony D100, which I love but is notoriously sensitive. Can’t find anything good searching that’s not basically pooh-poohing everything commonly available. The included windjammer doesn’t cut it.

I like recording the ocean, wind blowing through the trees, etc., and, well… :thinking:


Can’t say for certain, but Zoom’s wsu-1 might fit. Its used with a little zip tie thingy but I can’t find any info online about it’s maximum dimensions, but I figure if it can fit over Zoom’s handy recorders then it should be fine over Sony’s - there isn’t too much of a size disparity is there?


Does anyone have advice on DIY windjammer? The foam one included with the h4n also doesn’t cut it!


The Sony has a nice fluffy windscreen, not a foam one, but the mics are so sensitive it’s still a problem in low / modest wind.

This guy likes the Rode Dead Kitten (!?) best, but the same author says elsewhere on the internet that they’re redesigned and less effective now or something. He’s being pretty particular though.