Inspired by this post on fish vocalizations (A Catalog of River-Dwellers) and my recent acquisition of a Mixpre 10 II, I picked up an Aquarian H2a XLR. It arrived today so I put it in my bag and set off for the nearest lake in hopes of capturing some fish talk.
Now this lake is known to be the domain of a thuggish gang of bluegill who will attack interlopers on sight. I have personally been bitten by them many times while swimming! As expected, they bird-dogged me the whole way down the dock. However, upon setting up my rig and donning the phones, I heard nary a fishy blerp. They simply floated there, looking at me as if to say “what’s my motivation?”.
Fortunately I’d had the foresight to bring with me a motivator in the form of some crunchy dried cheese bits. The introduction of cheese to the situation didn’t prompt any vocalizations that I can distinguish, but it did make for some entertaining fishy mastication sounds.
I am getting a bit more self noise than I would like coming from this hydrophone. I’d say the dynamic range is there as loud sounds (not in this clip) are reproduced well, but sufficient gain for quiet sounds brings up the hiss. Is there a better device to capture the softer sounds of the underwater world, or do I just have to live with the noise?