A multi-disciplinary designer’s journey in field recording, sound design, sound effects, and music.

Ibises and Cows

Posted: August 5th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: field recording, nature recording

Somewhere in the murk there's quite a few noisy critters...

I originally considered this clip an outtake from the Nature Sounds Society Field Workshop this summer (which has been previously covered in older posts). I had never seen white-faced ibises before, and their ducklike honking and loud wing flaps were mixed in with local cows that were just waking up. It was about 7am.

But in listening to it again, I came to love the moment that was captured: Dense fog all around, the sun kissing vernal pools and long-grass marshland in the middle of the Sierra Nevada, and all the animals calling out to each other, re-establishing territory and familial bonds. I came to rather like the sound of the cows mixed in with the ibises, the swallows, and the blackbirds.

Field recordings don’t always have to be pristine to be interesting. Sometimes you must bend your mind to the material.

So, I’ll share it here today. Hang out until the very last bit, where an ibis takes off and flies overhead – great clarity in the call and the wing flaps.


[Sennheiser MKH 50 and MKH 30 recorded as mid-side pair into Sound Devices 702 recorder]

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