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

Mutant Starling

Posted: June 14th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: field recording, nature recording, sound design

European Starling, hero mutterer and goer-on-forever.

[Photo by donjd2 (CC)]

The European Starling is a common bird that yammers like a manic street preacher. They have a really varied voice, quite expressive for standard birdsong.

I recorded one in my backyard and found that the frequency content really held up well under creative processing (unlike the raspy, high-mid-peaked calls of crows). Today’s sample is a continuous utterance from a starling that’s been pitched down 800 cents and run through the GRM Tools PitchAccum filter, which I just adore for thickening sounds in unusual ways.

For me, it’s evocative of an exotic or alien ecosystem, especially with those other weird R2-D2-like tones in the background…but, again, the vast majority of those tones are being made by a single Starling.


[Sennheiser MKH 50 into Sound Devices 702 recorder]

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