Crazy Stupid Sound Of The Week 2011-08-12

Hummingbird at flower

This week I present a hummingbird. I’m not sure if this qualifies as a Crazy Stupid Sound but this is the first time I’ve been able to record a hummingbird up close. I was going to post about a cool sounding commercial air conditioning unit at a office complex but since this happened yesterday I changed things up a little bit and will bring it on over next week.

During the summer we have many hummingbirds in North Idaho and my ranch seems to attract them because of all of the flower gardens my wife has. Last night as I was closing up the garage I heard the hummingbird in front of a window. I’m not sure how long it was flying there but it seemed to be doing OK. I quickly ran and grabbed my recording in waiting, the Sony PCM-D1 and recorded the bird for just a few minutes as it seemed to be getting tired. These birds are very friendly but the move very fast if spooked. I’ve been sitting on my porch and have had them fly right up to me and stare for a few seconds and then zip away. Every time that happens I wish I had a microphone mounted on my head to record their sound. It’s amazing. After recording I gently picked the bird up from the open window and he flew off into the night.

I was not able to get some photos of the actual hummingbird but this morning I was able to take pictures of one outside in a flower garden.

Enjoy! -Frank

A Hummingbird Crazy Wing Flaps by therecordist

Hummingbird at flower

Hummingbird at flower

Firewood Gathering Begins


My sources tell me we might be in for a long winter here in North Idaho so I thought it would be a good idea to start the firewood production process early. The wood needs some time to dry so in the heat of summer you have to get moving.

Wood Splitter Photo

Over the years I have chopped my share of firewood. I grew up on the East coast with burning firewood then stopped when I lived in Seattle and when I moved to Idaho back in 1997 I resumed. I must be getting old because last year I got a electric wood splitter. Five cord of firewood is a lot of wood to get inside the shed for the winter so I am taking the easy way out. Machines are wonderful but I do miss the exercise from using a maul on a wood stump.

Wood Splitter Photo

Here is the sound of a 2 year old dry log being split. Included are versions pitched down 2 octaves. Enjoy! -Frank

Wood Splitter Log Cracks 8040 by therecordist


Recording a tree falling for winter firewood with a Sanken CSS-5 microphone and a Sound Devices 702 recorder.

Crazy Stupid Sound Of The Week 2011-08-05

This is a new series at The Recordist that showcases a crazy stupid sound recorded while attempting to record serious sounds for my collections. Every week I will try find a sound I captured that is worthy of being called crazy stupid.

Water Pipe Photo

This week’s sound is from a session I did at the local Fish Hatchery back in May 2011. Since the lake level was low from the winter I was able to walk out onto the rocky shoreline well below the drainage pipes and record the water flowing out. This two foot round pipe was the main drainage pipe from the hatchery and had a good steady flow of water splashing out onto the rocks before draining into the lake.

After recording many perspectives from the outside and inside of the pipe I was just about to leave when I swung the AT-835ST microphone away from the pipe and noticed a cool panning splash effect. I proceeded to swing the mic back and forth and in and out of the pipe. I did hit the pipe a few times but after all is said and done it’s a crazy stupid sound. Enjoy! -Frank

Water Pipe Panning by therecordist

Next up: Office air conditioner convulsions

Inside A Pipe Truck Monks

I was out recording with my Sennheiser MKH-416 the other day trying to record a small dribbling stream down behind the house. On the way back up to the house I walked by and old satellite mounting post set in concrete that I had removed years ago. I thought that if I stick the microphone inside the 7 inch steel pipe I might hear something strange. I’ve hit the post before and it makes a standard metal clank so I was curious to hear that from the inside. Just as I stuck the MKH-416 inside a truck was driving by the house. My location was down a hill behind the house far from the road. This is some of what I recorded, speaks for itself.

Inside A Pipe Truck Monks by therecordist

Pipe Monks

The Water Barrel

As I was cleaning up the yard after years of Ultimate debris from making all the Ultimate sound effects collections I tried to move a 55 gallon barrel drum that has been sitting around for the last year or so. To my surprise it was half full of water. I assume the water had dripped in from the 3 inch hole on the top over the winter and spring. I found out that as I moved it the water sloshed around inside the 55 gallon drum. This was a col sound but I had an even better idea… I should tip it over and record the water flowing out. I set up a MKH-8040 and a SD-702 about 3 feet away from where the top of the barrel should touch the ground.

Water Barrel 2011

I waited for a few cars to drive by and proceeded to push the barrel over. It made this cool glub sound as the air needed to be sucked back in through the same hole the water was gushing out. The resonating barrel sound and the pulsing it made really surprised me as I was not sure how air tight the barrel was since I shot a hole through it last year and patched it with roofing sealant. I recorded at 192K and when pitched down it sound amazing. Someday this will make it into a collection or a SoundBox Single release, who knows? Enjoy! -Frank

The Water Barrel by therecordist