Tag Archive for: animals

Pig Feeding And Head Bumping

Presenting the Crazy Sound Of The Year: Pigs eating and head butting each other. These pigs are from my Brothers’ farm and I recorded them with a MKH-8040 at 192K to a Sound Devices 702 recorder on December 30, 2012. They are two weeks out from being bacon and weigh in at 200 pounds or more. When they eat the are VERY aggressive and just push each other out of the way even when there is ample room to eat. They also bite each other sometimes and I did notice a bloody ear or two.

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For a month now I have been hearing this faint and frantic bird tweeting when at the south side of the house. I knew there was a birds nest around there somewhere but could not locate it. The chirping was very quiet and high pitched as they were very young chicks in the nest. I decided to wait until they were more mature to try and record them. Now they are louder and deeper in pitch than before and I was able to locate them in a small shrub very close to the outside wall of the house. Every time the mother fed them they went crazy like they were at a concert or something.
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Devil Dog 2012

This is Dixie, a very special English Bull Terrier with an amazing vocal ability that is unlike anything I have every heard. She is special because she is deaf and cannot hear what comes out of her mouth. She is loved and cared for by some friends here in town and they graciously allowed me to come to their home and record her.

Dixie makes the best noises when she is asleep dreaming or very tired and does not want to be bothered. She was very excited when I arrived so they tried to calm her down a little bit to see if she would make some of the amazing “alien” noises they say she makes. The sounds she made when I was in the room were great but after a while I went outside for 5 minutes and left the gear with them and they were able to get her to make some really cool noises. They did not want to have her do it very long as she might get over tired from the excitement.

I used a Sennheiser MKH-416 and a MKH-8040 with the filter module set on a small stand. This combination is very good for this type of animal recording as the hyped-up top end of the MKH-416 works perfect for the normal pitched intense growls and barks while the MKH-8040 sounds amazing when pitched way down with a nice smooth top end and a monstrous low end. I recorded at 24-Bit 192K and plan on releasing a full library of her insane “alien like” sounds in the future. Soon, I will be leaving the gear overnight with them to get the sounds she makes while dreaming. Enjoy -Frank

Canada Geese Recording 2011

I was having my first cup of morning coffee on a cold, quiet Saturday morning and the light of day was beginning and I noticed a strange V shaped pattern in the distant sky over the lake. At first, I flashed back to the day when I recorded a B-2 Stealth bomber in Seattle because thats what it looked like. I knew what was approaching and I stepped outside and had a listen. They were geese flying in formation over the lake and heading directly toward the house. I stepped back inside to grab my recording gear and it was all in pieces after a recording session from the previous day. I knew I did not have enough time to get it up and running so I grabbed my iPhone and shot some video. They were not very high in altitude, I would guess a few hundred feet above the ground and squawking like crazy. I had missed a cahnce to record this sound and headed back inside before my fingers froze off.

Just in case there were more I did set up the MKH-8040ST and the SD-702 and set it next to the front door. Soon after, I heard another flock squawking in the distance over the river that connects to the lake. I set the gear up in the yard hoping some would head my direction and sure enough the took a left turn to head south. As they flew over I stood still next to the microphones and noticed along with the squawking was the very cool wing flap whooshes. I thought I was going to get a great clean take when the local squirrel decided to join in the music of nature. Below is the sound clip and the movie from the first fly over.

Enjoy! -Frank

Canada Geese Migration by therecordist

Snort… Snot… danger signal… Call it what you want

One of the sounds a deer makes when it senses danger is snorting. I have been trying to get a decent recording of this nose blow for years. Sometimes when I’m out recording in the yard I will startle one of them out in the forest and they blow snot out their nose. Sometimes it’s very loud and startles me. If there are a few of them hanging out in the woods they all go running when the boss of the group makes this sound. I have heard them do this 10 yards away from me and 50 yards away from me. Believe me when I tell you that at 10 yards it’s quite loud and makes me jump.

I recorded this set of snorts while I was getting some dry grass sounds for my next library called Ultimate Foliage. The tall grass was at the edge of the property at the forest tree line and I had no idea the deer were around. I usually hear them walking around in the brush especially this time of year when the ground is so dry. They can make quite a racket out there.

The deer recording is not the cleanest but it’s the best I’ve recorded so far. There were some cars driving by and I was waiting for those cars to pass when one of the the deer decided to let it’s snot fly. I turned and aimed the MKH-416 in his direction and tried not to move. The deer were probably about 30 yards away from me deep in the woods and after the last snort they all ran off like I was a hunter. It will be hunting season around here soon and every year they disappear for a while and go into hiding. Disclaimer: I do not hunt and have no opinion on the subject except that once I was tricked into eating venison and after I was told what it was, I freaked.

Deer Snorts and Squirrel Talk by therecordist

Squirrel Talk

Sometimes when I’m out recording on the ranch the squirrels decide to yap it up and I swear they are messing with me. It can be so very quiet outside and I grab the gear, start recording and they want have a party in the trees. One starts, then another, then another and before you know it I’m recording squeaking and chirping instead of the intended sound. This summer I decided if I can’t beat them, join them. Sometimes they actually make a cool sound when they are playful and at other times they can chirp until it gives me a headache.

The squirrels here in the country are smaller and more afraid of humans than the bigger ones in the city and suburbs. I have only been able to get close to one a few times in all the years I’ve lived here.

These recordings are from two separate occasions. The first one was a squirrel chasing another and the second part was from a very close encounter with one on my barn roof. I was able to get two meters away from the little guy as he chirped his brains out. At the end of the track I pitched the track down an octave and it sounded like a strange furry creature in the evil forest of some horror movie.

Enjoy! -Frank


Equiment Notes: Sennheiser MKH-416 Microphone and a Sound Devices SD-702 at 24/96

This week I have two sounds that I recorded with my Sennheiser MKH-8040ST microphone rig. Both sounds are from North Idaho wildlife and are chance encounters with some of earths’ creatures.

Cattails and Sennheiser MKH-8040ST

The first sound is from a session back in July from the pond on the mountain behind the ranch. I was recording the wind blowing through some cattails (Typha, Bulrush) on the edge of the pond. I had been there recording for a few minutes when a frog started croaking from across the pond. During his display of amazing vocal talent a gun was fired off in the distance and all sorts of pond insects were flying around the microphone. The cattails had a soft rustling leafy sound that was beautiful. I really enjoy recording big, busy sounds but it’s the quiet sounds that really intrigue me and seem to soften my busy day of audio activities that rule my life at times

Frog Cattails And Squirrel 8-26-11 by therecordist

MKH8040STThe second sound is from a recent encounter with a squirrel. I was trying to record a very loud croaking tree frog on my deck but was interrupted by a small squirrel chomping on some maple tree seeds about 10 meters away from where the mic was set up.

This is the first time I have heard them rustling around in the maple trees. They are usually way up high in the tall fir trees breaking loose the pine cones so they can gather them up and store for the harsh winter. We did had a strange winter and spring this year and after checking out the top of the trees there are not that many pine cones available for them to eat.

I moved the microphone under the maple tree about 2 meters away form the munching squirrel. He took notice, started to get amped up and then hid in the leaves. Soon after he started to chirp like I pissed him off by disturbing his dinner. I usually find the chirping very annoying especially when I’m trying to record other sounds on my ranch but this time I was OK with it. He eventually moved away and into the thick forest.

SeedsNotice before the squirrel starts to freak out and you will hear a Robin fly by fairly close over the microphone and then make his noise off in the distance. The recording started out clean but then a car passes on my road far behind the mic.

Enjoy! -Frank