Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Heat causes stagnation

I installed an A/C unit in our apartment two weeks ago. Best decision I ever made, and perfect timing too. The heat, mixed with high humidity, has been stifling. Everytime I have to run an errand I don't walk or bike, I swim.

One of the benefits to A/C, other than coolness and regulated humidity for all my sound equipment, is I was able to remove the fan from the bedroom. This makes for a quieter room, which makes for better-sounding recordings. Yay for that, indeed.

It reminds me of the first few months I really started experimenting with sleep recording. I had to find the right gain settings to make the silence stripping work properly; I tried several different mics and mic placements, until I found the optimal setup; and I tried different sampling rates to balance filesize and sound quality. Some of the early recordings were done at such a low sample rate, they sound pretty bad. That they are still listenable, is a testament to the entertainment factor they provide (at least to me.) Sometimes I wonder if people accept lo-fi recordings because it allows them to hear something they want to, that otherwise wouldn't have been recorded. Like 911 phone calls in Nightline "news" pieces. It sounds crappy, but it's still interesting.

The following sample, one of my favorite early utterances, was recorded at a trashy 11kHz sampling rate back in 2003 (I've since settled on 22kHz), but it still provides me with much joy to this very day.


3 Nov 2003 - "Seamus Song"



And two more recent clips:

14 Jul 2006 - "Comb Bellows"


15 Jul 2006 - "Tall One" Song

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