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Topic: Who is in need of a 'sounds of nature' sample cd?

  1. #1

    Who is in need of a \'sounds of nature\' sample cd?

    Hi everyone. I\'ve been out and about collecting sounds of nature with my portable recording rig for the last 3 months. I\'ve been getting very good results, and I am considering making a sample cd/dvd (depending on how much useable data I record).

    I have a good deal of rain and thunder samples made already. Some of them are made from unusual perspectives, such as the interior of my car and the inside roof of my garage. I\'ve also sampled some running water from nearby creeks, with varying degrees of splashing.

    I don\'t want to release a sample set until I have a good sized chunk of data. 600-700MB minimum. Also, the set will be rather cheap. Probably around $30US.

    My questions to the group are:

    1.) What would you like sampled? I\'m trying to specialize it as a nature disc, but due to the portability of my setup, I can record virtually anywhere.

    2.) What bit/sample rate would you like these released as? I\'m sure most everyone would like 24 bits, but how about samples? The source files are all 24/88.2.

    Thanks everyone,

  2. #2

    Re: Who is in need of a \'sounds of nature\' sample cd?

    I\'ve spent a lot of money and time trying to edit together decent ambient files. The biggest problem that I run into is that you only have a limited amount of space in games. So limited that you generally can\'t include a 30 second stereo (let alone surround) sample. The last spec I got for ambience was no more than 8 seconds.

    Technology now allows for longer and better samples, but we\'re not totally in the clear yet. As it stands, when you have to resort to tiny sample sizes, you need samples that are free of anything distinguishable. I don\'t want birds in my rain samples, I don\'t want tractors in my \"country day\" samples, I don\'t want any ambient noises that are not specifically designed to portray ONE SPECIFIC THING.

    Jungle ambience is a good example. There are so many critters in the jungle, and whenever I\'ve heard jungle ambient samples, they include multitudes of specific-sounding critters which, if not edited out, make that 8 second loop very identifiable and obvious.

    It\'s a hard compromise to find. Ambience is usually created by simultaneously distinguishable sources (forests sound like a bunch of birds reflecting off trees, and maybe a creek or river, maybe there are wolves or the pattering of feet). With a small loop, I need the sound of a forest without individual birds, rivers, or feet. I\'ve narrowed it down to amplitude. As long as there are a crapload of birds and they\'re all at about the same distance and amplitude, no single bird actually stands out, and therefore it can be used in a small loop.

    The idea for the last game I did was to have 2 ambient systems. One was just general ambience, free of distinguishable sounds. The second was nothing but specific sounds (a bird, a scurry, a howl) that were randomly chosen by the program and randomly placed in the 3D environment at such incriments and amplitudes as to blend in well with the first system.

    So that\'s how I\'ve come to view ambience. In 2 catagories; general, and specific.

    I hope this analysis helps you out some [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

  3. #3

    Re: Who is in need of a \'sounds of nature\' sample cd?

    My goal is to record sounds in an isolated way as much as possible. If I am recording rain or thunder, the last thing I want is to hear a passing car or train. Through doing field recordings, you really begin to learn how much noise polution there is around you. You have to travel VERY far from the city to minimize ambient noise. And even doing this can leave you with the sounds of crickets, which in this part of the world, are EVERYWHERE.

    I also understand the need for loopable samples with no distinct characteristics. In most cases, rain is very loopable. Except in situations where there are wind gusts, or dramatic drops in rain level, you can loop a 15-20 second piece of rain, and get away with it. (My goals are much higher than such short loops).

    Thunder is a different beast altogether. I\'m doing my best during this rainy season to collect as much thunder as I possibly can. (I recorded 3 very nice, loud thunder rolls this evening). In order to use thunder in a looped recording, you must either use it very sparingly across the recording, or have a very large batch to choose from. My personal goal is to have access to a very large batch of samples that I can use to build storms with. Variety is the spice of life, so the more samples, the better. I hope I can contribute something useful to the sampling community with my recordings.


  4. #4

    Re: Who is in need of a \'sounds of nature\' sample cd?

    I would love to have one, as you can never have enough of ambiences [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif[/img]

    My suggestion would be to have some very special creepy places... cave, forest by night, ghost town, desert, graveyard...
    And perhaps some cool animals, that really go wild. Pigs and birds screeching, wild animals roaring, elefants trumpeting a.s.o.

  5. #5

    Re: Who is in need of a \'sounds of nature\' sample cd?

    There is a state park an hour from here with alot of caves. I plan on going there to record whatever I can find. I will record many samples of birds as well. Any animal that I can record in an isolated environment (with little or no outside ambience), I will.

  6. #6

    Re: Who is in need of a \'sounds of nature\' sample cd?

    I\'ll be interested on buying a librairy like this. I know that quality doesn\'t come cheap for good ambience librairy. I will buy it if you got quality soft wind to hard wind into leaves and high winds of mountains. If you get different rainy template too. 24 bits 48 hz is a good resolution and samples rate, it is enough for me!

    Looking forward to this!

  7. #7

    Re: Who is in need of a \'sounds of nature\' sample cd?

    Hi Mike, just a thought. It\'s not \"nature\" persay, but I was reminded of something when you mentioned recording caves.

    I still can\'t find a good recording of a symphony/concert/church/theatre type of hall, just silence. Like the AC running quietly in a gynormous space that is insulated against outside noises, just little creaks here and there as the building forever resettles.

    It\'s not the most convenient thing for me to setup and record with my equipment, so I haven\'t ever gotten back to a place to do it. If you are really portable, I\'m sure there\'s some folks that\'d license these samples just for that alone. (I would, anyway [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smirk.gif[/img] )


  8. #8

    Re: Who is in need of a \'sounds of nature\' sample cd?

    Thanks for the responses, everyone. This project started out as a personal one, but as time went on, I found that the recordings could stand as a marketable set. I don\'t have enough natural sounds to release yet (in my opinion), but my collection is growing.

    I have been taking any free time available to record rain and thunder samples from many perspectives and areas. I have storms recorded by my bedroom window, the interior of my car (in many positions from just with in the car alone), the inner roof of my garage, facing out of my garage, under gazebos at local parks, etc.

    I\'m aware that there are other libraries that cover these areas, and they do so quite well. But, it is always nice to have something extra to work with, especially with thunder. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img] I will only release samples that I consider to be as high of quality that I can make with my gear, with minimal or no ambient noise, devoid of human sounds, etc. I also plan on selling the library for $30-40 dollars, depending on how much material I manage to create.

    Some of you may be wondering about my gear list, so here it is:
    Microphone: Rode NT-4 Stereo Condenser Mic (Fixed XY Cardioid Capsules)

    Mic Pre-Amp: Core Sound Mic2496 (Stereo 24/96 Mic Pre, A/D Converter with 48v Phantom) http://www.core-sound.com/Mic2496.html#INTRODUCTION

    Audio Interface:
    Core Sound PDAudio S/PDIF Interface Card

    Hard Disk Recorder:
    HP iPAQ 5150 running Pocket PC 2003 and Gidluck Mastering Live2496 recording software

    Recording Media:
    Hitachi Microdrive 4GB Compact Flash Type II Hard Drive
    http://www.hitachigst.com/portal/site/hgst/?epi_menuItemID=2dcd772d4d32c6fd25ad4e8060e4f0a0&a mp;epi_menuID=f3422d6ea3268f8d5f5a530560e4f0a0&amp ;epi_baseMenuID=22f0deefa8f3967dafa0466460e4f0a0

    I must say that I have been VERY pleased with the result of this extremely small setup. The mic pre is very low noise, and has a clean output with alot of definition.
    It is also flat within 0.2+-dB from 20Hz-20,000Hz, so the signal is \"true\". The small size of the setup allows me to go virtually anywhere and capture sounds, which, to me is a very wonderful thing! If anyone is interested, I can send some snippets of what I have available in .mp3 format. PM me if you are interested.

    Thanks again!

  9. #9

    Re: Who is in need of a \'sounds of nature\' sample cd?


    Sounds like a great setup. I\'ve been very interested in Core Sound\'s PDAUDIO system since he announced it. I\'m currently using a minidisc recorder with a Denecke AD-20 digital preamp and have been very happy with the results, but my next portable will definitely be the PDAUDIO. Have you recorded any live music with your setup? I would really like to hear a sample.

    -- Martin

  10. #10

    Re: Who is in need of a \'sounds of nature\' sample cd?

    I haven\'t recorded any music with this exact setup, but I did record a friends band using everything mentioned above, minus the PDA, PDAudio Card, and the Hitachi HD. Instead of those items, I used a Creative Labs Nomad Jukebox 3 (16/44.1 audio). It\'s a basement recording, and nothing to write home about, since the room has a nasty bass mode in it. But it is listenable.

    I\'m not much of a concert taper, mainly because I\'m very paranoid of what could happen to my gear. I would like to get a live show recorded, though. If only Primus would play this area again. (They welcome taping). [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

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