Sound recording – and the need to avoid screaming kids!

An Audio-Technica AT815a shotgun microphone
Image via Wikipedia

As I have decided to pay much more attention to the sounds in my environment, today I took a pleasant hike along a meandering river – more of a big wide stream, really.

From a sound perspective it had great potential – burbling water, crickets, frogs, squirrels and chipmunks chirping, ducks and birds. Now that I pay attention to sound, I begin to hear interesting things everywhere.

But as my luck would have it, being a Sunday afternoon, I managed to time my hike in between several groups of screaming children. They had only one volume – FULL. A full quarter mile away and I could hear them fine with my own ears.

Twice I stopped to set up for sound recording – with a shotgun mic, a Canon HV30 camcorder, a Beachtek audio mixer, and an 18 inch shotgun mic. And twice I had to give up. If my ears could hear the screaming, imagine what that sounded like in a sensitive mic.

I learned something today – if trying to record natural environment sounds, I need to so so on weekday mornings, free of screaming kids. I had not planned today’s hike out very well, from an audio standpoint.

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