category: field

asphalt

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Is it possible to identify a city in sound?

The well-known, the world cities yes. In New York, Lagos, Baghdad, Mumbai there are unique sounds by which someone in Dubai, Berlin or Dakar could identify the city, without having been there. But if you asked people in Tbilisi, Beijing or Bosten to listen to sounds of less-known cities like Manama, Doha or Kiel …? We can only recognize what we have already learned.
These were my thoughts when I realised I had no photo to this recording and tried to find one instead. This recording was taken in one of the less-known cities, in global terms. I did not particularly try to set sound marks that identify the recording location. For my purposes it is much more important to me to capture the spatial quality of a place as good as possible, the movement of people and the ambience.

This recording is a lucky chance. Late-summer day, late afternoon, 4.30/ 5.00 pm, unusually good weather, a scenario as if it was a grand summer finale, what it actually was, as it turned out. The next day summer had gone. I wanted to go across the square towards the main station and get my train quickly but then decided spontaneously against the train and for an extensive recording with ear microphones
(OKM Soundman).

Bremer Marktplatz   02:25   mp3
Unedited excerpt, binaural stereo

Made to be listened to with headphones

  ♦

 

adjusted to the darkness

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RB Night sounds – Adjusted to the darkness

 

 

„Night sounds“– Acoustic images

I have taken the recordings  (with a pair of ear microphones, OKM II Soundman)  last summer in order to use them as some stand-alone narrative sequences in my radio piece “Der Nachtportier” – “The night porter”.

While capturing I was standing at the entrance of a city hotel, facing the other side of the street. The night porter normally likes to stand there sometimes after midnight watching the bustle on the streets. I wanted to record from his perspective.

The location provides a wide stereo image, what makes it a great pleasure to record binaural audio.

late check-in

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RB Night sounds – Didn’t I tell you

 

I recommend headphones so that you can get best results while listening.


R E C … R E C … R E C …

I pleaded with the good spirits of field recording for active cooperation: Can you please arrange a pedestrian to come from the extreme left or right edge of my audio stereo image increasingly closer to where I am, then pass by –without talking to me, please, even if I am standing here like a living statue, irritating people–, and then move away to the other edge of the stereo image? You think you can do that? And please, if you don’t mind, I’d like trams coming from each side and voices here and there. And, if possible, can you arrange all that as a narrative sequence, duration, let’s say, 1:30 to 2:00 minutes? Thank you.  –  Everything worked fine.

 

costas closed earlier tonight 1200

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RB night sounds – Costas closed earlier tonight

 

Here is a little mind journey
to use as a break in between or
for a good nights sleep.
Please
put your headphones on
lay back
+ listen

half asleep in Cayo Coco

Dozily laying in the sand dunes of Cayo Coco, Cuba

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Binaural recording, 02:40, unedited. Recorded with Soundman OKM Microphone

 

Ocean waves for small breaks at the desk

I have been recording a lot of sounds of landscapes and cities for quite a few years, the so-called field recordings. If you have stopped by here on the blog before, you will probably have read about my passion for deepening in these kinds of sounds. I use field recordings as raw material for various electro-acoustic sound pieces. But some I also take as my personal mind journeys, quick getaways when I work fully concentrated over many hours. I listen to the Cayo Coco-recording quite often. It works wonders, for me at least. Although the place itself is not relevant as I could have made similar recordings at similar places.

When I recorded in Cayo Coco, I was sitting at a place in the dunes where the sea was about 30, 40 meters away and there were just a few people, far away from where I was. Most people had gone for lunch. And that is why I was lucky to get this recording you can hear now, i.e. the ocean waves further away in order to leave a ‘space in between’, and no human voices. Not to forget the little bird next to me chirping loud, a single time, to be part of the show.

That it is relaxing to listen to ocean waves is nothing new, we all know that. But again and again it is amazing to enjoy the positive effect it has on you yourself.