The sound of ball bearings seizing up

There’s a characteristic sound of bearings seizing up, and I first came across this with car wheel-bearings – they screech for weeks before going, but car sounds are hard to localise. Feeling the massive heft to the right in the fast lane of the A12 as the driver’s side wheel-bearing collapses and jams means I know that this sound means a bearing on the way out, even if here it is only on a neighbour’s Flymo :)

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Night Football Practice at UCS

All the training pitches were in use on Easter Monday evening, with the sounds of the church bells behind the sound of the busy pitches.

 

World Listening Day 2013

It’s R. Murray Schafer‘s birthday today. In 1973 he research the Vancouver soundscape, later extending it to compare five European villages from a soundscape point of view.

The research became the basis of ‘Acoustic Ecology’, a discipline that R. Murray Schafer developed to further investigate ‘soundscapes’, which are understood as the sonic interface between living beings and their environment.

World Listening Day is held on his birthday to celebrate Schafer’s contribution to the art of listeing to the world, rather than just hearing it. I’ve usually aimed to try and isolate sounds, other than in the lo-fi urban environment where you just can’t do that. However, in tribute to R. Murray Schafer’s ideas, I had a go, starting off with the birds at dawn. It’s a bit past the time for the classic dawn chorus, but these birds in a semi-rural location in Rushmere made a decent attempt at a soundscape for me.

XY recording

For a change I tried an urban field recording at Ipswich Marina, this recording starts with oystercatchers at the beginning, to the right is the sound of some construction work that has been restarted after a couple of years. A woman in a RIB motors to her boat moored somewhere in the marina which is mainly to the left. Some foot and bicycle traffic passes. The waterfront has been redeveloped for leisure over the last decade.

 

Binaural recording with Soundman OKMII

Finally I gave in to the separator in me and recored the sound of this tarmac laying crew and their machine, in particular the backing up sound.

The reversing sound is an electronic noise played through speaker, which highlighted one of the issues R. Murray Shafer picked up – Continue reading

Leeds Victoria Quarter covered arcade

Des Coulam of Soundlandscapes had warmed me up that glass-covered markets had a great ambience. He has a whole section dedicated to the Parisian passages-couvertes so I was chuffed to find this one on a visit to Leeds – the old Victoria Quarter.

 

Swifts on a warm summer evening

Swifts are one of the fantastic soundmarks of summer, and they sound at their best in the city, with their high-pitched screaming resonating from the houses all around. You get them in rural parts too, but the sound needs the hard surfaces of the city when they come in low at rooftop height in the warm summer evenings. According to the BTO they like towns.

The Devil’s Bird is the devil’s own job to record, too. You don’t try and track them, there’s just no hope to get anything directional on the job, and they screming groups tend to spread out as they get close too. Just don’t even thing of using a parabolic dish or a shotgun mic ;)

This one is basically the Olympus LS-10 with internal mics propped in a first-floor window, and snipped out of a long trawl for swifts, Then I used a parametric EQ to hit some of the town traffic rumble.

 

Goods Train from Felixstowe, Ipswich St Mary’s

I have some time to do more recording now. Okay, so it’s not hyper-original recording trains but I liked the screech of the wheel flanges as it rounds a fairly gentle bend. I was at the same level as the track across a dip due to the lie of the land

goods train through the trees

Also a chance to see how this Audioboo thing works… which seems to be pretty well

 

Blackbird Fuss

Pair of blackbirds kicking up a hell of a racket and chipping noise, I was too far to see the offending predator, probably a squirrel

Egg boiling on stove

I like this sound, it’s calming, in a lumpy and random sort of way. A gas stove is seriously noisy, too, from a six-inches away sort of perspective.

Eggs on stove