Jun 27 2011
Plovers nest on the ground and, during nesting season, will often terrorise anyone trying to walk through a park, an oval or even crossing the medium strip of a road. If any of you have had the misfortune of being attacked by the Spur Winged Plover, their attack calls are something you never forget. For the last 16 years, Spur Winged Plovers have been nesting in our paddock. Each year, a pair nest within 10 metres of the year before. The image below shows the current nest about 3 metres from the bedroom window. In the night, their protective calls are the things nightmares grow from.
I found this photo on Wiki that clearly shows the spur on the leading edge of the wing. Being hit by the spur causes severe pain and the blood to flow quite freely.
They attack with a coordinated effort. One bird will fly up and swoop in from the front and the other, having circled around, will come in at 90 degrees to the first. They both arrive on target within a second of each other and from two directions. One calling, to distract you, and the other often silent.
In flying, pilots perform what is called a procedure turn. Fly away from an object, turn 90 degrees (in either direction) reverse the turn and continue for 270 degrees to come back at the object. Plovers have mastered this manouvre with ease. I’ve watched this happen time after time. Attack, swoop past, turn, reverse, attack. What a fantastic bird.
Apr 27 2011
Whilst setting up my gear to record a friend performing her own compositions for piano, her husband gave a short demonstration of didgeridoo playing. Linda joined in with her cello and I just managed to finish and hit record in time to grab a short snippet of it before they stopped.
Linda Weddell (Cello) and Andrew Salmon (Didgeridoo). Impromptu and unrehearsed. I will be back to record more from this duet of disparate instruments in the near future. Possibly in the nearby Kuitpo forest.
Schoeps CCM4Lg/CCM8Lg in M/S
Mar 07 2011
It’s that time of the year again for the two day gathering that is the ‘Power Of The Past’ in Mt Barker. With another great display of stationary engines.
The sounds that emanate from them range from fast stacatto clicking, to slow clunking thumps, to asthmatic wheezing and arthritic groans.
Whilst this event has a lot of engines running at once, I’ve tried to capture individual engines without too much background noise. Not always successful, but still very satisfying.
Recording set-up consists of a Schoeps CCM4Lg & CCM8Lg in M/S configuration, inside a Schoeps/Rycote blimp. Tracked directly into a Sound Devices 702 (originally at 24/96 & converted to MP3 at 320 kbps)
Apr 02 2010
I usually have my blimp filled with a Schoeps CCM4Lg/CCM8Lg in M/S configuration. But it was suggested to me that ORTF is very good for ambient recording, giving a nice stereo image. So after a bit of thought I came up with a way to use ORTF in my Schoeps/Rycote stereo blimp. This blimp is usually supplied for the M/S rig by Schoeps. Using the theory that a picture tells a thousand words, here is a 13,000 word instruction manual on how to do it. Be aware that this method is only good for use when mounting the blimp on a tripod or stand because there is only one clip holding it. And the handle is still in it’s normal orientation.
Mar 06 2010
In March each year, there is two day gathering of collectors in Mt Barker. Old cars are polished and brought out for a drive, but the main attraction is all of the wonderful old ‘stationary engines’.
There are several hundred stationary engines on display and most are restored to working order. The sound of these beautifully restored bits of history are fantastic. If you get there early enough, the noise is bearable, as most people are still setting up and only a few engines are running. Too late and the sounds clash into an un-recordable chaos.
Recording set-up consists of a Schoeps CCM4Lg & CCM8Lg in M/S configuration, inside a Schoeps/Rycote blimp. Tracked directly into a Sound Devices 702 (originally at 24/96 & converted to MP3)
Oct 14 2009
Before heading overseas I looked for a solution to my backpack needs for recording. I eventually settled on a Kata 3n1 30 backpack. See here for photos of the modifications I made to it and a Rode blimp for my Schoeps CCM4/CCM8 MS microphone rig.
Oct 14 2009
Sep 25 2009
I’ve just returned from Ukraine where we stayed in a two bedroom apartment about 800 meters from central Kiev on Lesi Ukrainky Boulevard. Situated on the 4th floor, it’s the second balcony up in the photo. Directly across the street, a new extension to a hotel was being built.
Whilst the apartment was very comfortable and secure, we had to negotiate the elevator from hell. It was just big enough to get two people and bags into. You could be forgiven for thinking the elevator shaft and stair well were in a crack house.
Ukraine is fantastic. The people are friendly, but if you intend to go there, learn Russian not Ukrainian. It was a mistake we made but we quickly picked up a few Russian phrases to get by. Russian is actually easier than Ukrainian but that may have something to do with all the ‘Cold War’ films I watched in my youth.
We did the smart thing and hired a guide for Wednesday and Friday afternoon (Thursday we went to Pripyat & Chernobyl). Tatiana was a big help and it was great to be shown around Kiev by a native of the city. However, I think I enjoyed sitting and talking about our different lifestyles more than the site seeing. Over lunch we discussed religion, politics, books, films, relationships, travel, food, history and anything else that struck a common ground between our two very different cultures.
There is an interesting mix of old and new in Ukraine. Brand new Mercedes four wheel drives, Mazda 3’s all over and the local electric trams.
Without Tatiana, we wouldn’t have attempted the Metro. At around 157 metres, the deepest underground station in Europe is in Kiev. People sit down on the escalators like it’s an amusement park ride. It takes around 3 minutes to descend over 100 metres. If there was ever a fire in the station, I think there would be a huge loss of life. The Metro is very cheap, fast and frequent, however all the signs are in Cyrillic and, without a guide, we’d have been quickly lost.
Recording set-up consists of a Schoeps CCM4Lg & CCM8Lg in M/S configuration, inside a Schoeps/Rycote blimp. Tracked directly into a Sound Devices 702 (originally at 24/96)
Aug 18 2009
Lately I’ve been busy recording musical stuff. Brass & Concert bands for the two day Strathalbyn Band Festival (consecutive Sundays), and the SA Country Choral Festival at Mt Barker (on the Saturday between the two Sundays). I’ve neglected just recording ‘stuff’, so here’s a quick sound from a bygone era. Kerry was given an old phone as a gift and although it’s a bit larger than the phones of today, it’s very solid. We’re going to see if anyone can wire it up for use.
Apr 19 2009
Sunday morning. The sheep know that when I’m in the barn, they’re about to be fed. In this recording, they become quite vocal when, first one, then the other six ewes in the paddock realise they’re about to get some hay. Once the hay is dropped (at about 2:00 minutes) they can be heard running between the three piles, making sure the others aren’t getting the better stuff. To a sheep, the grass truly is greener on the other side. The squawking birds in the background are Sulphur Crested Cockatoos. (other birds include plover, magpie, currawong, various parrots and the neighbours chickens & geese)
Also notice how dry the area is. The green paddock in the background is constantly watered by our neighbour to feed his Alpacas.
BTW:- In regards to the title of this post, we buy our lamb from the butcher.
Recording set-up consists of a Rode NT4, inside a Rode blimp. Tracked directly into a Sound Devices 702 (originally at 24/96)