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Process

When recording nature, it is often difficult to find a subject free of excessive, man-made noise. Often, the environment is cluttered with the sounds of distant automobiles, aircraft, generators, etc. This requires me to be highly selective in choosing natural environments to record. It is much easier to make recordings of machines, people, streets, airports, etc.

I attempt to make quality recordings and because of this, my process is in a continual state of evolution. Currently, I record utilizing 24 bit/48 kHz sampling rates. This resolution is higher than those found on conventional compact discs and digital video discs. This resolution is maintained during the audio editing process and is not compromised until the recording is processed into a more deliverable medium.

I use Digital Performer to "clean up" each recording. I first listen to and view the waveform of each recording to determine if any material needs to be removed. This is rare, but occasionally some of the recordings contain extraneous noises that were not intended to be captured. I also listen for any unwanted frequencies within the recording. An example of this would be a distant generator or other rogue frequencies with abnormal qualities. Very mild equalization is used to handle these issues. I also listen to the dynamic range of the recording. If it is determined that this range is too great for conventional speakers and headphones, a small amount of limiting is applied using a plugin that process data in 64 bits.

After this type of minor editing, I then prepare a version suitable for internet delivery. Currently, all recordings on this site are offered to the public as mp3 files. These have been prepared using a 16 bit/44.1 kHz sampling rate. Each mp3 file is created using a constant 256 kbps rate. Each file is encoded using dithering and noise shaping in order to compensate for the removal of data from the original 24 bit/48 kHz sampling rate.

As stated, this process is evolving. It has been brought to my attention by the makers of the DSM microphone system (the one I've used for the majority of these recordings) that it would make better sense to use a 24 bit/88.1 or 44.1 sampling rate when capturing sounds. This will allow better conversion when the recordings are pared down to the mp3 format utilizing a 44.1 kHz sampling rate. I will try this for future recordings.

More coming soon...

designer/webmasterUpdated on January 18, 2009