A guest post by Joe Campbell:
Great natural sounds! Gordon made 25 years of field recordings. He's making binaural recordings ("sound portraits"). These probably sound great over headphones. Maybe surround sound next, although that's much more difficult to get right in both recording and playback.
Gordon is absolutely right about the search for silence. I've been attempting to record Great Horned Owls near my home. (I have them on both sides of my house and they call back and forth from about 1-2 am – it's amazing.) The noise-free interval at 1-2 am is unfortunately shorter than the duration of their half minute calls :-(. When we purchased our home, noise level was a major consideration (for music listening), yet a minute of silence is rare here in this fully developed region of Massachusetts.
I see an X-Y recording of bugs (it's nice not to have to wear headphones). Gee, with inexpensive hi-fi 4-channel digital audio recorders (e.g., Zoom H4n), I wonder why Gordon doesn't simultaneously record binaurally and in X-Y?
[(myl)The above is a guest post by Joe Campbell. (Well, it was originally an email to me, which he kindly agreed to let me post.)
Hempton's "head on a stick" reminds of Jim West, who has been awarded the 2010 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Electrical Engineering (with Gerard Sessler) for inventing the electret microphone. One of the many things that Jim West did with this invention was to build microphones into the ears of a head somewhat like the one shown in the video clip above. The results were impressive, especially the sound of a baseball bat swung just over the crown of the head, which was impossible to hear over earphones without reflexively ducking.
I'm looking forward to the Sessler-West symposium to be held at Temple University on Wednesday morning.]