This is a series of pure nature surround ambiences. The challenge was to produce everyday forest, meadow, lake and other natural soundscape libraries, free from anthropogenic and technogenic noise. I found such area without air traffic or highways within dozens of kilometres around, 1100 km from Moscow by car, the last 100 km by dirt roads. Then it took backpacking on foot and then going on a rowboat over lakes to get to the areas lost in swamps, where no car or motorboat or human voice sound reaches. There were a few abandoned small villages around, but the last inhabitants left them in 1970-s. The clarity of the soundscapes and absence of ubiquitous low rumble was overwhelming.
I used the great quad Nevaton MC-50 large diaphragm condenser mic into Zaxcom Fusion 12 recorder. One of the quietest mics in the world, with very rich and natural sound and frequency range from 5Hz to 40 kHz at least. It yields fantastic depth of acoustic field. Thanks to the rather compact size of my mic setup and it’s excellent resistance to high humidity I was able to record deep in forests and swamps or even from a boat. All recordings were made at 24bit 96kHz. Many locations were recorded at several times of day and night to get the comprehensive coverage of different daytime, weather, birds and insects activity, distance perspective and landscape acoustics. I also took photos of all the recording locations. I met many birds from everyday thrushes to Hobby falcon and Arctic Loons. The ones I was able to identify are listed in the files’ Name and in more details in “Description” metadata field.
I aimed at making the final product ready for spotting into your timeline, being sure that no additional editing is needed on the user’s side, except the creative placement and manipulation of sounds. Editing and mastering was done in my professional 5.1 calibrated mixing room. The level of the monitoring was set at 79dBc and the files were mastered in such a way that they sound a bit louder than in reality, making the library convenient for use in cinema and broadcast productions. Absolutely no denoising or whole-file processing was applied, only gentle lowpass filter against wind rumble. All the single close clicks from grass or branches, that could distract the viewer’s attention, were surgically removed with Izotope RX 7 Advanced. The result is 61 quad surround files or 5 hours 10 min total play time. Most of the files are 4-6 minutes long. Some are consecutive recordings of 2-3 files, each file with it’s distinctive character, that can be joined together seamlessly. The microphone is strictly symmetric, so you can use all channels, choose any channel or a combination of channels.
The files are embedded with reach Soundminer and BWF metadata including WAVE markers pointing at interesting events in the files and visible in Soundminer, Reaper, Izotope RX and other DAWs, a CSV file with exported Soundminer metadata is included for import into other sound librarian applications. The special metadata feature of this library is that the Soundminer “Artwork” field contains the photos of the corresponding recording locations taken at the moment of recording. A folder with the photos in jpg format is also included for those who don’t use Soundminer.
This library is a great choice for period, fantasy or wilderness scenarios, as well as any production in need of Northern Europe nature sounds.
Number of files – 132 4-channel quad surround files 96kHz / 24bit
Total duration – 10 hours 53 minutes; Total size 45.6 GB
Metadata – Soudminer, including location photos in the “Artwork” field; BWF including WAVE markers visible in Soundminer, Reaper and other DAWs; CSV files exported from Soundminer; a folder with location photos
Microphone – Nevaton MC-50 Quad (Double XY) large condenser microphone. Recorder – Zaxcom Fusion 12.
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