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Author Topic: Recording Water?  (Read 338 times)
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Balor/SS1535
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« on: May 31, 2022, 02:58:50 AM »

I am planning on doing some recordings of various water sources, and wanted to hear how others have approached the the process or recording/working with water in the context of noise generally.

What have you tried, and what has worked?  What has not worked out?

I am not looking for a solution to how to record a specific situation or anything, rather I am interested in hearing a variety of experiences/ideas so as to identify some specific methods to experiment with.
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FreakAnimalFinland
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« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2022, 09:21:48 AM »

I would say that this solely depends on what type of things you want to do. Under water sounds, of course you need hydrophone or slightly waterproof contact mic. That'll work out for many things, but at the same time, under water sounds captured with piezzo are slightly limited range. It is what it is, unless you start to incorporate other things.
Seen people doing things like recording stones, metal pieces, and such.. Even Grunt already years ago, in albums like Petturien Rooli for example, some sounds would be generated with wheelbarrow filled with water and stones, mic'ed and you would get odd, almost unrecognizeable sounds you quite can't get what exactly it is, what type of efx or gadgets... but there was none really. Just the sound of "objects".
On Selected Killing 3"CD, all the acoustic sounds were conceptual recordings. When song deal with bloated corpses decaying on lake, it was indeed recordings of lake. Capturing sounds of water and objects in the water. Or the one track with crime scene cleansing, where it almost sounds as if it was merzbow-esque filter sweeps and white-noise-fuzz, but it really is just high pressure water cleaning stone surfaces.

For recordings, dynamic microphone, condenser microphone, shotgut field recording condenser etc.. all been used depending what type of sound is needed to be and how exactly water is meant to sound.

You got some Finnish projects, I would name KSNK and Sick Seed who clearly used some sources like rain. But not like newage'ish relaxing rain, but field recordings of some specific location where rain hits the metal sheet, or some sort of object and all resonance and such is as vivid as the "polyrhythmic" hammering of the rain itself. You can recognize what it is, but it doesn't make it less interesting.
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Balor/SS1535
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« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2022, 05:16:52 PM »


Seen people doing things like recording stones, metal pieces, and such.. Even Grunt already years ago, in albums like Petturien Rooli for example, some sounds would be generated with wheelbarrow filled with water and stones, mic'ed and you would get odd, almost unrecognizeable sounds you quite can't get what exactly it is, what type of efx or gadgets... but there was none really. Just the sound of "objects".


Thank you, all you posted is interesting and helpful.  For the wheelbarrow recording, did you use a contact mic (on the wheelbarrow itself or the objects in it) or a regular microphone?
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FreakAnimalFinland
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« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2022, 09:09:38 AM »

It is so long ago, kind of hard to remember, but I think it was done with zoom mini digital recorder in-built mics.

I would advice a lot of folks to get back into regular dynamic microphone. For live, it can be tricky. For a lot of studio recordings, where feedback is not so difficult to control, but many times contact mic has that very recognizeable sound that is neat for some things, but for some things, especially for louder sounds, you may be ending up having kind of... just the piezzo overload crackles. Barely the sound source itself with all its delicate qualities.

Very often, you can simply use condenser microphone or dynamic microphone, touching the object and you might get vastly better sound than with real "contact mic". This includes inbuild mics of Zoom H2n type of devices. Of course, in rough treatment they will eventually break, but that's the price for good noise, hehe..

Also guitar microphones (pick ups) can be good to test for metal resonance recordings.
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