Seagulls at the beach

Some time ago, I updated the firmware on my Zoom H1 so that I could use it as a USB mic with my phone. As soon as I got my hands on a USB to micro-USB adapter, it was ready to go. Nice!

Recording the beach at night

My urge to do some field recording was in the back of my mind when my wife and I took our newborn for a trip to the city beach. I noticed there were some very nice sounds of the ocean there. Specifically, there is a concrete path next to the beach and so you can place a mic on the concrete next to the beach and point it to where the waves come up on the sand. In stereo, this creates a pleasing effect where you can hear the wave rolling in from one side to the other.

There were also places where concrete steps led down into the ocean and these trap sound a bit like a bathroom – it sounds like an enclosed space even if it’s open! I wanted to mic that as well.

So, I went back around midnight when I figured there would be less people around and recorded a bit. Unfortunately, there was a slight breeze and it fucked things up, even after I put a foam windscreen on. The H1 seems very susceptible to wind-noise when out in the open. Perhaps I can build a little shelter that it can point out from.

Seagulls on the balcony

The next day, after breakfast, I put some food out on the balcony to attract some seagulls. Eventually a bunch of them showed up and I recorded them with my H1. Unfortunately, that day was even windier and so I got even more wind in my recordings. Still, I also recorded a bit of seagull action.

Mixing it all together

I put it all in reaper and started removing the bits with wind in it. Okay, all of it was windy, but in some cases, you could actually hear ambience and it was possible to EQ the wind away to some extent.

I overlapped the sound of the beach and the sound of the seagulls and I got a relatively short stereo sound clip compared to how much time was spent recording.

So here it is, the sound of Kristiansand Bystranda (town beach) at midnight paired with seagulls fighting over food scraps on our balcony, heavily edited and EQed of course!

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