Cormorants sound library was recorded during 4 recording sessions spread through the course of two months. Recording this library was really challenging, due to difficulties with getting into the location, and staying hidden in the middle of more than 1000 nests colony.
Pre production process started one week before first session two months ago. Along with wild life videographer I’ve swam to the island on the boat, along with a lot of materials to built a hiding spot. First recording session took place when the birds were laying eggs. The sounds recorded that time were really disturbed because of the huge amount of seagulls flying all over that day. The second and third time was when I actually managed to record sounds of adult cormorants with satisfying quality. I’ve used mono Rode NTG3 microphone, along with DPA 4061 hidden in the nest and Sony PCM-M10 recorder to capture wider sound image.
Our last visit on this island was few weeks after the nestlings appeared. I wanted to capture as many sounds of them as I could without disturbing them too much. As a result I’ve ended up with a lot of great sounding ambients and detailed squeaks, which you can hear in the preview file on soundcloud. Originally the amount of the material was twice as big as a final library, so it means that 2/3 of recorded sounds ( about 400 minutes ) were not good enough to publish it.
Also over the last two months I’ve used different equipment and mic placement techniques to record as many variables of sounds as I could. I was really limited to one chance of mounting my microphones per recording session, because I was not allowed (and did not wanted) to spook those animals more than I had to, especially when the nestlings appeared.
As you can hear in the preview file, the sounds of cormorants are really detailed, because of the super close perspective. In some cases, cormorants were literally walking on my DPA microphones. All files were recorded in 96kHz and 24bits with equipment like: Sound Devices 702, Sony PCM-M10, Rode NTG3, two Oktavas MK012 with different adapters and capsules and two DPA 4061. When it comes to the usability of this library, I think that it’s a great source material for designing sound for different creatures. The textures of nestling recordings are perfect to start designing sounds of small out of the world animals.
Some of the files also contain seagulls, which unfortunately are a part of cormorants colonies. The amount of those ‘unwanted’ sound effects in my files is really low though, and some of them were left on purpose. Even though it’s all about cormorants, the single squeaks those seagulls can make are really great.
Below you can see some of the picture I’ve shoot on the location and video I’ve recorded with Nikon D5500 and Sigma 120-300mm f 2.8 lens.
Last but not least, some fun facts. During recording process of this library I’ve driven more than 1000 km, swam in a small boat 8 hours in total, drank 20 cups of hot tea, washed my clothes 4 times (you won’t believe how bad that colony smelled) and lost a 24 hours of sleeping time, but I think it was worth it!
Sound list is available here – Cormorants
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