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Home Sound Effects North African Desert, Steppe & Shrubland

North African Desert, Steppe & Shrubland


A collection of stereo-ambient and mono-bird recordings made in spring, at the edge of the Saharan Atlas Mountains in eastern Morocco, and reflecting the sound of the deserts and other arid habitats of North Africa and beyond into the Middle East.

Please scroll down for full info and file list

*20% of the sale price of your purchase will go directly to Harmusch Estudio y Conservación de Fauna – a Spanish conservation research organisation and registered charity working with the Moroccan government to protect and restore the wildlife and habitats of the region
Licensor: Fleeting Sound
Category: .
Type: Nature sound effects / recordings
Specs: 33 files • 33 sounds • 24-bit/48kHz • 1.62GB • Includes metadata
Approx. 97 minutes total
Instant - blazingly-fast - digital download
License type:
Royalty-free - you can select the number of users on checkout

This first library from Fleeting Sound was recorded in early 2015 in the far south-eastern corner of east-Morocco. The land here is at the far western point of the plateau which extends 1500km east to west and at the foot of the north-western limit of the Saharan Atlas Mountains – the southern-most range of the Atlas Mountains, with the overall recording area at an elevation of around 800-1000m.

Forget endless, empty, arid desert plains – whilst wildlife is relatively sparse, and conditions are harsh, this is a stunningly varied region, with every day revealing new and different landscapes. The 10-day expedition captured the start of spring, with larks and wheatears coming into song, briefly, before winter unexpectedly hit back with a rare dusting of snow and below-freezing nighttime temperatures. Before long though the temperature had rebounded to 25º, the first crickets were chirping gently in the sun, and the biting wind dropped to a light breeze, stirring tufts of vegetation as flocks of chorusing fulvous babblers passed through and larks displayed above…



Key Features

  • 23 stereo atmospheres with birds, amphibians and insects
  • 10 mono single-bird recordings
  • detailed Soundminer and BWAV metadata including species
  • all recordings free of human-originated noise

Featured Habitats

Shrublands,  periodic-lakes and riverbeds, streams, sand-dune deserts, rock-deserts, stoney and grassy plains and rocky mountain-slopes.

Wildlife Vocalisations

Birds include crested and thekla lark, calandra lark, desert lark, desert wheatear, fulvous babbler, barbary falcon, linnet, ruddy duck, avocet and great grey shrike. Other wildlife sounds from frogs (sahara frog) and crickets. The frogs and insects and most of the birds have a range which extends right across arid areas of North Africa and, some of them, beyond into the Middle East.


Due to a technical fault (with the power to a Sound Devices 744T – I can’t tell you how disappointing that was!) what was supposed to be a collection of 5.0 surround recordings ended-up in stereo – a Sennheiser MKH30/8040 MS microphone setup recorded through Sound Devices MixPre-D preamps into a Sony PCM-D50.

Recording Characteristics

  • Low-noise (although expect lower signal-noise ratio for those recordings with very little atmospheric sound)
  • Carefully mastered to remove any unwanted artefacts whilst preserving low-frequency energy
  • Spatially balanced to ensure a coherent and immersive stereo image appropriate to the recording.
  • Continuous, unedited and uninterrupted, preserving the natural rhythms of the biophony.


20% of the sale price will go directly to Harmusch Estudio y Conservación de Fauna to help preserve and restore the habitats of all the contributors heard on this album.


All sounds recorded by Nicholas Allan, a Jackson Hole and BAFTA-nominated sound editor who, along with his team, has created the natural soundtracks for countless natural history TV documentaries and feature films for National Geographic, BBC, Discovery, Animal Planet, Netflix and others.


Special thanks to: José Luis Sánchez Balsera, Javi Herrera, Jose María Gil Sánchez, Andrew Wilson and Jolanta Brdej. 


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Fleeting Sound is a premium collection of sound effect libraries based on the regions and elements of the natural world.


The name is a reference to both the transient nature of environmental sound – heard as it is only in that moment – and the relatively brief period of time we live in known as the Holocene, where life on earth has reached an incredible peak of diversity that we came to know and is now being rapidly depleted by human activities as we move into a new geological age: the Anthropocene.


The aim for Fleeting Sound is to produce accurate renderings of the sound of the natural world which feature very little anthropogenic noise. Where the recording is meant to reflect a strongly human-influenced location, or where a landscape features humans or it’s livestock, it may however feature human-originated sound.


An aspect unique to Fleeting Sound is the categorising of sound regions. Rather than following political state boundaries (which nature does not!) it records and categorises locations by ecoregion and libraries often borrow their names from the ecoregion and biome in which they are recorded.


Fleeting Sound is recorded by UK-based Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival and BAFTA award-nominated sound editor/designer and recordist Nicholas Allan, who along with his team in Bristol has recorded the ambient sound and provided sound design and editing for countless hours of wildlife/natural history television documentaries and dramas for BBC, National Geographic, Animal Planet, Netflix and more, as well as many award-winning independent films.