Surround field recording Asbjoern Andersen


Late last week, I spotted that Field Recordist and Senior Sound Designer Rick Hernandez shared some intriguing images from a surround recording project he’d just been undertaking.

He’d been recording in forests, canyons, parks, and wetlands, and I was curious to hear more about the project and his experiences.

He was kind enough to share the story – and not only that: He also shared the recordings he captured, and you can download those for free below! You’re welcome to use those recordings in whatever way you like.


Written by Rick Hernandez



 

My name is Rick Hernandez, I am a Sr. Sound Designer at Respawn Entertainment & Lead Sound Designer and Field Recordist at Melee Sound Design.
I’ve been recording out on the field for many years, but last year I decided to peruse it at a higher level and the result was the soundpack RUPTURE, published by SoundMorph – and I’ve just released the Dimensions door soundpack.
Recently I got inspired to go out on the field again to record surround ambiences when I rewatched the Soundtacker movie, which is a film about iconic audio recordist Gordon Hempton.

I love recording the sounds of nature and ambiences in surround sound, and I’ve been able to capture some really great recordings in the past, but the setup time and the results can be very frustrating. Setting up a tree with five different microphones takes time, a lot of testing and re adjusting, lots of cables and moving from place to place is very time consuming. Even after setting up everything meticulously, the results were mixed due to wind, weather, and inaccurate imaging.

But recently I got the opportunity to demo a DPA5100 Mobile Surround Microphone. The DPA 5100 is a solidly-built, multicapsuled Surround Sound microphone that uses Windtex fabric technology to nest an array of five capsules. The capsules are Omni-directional and make use of the DPA DiPMic (Directional Pressure Microphone). It is incredibly easy to setup and has a very wide and astonishingly accurate 5.1 imaging.


DPA 5100 surround microphone

The DPA 5100 Mobile Surround Microphone

What I like most about the microphone is its wide dynamic range with having low sensitivity to wind noise which is so important when recording exterior ambiences. It also has and incredibly low noise floor and I can conveniently place it on a microphone stand and record surround ambiences in a flash. On to the recording…
 
[tweet_box]Surround field recording adventures in forests, canyons, parks, & wetlands[/tweet_box]  

Location 1: Angeles National Forest (Pasadena)

The first location I visited was the Angeles National Forest in Pasadena. It has a pretty big waterfall with a long down stream of water leading up to it.



Waterfall recording in Angeles National Forest


I wanted to record the more delicate steam rather than the white wash white noise of the waterfall. I got there in the early afternoon before the light drizzle and rains that were occurring that week in LA. As you can see from the videos, I was able to easily mount the 5100 on a mic stand and record both up and down the steam. For this field recording trip I took out my amazing Zoom F8 which has the ability to let me record from about 30 feet away using the F8 Control App on my iPad. After I recorded the steam, I also ended up recording the waterfall once I recorded the stream.. figured I was already there.
 

Recordings from Angeles National Forest:

To hear the 5.1 recordings, click through to Soundcloud for each example and download there:
 
Stream

Foggy Night

 
Here are all the surround recordings – in one go:

Want to save yourself some clicking and get all the 5.1 recordings in this story, in one go? Just enter your name and valid email address below to get the download link + the much-loved A Sound Effect newsletter:

 


Sorry, the offer is currently not available - but the A Sound Effect newsletter comes with free sounds in every issue (+ exclusive stories, interviews, guides, audio jobs, audio events, sound highlights and more). Get it right here.


 
NB: If you don’t receive the email with the download link, please check your spam folder. Oh, and existing newsletter subscribers can of course get the sounds too.
 

Recording in Ballona Wetlands

Location 2: Ballona Wetlands (Playa Del Rey)

After some lunch at the Switzer picnic area, I headed over to the west side to the Ballona Wetlands. It was starting to get darker and the rain that we had gotten in the days prior had brought out the wildlife. There were storks everywhere, frogs were singing and the insects were all about. These wetlands are one of the few remaining in the Los Angeles Basin. These wetlands have been the subject of a battle between developers and environmentalists that has been going on for over twenty years. Hopefully we can preserve this land and its amazing wildlife.
 

Recordings from Ballona Wetlands:

To hear the 5.1 recordings, click through to Soundcloud for each example and download there:

 
[tweet_box]Download +1GB worth of surround ambiences from forests, canyons, parks & wetlands[/tweet_box]  

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    WHAT’S INSIDE?

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Recording in Simi Valley Canyon

Location 3: Simi Valley Canyon (Simi Valley)

The next day I went to record at the Simi Valley Canyon. The Simi Valley is a synclinal valley in Southern California connected to the San Fernando Valley. It is an enclosed valley surrounded by mountains and hills. Again there were many birds and other wildlife due to heavy rainfall in the days prior.

One of my favorite things in this location was the local Acorn woodpecker. It’s a small sized bird that when pecking at trees to find food produces a really loud sound the echoes through the valley. I was perched up and elevated on a mountain looking over a neighborhood and the echo on the recordings was very unique.
 

Recording from Simi Valley:

To hear the 5.1 recording, click through to Soundcloud for each example and download there:

 
 

Surround Recording in Two Strike Park

Location 4: La Crescenta Two Strike Park (La Crescenta)

As I made my way back home from Simi Valley it was about 9:00pm and completely dark. It was raining, so I decided to go to a nearby park near my house that has lots of trees and other vegetation. The rain falling and dripping down the dozens of trees in the surrounding area and creating splashes and puddles that created some really interesting sonic textures. I used the OC5100 Outdoor Cover that is included with the mic to protect the mic from rain and unwanted contact mic sounds. In the past I’ve had to rig an enclosure with hair hog in a process that is impractical and time consuming so the OC5100 is invaluable to anyone recording rain on under rainy conditions.

Recordings from Two Strike Park:

To hear the 5.1 recordings, click through to Soundcloud for each example and download there:

Recording with surround ambiences was a blast with the DPA 5100. All the gear I needed was my Zoom F8, the DPA 5100 with its cable and both the Outdoor Cover/Windjammer and a microphone stand.


The Zoom F8 Recorder and Zoom F8 Control on an iPad

The Zoom F8 Recorder and Zoom Control


The recordings I was able to capture with the Zoom F8 and DPA 5100 were amazing and I’m really happy with the imaging I got from the locations recorded.

Technology is an amazing thing, and with the latest advancements that DPA and Zoom have done in recent years it is now possible to go out on the field and capture pristine sounding Surround Recordings without having to live out of your van.
 

A big thanks to Rick Hernandez for sharing his recording experiences! Read more about Meleee Sound Design here, and hear more about Titanfall 2 from Respawn Entertainment, a project he’s been Senior Sound designer on.

 

Please share this:


 



 
 
THE WORLD’S EASIEST WAY TO GET INDEPENDENT SOUND EFFECTS:
 
A Sound Effect gives you easy access to an absolutely huge sound effects catalog from a myriad of independent sound creators, all covered by one license agreement - a few highlights:

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    You will find idle engine sounds, powerful engine revs, slow and fast starts, crazy accelerations and wild breaking, roaring overtakings, tandem battles, tire screeches and skids echoing beautifully in the air. The audio found in our library is not limited to startups, shutdowns and gear shifts, but also offers ambiences of pit lane and working team crews.

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    The intention wasn’t to cover vehicles driving, but to get isolated and very closely recorded mechanical elements of engines and exhaust pipes as a source material for sound design. There are many starts, idles, revs, offs, RPMs variations, backfires etc. Some are heavy and large sounding, some are small and funny. Tractors were captured EXT and most of stationary engines INT, but since they are very closely recorded there is just a little amount of reverb on most of them.

    Most of engines are 1 or 2 cylinders and low horse power and their RPMs are also low. Thanks to this, many of those sounds aren’t tonal and can easily be used as additional layer with other design elements. They work great for adding vintage character, designing junky or funny vehicles, crazy huge steampunk machines or engines malfunction.

    Sounds were recorded using multi-mic setup: Sanken CO-100k (most of the time pointing mechanical parts), Sennheiser MKH-8060 (mainly for isolated exhaust pipe), Schoeps CMC6XT mk41/mk8 (general image) and part also with Trance Audio Inducer contact mics (adding unique mechanical perspective).

    The library is delivered as multitrack 192kHz files, as well as stereo mix of all microphones. Thanks to using microphones with extended frequency range, drastic pitch changes can be applied.
    All files have extensive metadata created in Soundminer, including leg picker with microphone labels.

    Demo files include pitched sounds, which are not delivered with library.

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    CASUAL UI | Sound Effects | Trailer

    Upgrade your UI

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    Feedback sounds

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    From arcade to how-to
    With sounds that span from quirky and playful to neatly informative, CASUAL UI is a treasure trove designed to meet diverse creative needs – from positive videos to explainer content, and more – making it an indispensable tool in any content creator’s arsenal.

    INCLUDED SOUNDS – KEYWORDS
    CLICK, PLOP, WIPE, WHOOSH, CARD, COIN, POOF, EXPLOSION, IMPACT, SHIMMER, RATTLE, EFFECT, MATERIAL WOOD, MATERIAL PAPER, MATERIAL LIQUID, MATERIAL ROCK, UI, GAME, INTERFACE, MOBILE

    20 %
    OFF
    Ends 1714514399
    20 %
    OFF
    Ends 1714514399
    20 %
    OFF
    Ends 1714514399
    20 %
    OFF
    Ends 1714514399
  • Embark on an auditory journey into the heart of Asian gambling with our meticulously crafted collection of royalty-free music and sound effects. Immerse your players in a world of captivating audio that’ll leave them craving more!

     

    WHAT’S INSIDE?

    Delve into the authentic sounds of Asia with our comprehensive library, featuring a diverse array of audio assets meticulously tailored for the most beloved Asian gambling games, including:

    🀄 Mahjong: Experience the timeless allure of this classic game with custom tile sounds, winning effects, and atmospheric background music that perfectly captures the essence of traditional gameplay.

    🎰 Pachinko: Feel the electric buzz of the arcade with dynamic sound effects that bring the thrill of pachinko machines to life. From bouncing balls to jackpot celebrations, our library has it all!

    🃏 Baccarat: Immerse yourself in the sophistication of the casino floor with elegant card shuffling, dealing, and winning effects that add an extra layer of excitement to every hand.

    But wait, there’s more! Our library also includes audio assets perfect for other popular Asian gambling games such as SIC BO, TAI SAI, FAN-TAN, DRAGON TIGER, CHO-HAN, KENO, PAI GOW POKER, and many more. Plus, enjoy a selection of card, dice, and poker chip sounds, as well as win jingles and music loops – complimentary gifts from some of our related products!


    ASIAN GAMBLING GAMES at a Glance:

    • 380 Audio Files (190 original sounds) in High-Quality WAV and MP3 formats
    • Sound Effects and Foley Recordings for every table and machine game mentioned
    • Background Environment Loops, short Music Jingles, and Loops included
    • Ready to use – no editing or splicing required
    • Categorized, organized, and individually labeled files for maximum efficiency
    • Unpacked Size: 161 MB | Total Run Time: 23m 48s
    • Drag and Drop Ready Files for seamless integration into your projects!
    • FREE Updates to higher versions, FOREVER!

     


    With over 1000 games worth of experience in audio production and a passion for gaming, we understand the importance of high-quality audio in creating immersive experiences. Our library is curated to ensure every sound is top-notch, allowing you to focus on creating unforgettable games that keep players coming back for more.



    READY TO ELEVATE YOUR GAMING PROJECTS TO NEW HEIGHTS?

    DON’T DELAY – DOWNLOAD NOW AND IMMERSE YOUR PLAYERS IN THE ULTIMATE ASIAN GAMBLING EXPERIENCE!

     

     

    Need more card, dice, chip, and coin sounds? Looking for additional table game sounds or Asian casino music? Explore our related products below:

    👉 Cards, Chips, and Dice Sound Effects with Dealer Voiceovers
    👉 Scratch Card Sound Effects and Music
    👉 Roulette Sound Effects with Dealer Voiceovers
    👉 Slots of Asia: China and Japan
    👉 Progressive Slots and Classic Fruit Machines

    GRAB YOURS NOW AND LET THE SOUNDS OF ASIA INSPIRE YOUR NEXT GAMING MASTERPIECE!

    17 %
    OFF
  • Royal Cannon is a mini sound library created by sound designer Barney Oram. It features recordings of a British royal cannon salute, fired by six WW1 field guns in February of 2020, to mark the 68th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the throne. All sounds in the library are contained within one single 192kHz 24bit WAV file, with 23 individual takes contained within.

    These recordings were made using the Neumann 191, and have been decoded into a stereo file. The recordings have had some light cleanup but have been left mostly natural, with the sounds of the soldiers shouting and reloading the guns still audible.

    This library includes detailed SoundMiner metadata and utilizes the UCS system for ease of integration into your library.

    Behind the Scenes Video:


    Royal Cannon


    50 %
    OFF
    Ends 1714514399
  • Over 375 sounds of creaking materials, including breaking cables, ropes under tension and about to split, wires and strings under stress, metal friction causing tension. Recorded with a combination of Sanken CO100K and Nevaton microphones for full frequency sound content. Saved as 192KHz these files allow for high resolution editing. Useful for impact sounds in cinema, games or documentary, but also for cartoon sounds or even creature sounds as many of the recordings contain vowel-like screeching and scraping.

    Imagine a scene where a rope is about to break over an edge, an object being torn by a huge cable, a wooden structure about to collapse under stress and so on… Our brain is triggered by those rattling sounds or spine-breaking cracks coming from little fibers being split apart, parts of the structure creaking, wires scraping over edges…

    These sounds can be perceived as delicate but have a great psychological impact as we interpret these and know what is about to happen. So suspense is built with both background and close-up sounds. Useful when building tension, when creating a sense of upcoming climax, these sonic elements will work out to amplify the details that are often important but not always visible for the eye.

    All the source material and recording are acoustic, there are no digital effects applied. This guarantees natural organic harmonics, even way beyond our hearing. Pitching down the 192 KHz files will let you discover another collection of sounds!

     

  • This pack includes 13 magic sounds, including fireball, water, lightning, curse and healing spells. Elevate your game’s enchanting atmosphere instantly with this expertly crafted sound collection.

    30 %
    OFF

3 thoughts on “Surround field recording adventures in forests, canyons, parks, and wetlands – with Rick Hernandez:

  1. Nice recordings! Whereabouts in Simi Valley did you go to record? I find it difficult to record good nature ambiences in LA without the ever-present traffic noise.

  2. Hi Rick,
    Great recordings. Do you find the DPA too noisy for very quiet ambience? I did a very quiet recording with stereo kit 4060s recently and thinking I am hearing some self-noise on the mic, it is hard to differentiate from the ambience itself though.
    Thanks

  3. Thanks Rick! From one sound person to another, these will be a nice addition to the 5.1 SFX library.

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