Nature Sound of the Month: Water

A huge thank you to everyone who took part in the challenge last month. I hope you’ve enjoyed capturing your sounds as much as I’ve enjoyed listening to them. Check out the round-up of sounds after dark here.

Theme of the month: Water

Water is everywhere around us. There is the rain and the sea, there are rivers and waterfalls, there is ice and snow, there is the trickle of water from your tap and sewage underground, there are… You get the idea. Water is an integral part of our everyday life and yet we don’t listen to it. When was the last time you really listened to the rain or to the flow of a river?

So this month, I’m asking you to record water sounds around you.
A note of warning: as lovely as waterfalls are, they often end up resembling white noise when recorded. The same goes for some other water sounds. Keep your ears open to avoid this pitfall.
If you need inspiration, head to Water Tone Records for a great selection of water sounds.

What is it about?

There are many challenges out there to help you make the most of the outdoors, but more often than not they focus on what you see rather than what you hear. Visuals can certainly be stunning but they are not always present. Close your eyes and the scenery is gone. This is not so with sounds. You cannot close off your ears. You can ignore the sounds but they are here nonetheless and some part of you are registering them. So this challenge focuses on sounds, specifically nature sounds, and asks you to get out there and record them.

How does it work?

On the 1st of every month, I’ll publish a post with a prompt for what to listen to. This prompt is aimed to help you open your ears to nature and is by no means a rule to follow. You can record something else if another sound picks your interest.

How do I capture sounds?

You can get all technical and purchase a recorder and microphones for field recording, or you can use your phone. All smartphones have some kind of voice memo app. Use it to record the sounds. There’s also plenty of apps available if you search for ‘recorder’ or ‘voice recorder’.

Where do I post my sounds?

There’s SoundCloud and Dropbox. If you want to add a video or some photos, there’s Instagram, YouTube, and Vimeo. Or you can (usually) host your recordings on your blog (if you have one).
Note that those websites are only suggestions. There’s plenty more you can use.

Guidelines:

  • Wind is your enemy. Even if it’s a light breeze it can ruin your recording. Use your body and the environment as a wind shield.
  • Listen and monitor what you’re recording (if you can). Using a set of earphones (headphones tends to be better) while you’re recording will help you make sure you’re capturing what you want. A microphone doesn’t hear like you do.
  • Record for a couple of minutes. Give yourself time and let the sounds unfold at their own pace.
  • Be still and avoid movements. Your clothes might rub or a rock might fall and make an unwanted addition to the recording.
  • Find more tips here.
  • Post your sounds online or send them over to me. If posting them online, don’t forget to share a link in the comments.
  • Post as many sounds as you like during the month.
  • Interpret the prompt any way you choose. Feel free to add a bit of text to accompany it. Or not.
  • If you choose to make a blog post about your sound/experience of listening, link back to this page so other people can join in the challenge.
  • Most importantly, have fun 🙂
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10 thoughts on “Nature Sound of the Month: Water

  1. Have to be honest, I’ve never encountered anyone with this particular interest before… and I don’t mean that in a bad way. I guess a lot of people go for the visuals and disregard the audio, and I’m probably guilty of that myself. Your blog has opened my eyes (and ears), and I’ll be making a conscious effort to appreciate the sounds around me on my next walk.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Well I may rest up this month as I had a bit of a knee incident after my last walk. My next walk may actually be the Y3P night walk in January – and I would think that would be perfect for it with the absence of visual stimuli and noise pollution.

        Like

  2. I have not been very good at following the challenge this past couple of months, but it happens that today I’m going running in a park that also happen to have a lake. There might be something interesting to record. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Nature Sound of the Month: December round-up | Beste Glatisant

  4. Pingback: Nature Sound of the Month: Park life | Beste Glatisant

    • A very good advice 🙂 I’ll add it in the guidelines. I’ve had that experience myself and as you say it’s not pleasant… although I have to admit, one time it was my own fault as I’d completely forgotten I had my phone with me…

      Like

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