Listening to Spaces: Adventures in Binaural field recording!

I bought a pair Roland cs-10em microphones a couple months ago to use as part of the My Other Half mixed reality project, and I realised with all the business of getting resettled after being out of the country for a year, I hadn’t used them for much else. They sound pretty good, especially with the custom windscreens I made for them (basically faux fur on some thin netting, a bit of thread, and some hot glue 😉 ), and I decided I should start recording more with them. I was in Sooke this weekend, so I wondered down to Whiffen Spit to record some waves.

The interesting thing I find about field recording is the expectation versus the reality of sounds. I had in my mind that I was going to record some calm binaural waves, but in reality, there was a lot of boat traffic going in an out of the Sooke Basin this weekend that can clearly be heard to the left, going around the spit, in and out of the marina. I hadn’t considered boat traffic at all, but sitting on the beach with microphones in my ears, it was all I could focus on. I hadn’t considered or even noticed the boats as being obtrusive to the soundscape until I sat down and listened.

This is why I find the practise of “sound walking” so interesting. We seldom focus on what we are hearing, and become used to the sounds that occupy our daily spaces. But, when you focus on just the sounds, you realise how much of an impact things have on the acoustic environment.

You can take a listen below (use headphones!) and I’ll try and add some more to this account. Also note, these were recorded in *my* ears, so if the effect doesn’t sound quiet right, ours ears are probably shaped pretty differently. That’s one of the big challenges of binaural in general!