Occasional posts on subjects including field recording, London history and literature, other websites worth looking at, articles in the press, and news of sound-related events.

06 January 2012

Nice to meet you, London Historians

THE BAD WEATHER had stopped me finishing off the London Sound Survey’s Waterways soundmap. Instead, the week I’d booked off work was starting to feel more like living la vida doley. Hours spent indoors were broken only by raiding trips to the corner shop for biscuits and teabags.

High winds are usually the enemy of field recordists. Turbulence in the airstream moves chaotically over the microphone diaphragm and makes a low-frequency rumbling which is very hard to get rid of in post-production. Even the standard fake-fur-covered microphone windshield isn’t always of much use.

Away from built-up areas there are often trees and bushes nearby and their leaves make a featureless hissing when the wind agitates them. It’s one of those sounds which somehow doesn’t lend itself well to recording, like the way the iridescence is lost from an insect’s eyes when it’s dead and pinned as a museum specimen.

Instead of going stir-crazy though, I had last night’s London Historians pub meeting in Victoria to look forward to. Matt Brown of the mighty Londonist had told me all about it, and I was really glad I went. Not only was it in one of my favourite central London pubs, the Windsor Castle, but the people there were friendly, welcoming and interesting. It was a very pleasant evening and I’m already looking forward to the next London Historians pow-wow.