Imagine: soothing waves creeping onto a beach, then retreating with a sandy hiss. Hear distant thunder rippling as it rolls over a mountain. Imagine quiet, evening rain pattering on fallen autumn leaves.
Wilderness field recordings are some of the most loved sound effects. The sound of nature has a universal appeal.
However, nature field recordings are some of the most difficult sound effects to capture. Finding pure wilderness locations is difficult. Atmospheres are constantly invaded by air traffic and distant delivery trucks. The sound of rural industry travels for miles and overlaps even remote conservation areas. Sonic purity seems incredibly elusive. And, when field recordists do find a few moments of peace, wind, rain, and snow make field recording a challenge.
Perhaps that is why it is hard to find knowledge about recording these tricky sound effects. A handful of weekend workshops introduce fans to wilderness field recording. However, the most precious soundscapes are beyond the reach of a weekend retreat. They require descending into canyons or hiking into deserts, or month-long expeditions deep into jungles. The process is difficult, and few have returned to share their experiences recording there. So, knowledge of how to gather these field recordings simply does not exist.
Thankfully, collecting sound from these stunning locations is within our grasp. Just last week a new guide was released to help you gather field recordings in almost every conceivable wilderness environment: Gordon Hempton’s Earth is a Solar Powered Jukebox.