Direct mp3 download or play:  Ambience Recording

This is one of many recordings from microphones installed on the outside of my house in Seattle. The recording started at 2:10pm and originally ran 10 minutes and 32 seconds on May 18th, 2008. It was a .wav file at 106 megebytes. Later I edited the file in Adobe Audition 1.5. Now it is 8 minutes 13 seconds long, 7.53 megabytes and a standard 128 kilobits per second mp3. This is quite a lively recording. There are lots of birds. I think the neighbors are having a party in their backyard and it sounds like someone may be using a power sander. The microphones are cheap RadioShack ($2.99 each) condenser capsules and are the plug-in power type. I made a box that provides about 4 to 6 volts DC phantom power to each microphone. This box also blocks the DC voltage from getting to the inputs of the microphone preamp. As if that wasn’t enough I decided it might sound better with more bells and whistles. So after the signal from the microphones goes through the phantom power box, it then runs into Countryman Type 85 direct boxes where the signal is converted to a 3 conductor balanced line with XLR connnectors. Then the balanced mic level lines feed inputs 1and 2 on a Mackie 1202VLZ mixer. After that the channel inserts of inputs 1 and 2 are utilized. In series on the inserts are a Behringer Feedback Destroyer Pro DSP1100P operating in parametric equalizer mode and a DBX 166A compressor limiter. Then the signal runs the rest of the way through the channel strips including the 3 band Mackie EQ, the channel faders and the main faders. Oh I forgot to mention the input gain cotrols on the mixer are usually set at about the 3 o’clock position. Sometimes the input gain at this setting wil cause the Feedback Destroyer to clip or distort especially when I record The Blue Angels jets during Seattle’s Seafair festivities. Setting the input gain down to the halfway point or lower will prevent distortion during sustained loud sounds.Then the line level(and in this case the headphone output which Mackie says has the same sound quality as the main output) feeds my computer line in and the sound card is an older Soundblaster possibly an Audigy from around the year 2000. Also the microphones have been placed under the eaves of my house and I would guess they are between 60 and 75 feet apart and each have a piece of Kleenex or paper towel covering them. By now I’m sure you’re probably wondering if I’m nuts! But never the less I will be posting more of these recordings on this site especially when it allows me to upload more than 10 megabytes at a time. Happy Listening! Or not.