In the current editionOfficersí Reports
WSRS 2017 Competition
Thoughts from a Judge
Equipment & Technique
Winter Meeting - Norfolk
Smitten with Binaural
The Underwater World
Letter from Utopia
Background Noise Filter
Spring 2019 Edition
Last year (2018) was a year of celebration and some nostalgia, with plenty of looking back at the history of the Society and of wildlife recording. One thing that stood out was the sense of pioneering that existed in the early days - not just in terms of equipment, but also in exploration of a natural world of sound which was simply so little known and documented at the time. Recordings of wildlife were novel, and there were so many sounds yet to be captured. The amateur could play as important a role, and was just as able to make an important discovery as the professional. For some who experienced the early days, there may be a feeling that the pioneering element of our craft seems to have been overtaken or lost.
For this first edition of our second half-centuary, we wanted to turn our attention forward. In considering what themes to cover, we decided to commission a number of articles which focus on an area of wildlife recording which remains still very much unexplored, and where one can again find pioneering ground. Or perhaps 'ground' is not the correct word. For whereas we looked 'back' in 2018, we will look ëdowní in this edition, for we go "down to the bottom of the deep blue sea, to record some fishes, one, two three..." (to misquote the words of the old nursery rhyme). We also hope to catch the odd crustacean, and perhaps a mammal or two.
This underwater world is more than the 'deep blue sea,' of course. There are many other watery environments - estuaries, the shoreline, lakes, rivers, and ponds. These silent worlds are only silent to our ears. Place a microphone (hydrophone) into them and they can come alive with sound: sound which is very little recorded and understood. A few current-day recording pioneers have been working in this world, and we are fortunate to have articles from several of them. Our hope is that we encourage members more widely to take the plunge into this exciting field. It is hard to appreciate, let alone to respect, value and protect, that which we do not understand. As recordists we can be part of the process of changing the situation and, as one contributor points out, perhaps could discover something new to science in the process!
The underwater world is not the only apparently silent space. Many animals above ground communicate in frequency ranges that are outside our natural hearing or at a speed of delivery and with detail which for is too fast for us to resolve unaided. These areas also represent opportunities for those of a pioneering disposition. One such pioneer is Jana Winderen, and we are pleased to include a longer piece on her and her work. Jana has recorded from the North Pole down to the ocean depths, not to mention in the sewers of Oslo. We explore some of her motivations and how she uses her recordings to create pieces which expose and share the extreme and often inaccessible worlds in which she places her microphones.
Itís not all underwater though. In this edition we meet "Fred," as Roger Boughton shares his own experiences of recording binaurally, starting with his first experiments back in the 1980s (again pioneering work at the time). Roger Charters has for many years been recording in the north of Scandinavia and generously shares his hot (cold?) spots with us, together with some sound advice regarding Russian border guards. And there is plenty more, but the purpose of the editorial is not to repeat the index ... so you will need to read on for the rest.
WSRS members can download it from here