After almost 18 months since I released my last album, I’m very pleased to say that I have a new one to release !
‘Ocean Sighs’ is a selection of ‘ambient seascapes’ which incorporate tonal drone textures and harmonic vocalisations, set against a continuous ebb and flow of treated ocean sounds. The two elements were equally considered in the construction of the tracks and are intended to be complimentary.
Technical Info / further detail:
Binaural recordings (*) feature throughout the album. They were incorporated to give an enhanced spatial element. The binaural recordings were recorded by myself locally in North east Yorkshire, UK. I also utilised other sea recordings from ‘Freesound.org’ (see below), as my collection of recordings was quite limited, in terms of the types of sea sounds that I had. I wanted to work with a greater variety of sea sounds – distant / rumbling / stormy etc. Some other binaural material (wind and storms) was also used, albeit very subtley.
I’ve used environmental recordings sporadically before in my work, but this time they were used throughout the whole album as an integral part of the album.
Due to the usage of the binaural recordings and the spatial processing employed, Headphone listening is recommended.
The binaural recordings were recorded using a Sony PCM10 recorder with a home-made pair of binaural mics made from Primo EM172 capsules. In terms of processing (of both mine and the Freesound recordings), I employed many combinations and variants of spatial ‘enhancements’ – Middle and side ‘widenings’ / binaural treatments etc and lots of filterings ! A sense of ‘motion’ and flow was achieved by using low pass Filter automations (over a long-ish duration) – to create a sense of high frequency ebb and flow – the sea sounds having significant high frequency (noise like) components.
Regarding filterings, I also used high frequency parametric Eq ‘sweeteners’ / bandpass filters and fixed low pass filtering. Low pass filters in particular were used on pretty much all of the vocal textures, as they had accrued a lot of annoying (to my ears) high frequency content due to the processes I did on them and the sea recordings had sufficient high frequency eleements to balance things out spectrally. I probably spent as much time on the
processing of these sounds as I did with the tonal elements.
No compression or maximisings were employed on this album, as I wanted to keep the recordings in a natural state, in terms of their dynamics. Finally, the overall spectrum was ‘softened’ slightly, using Har-bal.
A point of note, is that the montages of sea recordings ‘never existed,’ in the same place / time and have been brought together to create something of a composite ‘seascape’. I don’t know how this will translate for listeners, but the ‘From the Sea’ track is a particular example of this.
Lastly, there is a another album planned for late 2016 release, of a similiar nature to ‘Ocean Sighs’, but which focuses on a different set of binaural environmental recordings – wind, rain, streams etc. combined with female vocal textures.
(* in-the-ear microphone recordings that capture spatial elements very well – in my view ! )
Freesound Attributions / credits:
North Sea at Night (pulswelle)
DagmarBformat (Lossius) (converted to Binaural)
waves at cliffside resort beach (nikitralala)
Waves in Rio Martil (keina_espineira)
north Sea (Soarer)
Hanakapiai Beach – Na Pali Coast (RTB45)
ships horn (inchadney)
All the Freesound recordings were processed, from simple editing to more involved, multiple processings.