Capturing the sounds of the wind can be such a rewarding experience. This powerful subject is almost never under our control. Hence, it brings certain challenges. In this article we will be talking about how to overcome these challenges and get you ready to record your next wind sound.
The wind is sometimes strong, sometimes gentle. It can be howling, singing along with planet earth. Rustling sounds of the trees and flowers are caused by the wind. The clouds move and are shaped beautifully by the wind. It occurs in all levels of the atmosphere from the ground to the highest plains of the sky! Compared to most other subjects, wind sounds are quite easy to find. It is all around us and yet not so easy to capture. But why?
It should have been easy, but our recording devices alone are not equipped well enough to capture it the way we hear the wind. When we think we can hear the wind it is not the wind sound by itself but its contact with other objects or surfaces. Wind alone does not have a sound. It always includes something it touches that results to make the sound.
The sound of the wind has been a challenging subject for field recordists. In most cases, we want to prevent wind from getting into our recordings so that the recorded sound is clear. Wind usually disrupts the sound and makes an unwanted noise in the recording. But what if you decided to record this “unwanted noise”? How can you make sure your recording will still be clear when you want to actually record what makes your sound dirty?
We already said our recording devices may not be equipped well enough to capture the sound we want. So, what you will need in order to capture this beautiful sound is the correct equipment and some patience. Below you will find the names of the items you will need and some ways to achieve this recording.
Have you heard of zeppelins? No, we are not talking about the large airship that floats in the sky. If you’re a field recordist or an audio enthusiast, you might know what a zeppelin is. If it is your first time hearing it, then don’t worry, we got you!
Zeppelins are a type of wind screen assembly. It is a special type of equipment that surrounds the microphone in a zeppelin shaped case. Its materials consist of some type of foam and it works just like a conventional wind shield but it does a better job by providing the microphone some amount of protective space and a barrier. With an equipment like zeppelin, recording the sounds of the wind is easier than ever.
You can also use some extra layers of protection to ensure that your sound will be as clean as possible at the end. The wind is not always gentle and can be too strong for your wind shield equipment. Your zeppelin will have a furry case already but that alone might not be enough in some of those cases. You might just want to have one extra in case the sound you are about to record is more challenging to get. After you get all this settled, it is now time to look for what makes the wind sound interesting.
You will want to aim the microphone at something. Wind by itself is not so interesting. We mentioned the sounds of the wind are actually the sounds of the objects or surfaces that is touched by the wind. So, keeping this in mind , try to find what makes the wind sound interesting. For example, imagine the rustling of the trees. When it is caused by the wind the sound of the air will be evident. By standing in the way of the wind, trees will give the air some sort of whistling texture and they will move around making their unique rustling sound. What you hear depends on the material that interacts with the wind…
One thing worth mentioning is to remember to be patient and record long takes. While recording the sound of the wind, even with good equipment, it is possible to have distortions in the sound. For that reason, it is always a good idea to record as long as possible so that you would have many alternatives to choose from. Wind sounds are quite variable, and you will have a lot of varying textures in one recording. Also, remember to be safe and protect your equipment. That is all you need to know to start recording the wind.
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