Lake District Recordings – Water Sources

So the main feature of my recordings at the Lake District were water sources; rivers, lakes, waterfalls, streams and so on. Rather than making a dozen individual posts, I thought it would make sense to do one post for any I wanted to upload as the recording process was often the same. Taken from my introductory post about my Lake District recording series, this snippet sums up what I loved about recording various water sources:

“I instantly found myself admiring just how unique every single sound was. It’s something I’ve often appreciated but sitting down and recording water sources back to back, I started to analyse how the slightest changes can have the biggest impacts. If I moved some of the rocks around, suddenly the sound took on an entirely new personality. If there was a large branch in the way, I would hear how the water splits. If it dropped over a verge, I would get the splash, gurgle and bubble of the water making its descent. Adversely, if it was just a straight stretch, I got the calm and consistent trickle of the water’s uninterrupted journey. I had a blast, recording big waterfalls and gushing streams, and also tiny trickles and small spouting water sources. There was an infinite supply of material and I was in my element.”

As with all of the sounds in this series, they were recorded on my Tascam DR-05. It served me well on all manner of recording material throughout my trip, and the omni-directional condensers acquired a lovely crisp clarity from most, if not all, of the sources I tested it on. Below are some of the water recordings I took, with a brief summary of where and what it was.

This was the first recording I did on holiday on a delicate little stream running by the roadside of the Isle of Arran. The stream had some lovely square stepping stones across it so I held my recorder between the stones and caught the sound of the stream rippling through the gap between them. It created a really nuanced trickling sound but unfortunately I was only able to catch small snippets due to passing cars on a nearby road.

Here is another snippet of a miniature waterfall I recorded in Dalegarth Forest in the Lake District. This was a spout of water coming out of a small hole between some rocks. It was near a stream which is why some underlying stream ambience can be heard underneath, but my ears managed to draw this to my attention and I had to get my recorder in closer to have a listen. This was the result:

Whilst in Dalegarth, we also visited the Dalegarth Falls. The path winds up a continual incline until you reach the point where you can see the waterfall’s exit. Due to the nature of the path, it’s not possible to get close to it so I was only able to record an overall ambience from a distance. Due to the constant velocity of the water, there isn’t as much detail as I’ve managed to get in recordings from other sources, but it was another one for the sound bank!

This recording was another interesting one to make. On the Isle of Arran, I found a man-made open top tunnel that had been built to help funnel the water down from the waterfall. The water was coming through with such a huge force, I thought it would make a nice contrast to the delicate streams I had been recording. Once again, due to the constant velocity of the water, it didn’t make for the best recording but it was still good material to get nonetheless.

Finally, I caught a little gem from another miniature Dalegarth waterfall. This source had quite a lot of natural low end so made for a quirky gurgling sound rather than the standard crisp trickle.

So this blog series has just been a small collection of the near 500 recordings I got whilst I was away. I cannot recommend both Scotland and the Lake District enough, both as beautiful places to visit as well as great places to record. It was a fantastic first trip for me and my Tascam and considering it was my first time field recording, I was extremely chuffed with the results! I will be keeping this blog updated periodically with new material I record or create, and also music here and there. This started as a place for me to go in to a bit more depth about my field recordings but I think it would be a great place for me to elaborate on my composing process too.

I hope you enjoyed what I’ve uploaded so far. As always, I warmly welcome feedback and advice. Feel free to contact me with any questions, and stay tuned!


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