Binaural Field Recording in Sunnybrook Park

In order to create the auditory ambiance needed for my final project in Ryerson's MA Media Production program, I recently went out into Sunnybrook Park in Toronto with a couple friends. The objective of the outing was to capture some environmental noise to use as a bed track in an experimental binaural recording project. The video above illustrates how we decided to set up in the park, using a set of bleachers to host my computer and binaural dummyhead rig. A friend and fellow sound recordist also set up his new AKG 414 mic to capture some sounds while we were there.

My mobile recording rig is the same as I've used in studio's and venues around Toronto: MacBook Pro, M-Audio Firewire 410, homemade stereo-mono patch cable, 9V aux in-line power supply to a binaural dummyhead equiped with two SP-TFB-2 omnidirectional microphones.

The sound recording turned out absolutely fantastic! At the start of the recording you can clearly hear a fly buzz behind the dummyhead, creating this movement and audible space that is really incredible when experienced through headphones. The positioning in the park was great to capture environmental noise. The sound recording features background birds chirping, a low rumbling of traffic off in the distance and the occasional plane roaring overhead every few minutes (it's difficult to escape traditional cityscape sounds even in parks and greenspaces within the city). These sounds help build the space through their volume and proximity to the dummyhead and microphones. Because the set up is recording binaurally, the spatial effect is hightened when compared to a mono or even stereo recording. Overall, the day was a complete success with even a few surprises (a fly buzzing across the dummyhead's path!).

A sample of the field recording is coming soon. I am reducing some of the hum associated with the wind, and applying some filters to bring up the bottom end of the audio spectrum which is lost due to the types of microphones employed. Stay tuned!