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    How do you remove wind?


    OK - went out with my shotgun mike in a blimp and dead wombat in windy conditions. My aim was to capture the effect of the wind - ie the whistle in pines, the rustling of leaves on trees, rushes and tall grass. BUT, in all cases, came the roar of the wind as well. Now I do not know if the roar of the wind was just the capture of more distant wind effects (ie the sound of strong wind through a big gum tree (eucalypt) is a strong roaring sound) or just the strong wind effect directly on the mike itself.

    So for the tall grass sound I used compression then equalisation, removing everything below 1000hz and it resulted in a higher pitched wind sound BUT I could distinctly hear the tall grass fronds and sticks rustling with the wind. Am I on the right track? Did I go too far? Could I go further? Is there something else I can do?

    Cheers

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    higginsdj
    OK - went out with my shotgun mike in a blimp and dead wombat in windy conditions. My aim was to capture [...] ie the whistle in pines, the rustling of leaves on trees, rushes and tall grass. BUT, in all cases, came the roar of the wind as well. [...] So for the tall grass sound I used compression then equalisation, removing everything below 1000hz and it resulted in a higher pitched wind sound BUT I could distinctly hear the tall grass fronds and sticks rustling with the wind. Am I on the right track? Did I go too far? Could I go further? Is there something else I can do?

    Hello David,

    From what you said, I'm unclear on what you did to capture your recordings (were you close to the grass or did you try to record it from a distance), what the problem sound is (the wind makes lots of different roars), and how your goal sound differs from the sound you recorded (what was present and what was missing?). What track did you mean to be on, too far for what, and further than what? Did you mean wind noise in the microphone despite the blimp and dead wombat, or some other wind sound?

    If you could link to a bit of the problem audio, and maybe also to a sample on freesound which represents your goal sound and lacks your problem sound, that would be really helpful! I'd love to advise you but I just don't understand what you mean, sorry.

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    Ah - my inexperience showing through smile

    The end of the blimp was very close to the target. I could quite easily hear the grass when monitoring but it always appears fainter when I play back through audacity.

    I've uploaded the raw wav file (mono) with an amplify modifier only (+15db): http://www.david-higgins.com/sound/grass_amplify.wav

    The sound starts to roar toward the end (the stronger the wind gets) to the point where it actually sounds like a jet airliner passing overhead. I'm pretty sure there wasn't one there and the mike was pointed horizontally directly at the grass about 12" off the ground.

    Here is my processed version: http://www.david-higgins.com/sound/grass_processed.mp3

    Cheers

    David

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    higginsdj
    The end of the blimp was very close to the target. I could quite easily hear the grass when monitoring but it always appears fainter when I play back through audacity. [...] The sound starts to roar toward the end (the stronger the wind gets) to the point where it actually sounds like a jet airliner passing overhead. I'm pretty sure there wasn't one there and the mike was pointed horizontally directly at the grass about 12" off the ground.

    Ah, thank you David, I think I understand what you mean now, thank you, and I agree that it does sound strange. I listened several times and these were my thoughts:

    1 - Was there any road traffic nearby? I thought the white noise sounded a lot like wheels on roads.

    2 - I have a feeling that a shotgun mic might not be what you want because the other audio cues all around which normally indicate an environment will have been excluded - there's no sense of space.

    3 - Would you like to try again with a a cardioid or omnidirectional mic? I got this result of wind in tree leaves using a cardioid.

    4 - Check that your headphone levels are the same as the record levels - if they're different that would explain why your monitored sound differs from your recorded result.

    5 - It's possible that the results you want might be better recorded in less windy conditions. My tree leaves recording was from a light-ish breeze. Do you want the sound of the rustle of plants only, or do you also want wind sounds?

    I don't know if that helped, but thank you for sharing an interesting problem. smile

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    No - no traffic - I was in the bush, several hundred metres from the nearest suburban road (this bush is the fringe of the suburb in which I live). Tree leaves weren't a problem - they were nice and loud and I didn't need to do much processing. Trying to hear the rustling of long grass - well that was a few db fainter.....

    Note that I am not trying for ambiance here, just trying to extract the sound of rustling grass. Light wind just doesn't move the grass enough to generate a lot of rustling. I was wondering if I could fake it but can't think of a means of achieving this that doesn't require the grass to be manually manipulated by another object (which would add it's own sound).

    I thought I got close to it with my processed version. Any comments on the result?

    Cheers

    David

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    higginsdj
    Note that I am not trying for ambiance here, just trying to extract the sound of rustling grass. Light wind just doesn't move the grass enough to generate a lot of rustling. I was wondering if I could fake it but can't think of a means of achieving this that doesn't require the grass to be manually manipulated by another object (which would add it's own sound).

    I thought I got close to it with my processed version. Any comments on the result?


    I understand that you're not going for ambience. It's just that when the human ear hears grass rustling, it also hears a lot of other things which fill out the sound. I didn't mean "ambience", but I did mean for example, in a big field of grass the more distant grass rustles would also be audible, and our brain uses that to interpret bigness of field.

    Also, what you mean by ambience and what I mean by it might differ. I totally understand that you're not going for a complete environmental soundscape, just the grass rustling in the wind. However, you may be missing other sounds which you don't particularly notice because we don't usually hear one sound in isolation, we normally hear multiple sounds in a context. Both versions of your recording sounded strange to me, although personally I preferred the unprocessed one.

    I thought you might be interested in trying the same recording with other polar patterns, because
    1 - it might get you something more like you want
    2 - it might educate you more about which polar patterns you want for which purposes
    3 - it might educate you more about what you can achieve with different polar patterns
    4 - it might be a solution to your problem

    I have one more idea - One time I recorded a windy morning with my H4n by surrounding it with a thin poly-rubber foam about 50cm square, and it captured the effects of the wind whilst beautifully excluding wind noise, at least, it worked great til it blew off. tongue

    So if you secure a sheet of poly-rubber foam round the mic end of the blimp, that might help with the wind noise.

    Also, some freesounders recommend wind-stop fleece or unlubricated condoms on the mic for wind issues, and either of these might be useful to try.

    I hope you get the result you want. Good luck. smile

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    OK - Stupid question. I have 'installed' the sounds of nature VSTi in Cubase 4LE. How do I generate sound from them? (Have no MIDI instruments and no experience using Cubase)

    Cheers

    David

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    Thanks Microscopia - generating sound now. Interesting stuff though the 'thunder' sounds are a little too synthetic/contemporary for my tastes.

    Cheers

    David

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    So, for sound design, should I get myself a keyboard MIDI controller (ie something like the M-Audio Oxygen 2 or Oxygen 25 3rd Gen)

    Cheers

    David

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    having a MIDI controller is always nice, but you could also live qithout onehappy.
    well having a keyboard can be nice if you work with synth or samplers or if you want to control any midi capable plugins. you have to decide if you need one to play around or not. Personally I have a MIDI keyboard right in front of my computer, but I rarely use it, because in Logic and Ableton Live you can also use the computer keyboard to send MIDI data.

    As for your grass sound effect: kind of old fashioned, but you could try using old filmtape to immitate the sound.

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