Philip Goddard

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I have always been a nature lover - and have done a lot of nature photography, on and off, during my whole adult life - some 50 years in round figures. Insects, wild flowers, various non-flowering plants, fungi and lichens have all been of particular interest, as well as weather phenomena, cloud formations and geological formations. You can see some of my photography, mostly taken on my hikes, via my Broad Horizon Photos website.

I have also composed a significant oeuvre of symphonic classical music, much of which has various nature inspirations. I have made recordings of carefully prepared MIDI realizations of all my music works, and present them on on www.philipgoddard-music.co.uk, where you can download excerpts and purchase CDs or even a DVD containing all the recordings in FLAC format so you can burn your own CDs.

I live in Exeter, UK, and for many years have made a regular practice of going out for usually long and strenuous single day hikes, hitch-hiking to the start of the walk and hitch-hiking back afterwards, within the same day.

I have benefited greatly from the Freesound resource, having compiled many CDs of natural environmental sounds (including 16 of thunderstorms as of mid-June 2012) for my own use, as a much more healthy alternative to the incessant background of music or radio or television that so many people inflict upon themselves and indeed all too often upon others too. My use of these recordings is now not only for my pure enjoyment, for they are now also being used as an important part of my strategy for getting clear of a gradually increasing tinnitus problem, which started to get significantly bothersome for me in 2012.

As from June 2012 I have started making sound recordings myself, using a Sony PCM-M10 recorder, covering various nice natural soundscapes experienced especially on my hikes, which are usually on the more rugged stretches of the coastline of Cornwall - especially the north coast and the Land's End and Lizard peninsulas - and from November 2012 I have commenced my Wind Chimes In the Wild project. I have entitled the overall natural soundscapes recording project Broad Horizon Natural Soundscapes.

On my own Broad Horizon Nature website I present an easy-access summary listing of all my natural soundscape and wind chimes recordings - a lot more than I have uploaded here.

I have been using a fairly precisely tailored EQ profile to compensate for the slight attenuation of the high frequencies of virtually all my recordings by use of a furry windshield, but also, as from my recordings of 5th March 2013 onwards, I was using a carefully shaped reduction EQ in the bass of all recordings, because it appeared that ALL my recordings had a quite audible broad 'hump' in their bass frequency spectra. Unfortunately I applied that bass correction to almost all my recordings.

It was something like a year later that I eventually worked out that the bass hump was NOT in my recordings but was just a problem from my living room's bass resonances screwing up the output of the 'hi-fi' speakers that I was using for auditioning my recordings (please see further below for more about this phenomenon) - so I no longer apply the bass 'correction', and have replaced significantly affected recordings by new versions taken afresh from my archived originals - but I have not updated my Freesound uploads. Below is a screen clip from Audacity of the EQ curve that I nowadays apply to all my new recordings (i.e., for which a Rode Dead Kitten windshield was used).


If you wish to use that curve, either 'as is' or as the basis for making your own, you can find the relevant entry in the Audacity graphic EQ configuration file from my page Recording Natural Soundscapes - Some Experience Based Tips.




Rugged Cornish coast like this (Shag Rock, near Perranporth), with Atlantic swell rolling in and having often dramatic arguments with the cliffs and little rock islands, will be found to figure a lot in my recordings.

...And now, commercially produced CDs



As from the spring of 2013 I have started getting commercially produced CDs of my recordings set up at CreateSpace, which has left me in something of a quandary as to what to do about further uploads of my recordings to Freesound. For this reason, I have put my Freesound uploading on hold till I have worked out the best policy with regard to this. In any case, all the work involved with getting and processing lots of new recordings, as well as setting up the commercial CDs, really leaves me with no time for Freesound uploading - particularly as, I should imagine, it would not go down well if I used my Freesound uploads to advertise my commercial CDs.

My general view of this is that when I've got a good range of CDs in my e-Store, and the busy summer season is past, I'll get uploading again to Freesound, but within the constraints of the policy that I would have settled on by then. I expect that this would involve uploading excerpts rather than whole recordings, except where I think a particular recording would probably not make it onto one of my commercial CDs in which case the full recording would presumably get uploaded.




Good hi-fi speakers are NOT enough for listening to natural soundscapes
The trouble is that any normal domestic listening space is full of resonance points that make a mess of the bass output from your speakers, no matter how good they are and how flat their response is supposed to be, even right down to 20Hz! This means that what you actually get from your hi-fi speakers is actually not genuine hi-fi at all, at least with regard to bass reproduction. Typically the bass is exaggerated and wallowing, usually containing some degree of boomy resonance. Most people are so used to that sound that when they hear familiar recordings without that fog of distorted, crap bass they think the particular recordings sound emasculated and lacking in bass!

The Good News is that I have now found that there is a device that resolves that issue at a stroke, and with its use you can hear something genuinely approximating to what was heard at the recording session, as distinct from the current norm, which is what people, conditioned to the distortions caused by their room acoustics, imagine is an accurate or correct reproduction of the original, or indeed what simply pleases them.

To find out more, please go to the introductory notes on my Broad Horizon Natural Soundscapes page.

Philip Goddard's latest sounds

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