April 7th, 2013

Peaceful and gentle, yes (please don't turn the volume up!), but commonplace, no - with an unusual and quite haunting aspect!

I made this recording on 6th April 2013 at the same spot as a previous one of mine, at a quite exposed position on Beeny Cliff, not far from Boscastle, Cornwall, UK. This is at a point where the original and very exposed section of the coast path had been abandoned and a less exposed diversion established, but here I got onto that exposed bit, where the sea is undercutting the cliffs. This time I chose this position for a lunch stop on a hike from Crackington Haven to Tintagel, as it was relatively sheltered from a brisk and cold breeze - but the sea was even more gentle than last time, so I had doubts as to whether any recording made here this time would be really worth keeping - the dull and commonplace is not at all what I seek or wish to share with others! Because it is relatively deep sea here against the cliff, you don't get the sound of breaking waves, but instead, with the gentle swell on this day, you get a constant gentle rippling and splashing.

So, rather disappointed at such an apparently uninteresting sound, I rather forlornly set the recording going and retreated to unpack and start my lunch. Then, after an immediate disturbance of an aeroplane passing over (a bit that I'd have to cut out of the recording), I was surprised to find that there was another disturbance - some very distant-sounding deep rumbling booms. Initially I thought they were from some extraneous source, but soon it dawned on me that they must be not disturbances at all, but coming from a cave somewhere at the bottom of this cliff - though I could not actually see any cave at all down there. The boomings come at varying intervals, but typically at around 20 seconds, and have a decidedly subterranean quality about them; they also have the tone of some very distant rumbles of thunder. Also there is a rather ill-defined cyclic variation over a few to several minutes in the strength of the booming. The picture is slightly confused at times, because there is occasionally a little microphone wind noise.

It seemed quite eerie, to be getting such booming sounds, when superficially the sea seemed so gentle and lacking in 'decent' swell. Thus my initial disappointment changed over to a certain excitement that once again I had serendipitously got a really quite special recording.

The very noisy birds briefly heard early in the recording are oystercatchers. A group of them was flying quite close to the sea surface, coming from the left and then flying round in a full circle way below the recorder before flying off again.

This recording in progress. The arrow points to the tiny light grey speck, which is the furry windshield on the recorder.

Recording made with a Sony PCM-M10 on a Hama mini-tripod, using the built-in microphones covered with a Rode Dead Kitten windshield. I have used Audacity to apply a custom EQ profile to correct for the high frequency muffling caused by the windshield and also to correct for the audible broad 'hump' in the bass frequencies of ALL my recordings prior to processing.

Please note that the volume level of this recording has been carefully adjusted for listening purposes, and ALL my recordings so far are meant to be listened to with a volume setting that would give a realistic level for playback of CLASSICAL music (a large but not exceptional symphony orchestra). If you have the right volume setting, you should not need to change that setting from one recording of mine to another.

Higher quality version of this recording available
The recordings that I upload to Freesound are of standard CD quality (44.1KHz, 16-bit). As from my recordings made on 9th January 2013, all my recordings are additionally available in 48KHz 24-bit, FLAC format. If interested, please see my Broad Horizon Natural Soundscapes page for details.

**Please remember to give this recording a rating! **


  • avatar
    cbrenock 3 weeks, 4 days ago

    What can I say , I dont need this for anything but my own listening pleasure. You are quite a master at this.
    I have a rode ntg-2 and wind baffle to a H4n but the beaches around me are not quiet these days , I have tried several times but either a dog comes up to me and yelps or curious people come over and ask me what I am doing while the red light is on and winter is too rough to get that calm sea that you have.
    There is a market for long swathes of sound I think , and I hope you make a fortune.

    Cormac Brenock.

  • avatar
    Philip Goddard 10 months, 2 weeks ago

    Ah yes. there's plenty of new - but I haven't yet worked out my best way to maintain Freesound involvement. I'm concentrating on setting up commercial CDs of my recordings at CreateSpace at the moment, and actually this recording is on one of them, together with later Beeny Cliff recordings. Didn't get any response from Bram when I sent him a PM to see if he had any views about that.

  • avatar
    klankbeeld 10 months, 2 weeks ago

    A great recording again. Waiting for new Philip.

  • avatar
    submadreamgun 1 year, 1 month ago

    a truly beautiful variety of different aural textures and timbres. I was there for a moment.

  • avatar
    MatthewFishwick 1 year, 2 months ago

    Reasonably grounding recording! 5/5 for it's uniqueness :-)

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