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Thawing Forest
Natural Noise Generator
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The Unexpected Noise

When I arrived in Quebec in the late spring of 2022, I couldn't wait to capture the peaceful sounds of the forest near Lake Migue. Unlike in Belgium, where I'm constantly bothered by the noise from highways, I expected to find tranquility here. But there was a surprising noise that I hadn't anticipated...

In the late spring, as the snow begins to melt, it forms numerous streams that flow across the landscape, creating a constant 'white noise' that fills the environment. It's everywhere, even more so than the noise from busy highways. As I moved away from one stream, I found myself getting closer to another! With this persistent background noise, recording isolated sounds seemed almost impossible.

The noise you can hear in the very first slider, fittingly named "Forest Tone," is this exact noise. It's a beautiful, constant, and exquisite natural white noise. Once I recorded it, my challenge was to exclude this noise from the other sliders. My strategy involved capturing the other sounds in close proximity to their original sources. To get close to the wildlife, I used a method called "dropped rig", where I leave my recorders and microphones unattended for a day or two. I then hoped that while I was away, animals would come close enough to capture a clean sound. This method proved to be highly effective in attracting chipmunks :D

There's something refreshing about these sounds; and I wonder if it's the presence of snow that makes all sound "fresher". Maybe the human ear, through the course of evolution, has developed an association between the specific filtering effect that snow has on sound and the perception of temperature?

To fully appreciate the rich quality of these recordings, I recommend using a good pair of headphones. View my recommendations here.

Published on January 1st, 2024

User Stories

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  I had to check that animation was actually off. The variation of sound and the amazing variety of patterns of animal activity makes these stems leave me wondering how you do it. Being so accustomed to a looping virtual world, it is refreshing to hear the outdoors brought inside!

  I hadn't noticed before that a forest in the early spring has a particular sound--but it does, and you've captured it! It's a sound filled with promise. Thanks so much.

  Love this new noisy! So peaceful!

  Oh man, the sweet whistle of the white-throated sparrow behind the robin song is exquisite. Best bird stem ever.

  Sounds, gentle noises, The music of who I am, This forest, my home.