Ambience – Neils Beach

I love recording ambiences in nature & living in New Zealand there is really no excuse not to spend quality time seeing & hearing the diverse environment we live in. Unlike many countries, no matter where you are in New Zealand you can drive to the opposite coast in 3 or 4 hours & in the process travel through many different ecosystems…
Recording ambiences to me is the ultimate meditation – your senses are heightened thanks to the directivity of the microphones (I mainly use a Sanken CSS5 stereo mic) plus the gain structure of the recorder – it’s literally like having very large, highly sensitive ears… But the meditative aspect also comes from the fact that recording ambiences requires total stillness, even an arm movement generates unwanted clothing rustle!
A few tips I have learned over the years is; take a small mic stand so you dont have to physically hold the mic perfectly still & take spare mic cables….
This last one can be crucial – the fist time I went recording down the West Coast of the South Island I got eaten alive by sandflys (especially at dusk) as I tried to stand still recording. I soon realised that if I ran cables I could set up the mic & retreat to the car while recording…

Here is a beautiful recording of a remote spot called Neils Beach, right down the bottom of the West Coast of the South Island.

download mp3

And heres the same location except recorded from a distance – its one of the most relaxing sounds, waking up on holiday when you are staying close enough to the beach to hear the surf! If you are feeling a bit stressed put this on your ipod & shut your eyes for 60 seconds…

download mp3

And here is a montage video of a few different places I have recorded ambiences down South (the third cut is Neils Beach)

One thought on “Ambience – Neils Beach

  1. Simon Haupt

    Just listened to these recordings whilst eating my breakfast, and it was deeply relaxing. Thanks Tim! The mic sounds great by the way.

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