Finding Sounds in the Strangest of Places

The last week in February my mum went in for hip surgery at the Nebraska Orthopaedic Hospital in Omaha. As you walk through the front door, the first thing you notice/hear is this huge, beautiful water fountain off to the right in the main lobby.

Nebraska Ortho Hospital by Sounds by Knight

The sounds pouring from this 1 1/2 story tall fountain was just begging to be recorded! So, with a little finagling I was able to get permission to bring my audio equipment in and do a sound recording after the main lobby closed! Being the good son that I am:), I went to visit my dear mum the next night with my recording equipment in hand.

Nebraska Ortho Hospital by Sounds by Knight

I knew it was going to be a bit of a challenge trying to get a good, clean recording without to much reverberation with a 40′ tall ceiling and tiled covered walls. At first, I set the mic up 10′ from the fountain… did a quick audio check and found the sound hollow and tinny.

Nebraska Ortho Hospital by Sounds by Knight

The next setup was much better with the mic positioned right next to the cascading water. This eliminated much of the hollow, tinny sound yet allowed me to still capture some of the rooms color.

Nebraska Ortho Hospital by Sounds by Knight

Here’s a 5 min recording of the fountain with a Marantz PMD661, Audio Technica BP4025 X/Y Stereo Mic mounted in a blimp. Rec levels were set at 5.5, low pass filter was set to 80Hz roll off on the mic. Recorded at 96/24 bit WAV (PCM) format then converted to MP3.

Sample:

Nebraska Ortho Hospital by Sounds by Knight

In the background I could hear a humming noise only to find a pop machine on the second story balcony with a compressor going bad.

Here’s a recording of the fountain before editing.

Sample:

With a little post editing I was able to reduce the humming noise and still maintain a nice balance of sound from the fountain.

Nebraska Ortho Hospital by Sounds by Knight

I would of never thought of doing a audio recording of a water fountain in a Orthopaedic Hospital… amazing how we find sounds in the strangest of places!

Brian Knight

******************************************************

Leave a Reply