A podcast celebrating a meadow soundscape that features the songs of Bobolinks and other meadow birds. Recorded around 8:00am, 11 May 2009, in the Finger Lakes National Forest near Trumansburg, New York. © Lang Elliott.
Click Here for direct link to MP3.
I am always thrilled when the Bobolinks arrive in early May, having flown nearly 6000 miles from as far south as Argentina. Back in 2009, I got a splendid soundscape shortly after their return, when the males were setting up their territories, chasing one another about, and actively searching for females. This soundscape is the subject of my newest podcast prototype … Bobolink Meadow … which is a celebration of the soundscape itself.
I’m still trying to hone my skills with podcasting, looking for the “magic formula” that will allow me to generate lots of them, have them well-received in the podcasting world, and not be too difficult to construct. The method I employed for this podcast was fairly easy for me to implement. Only one soundscape recording is featured, and my job as a narrator was to describe the season, the habitat, and the primary sound-makers … so as to give the listener enough information to generate a clear sense of the place and cirumstance.
Here is the ambient recording without narration, so that you can enjoy looping it for a pure nature listening experience:
Bobolink Meadow. Recorded around 8:00am, 11 May 2009, in the Finger Lakes National Forest near Trumansburg, New York. © Lang Elliott.
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The weather right now is classic “Ithacating”–rain, freezing rain, alternating with bitter cold and snow. It couldn’t be gloomier, but your spring and summer soundscapes from last seasons are truly transporting. I am listening to the Bobolink Meadow and just putting myself mentally in that place, where it’s warm and ringing with the songs of my favorite birds. What’s not to love about Boblinks?
Lynn: the freezing rain brings to my mind the beginning of the frog season, which (as you well know) will unfold here not long after I leave on my recording expedition (ETD Feb 23). Although I’ll be bathing in western wild sounds for months on end, I’ll nonetheless sorely miss hearing the first wood frogs and peepers, not to mention the lovely bubbling of the bobolinks when they arrive here in May. But I will take solace in knowing that your sharp ear and receptive mind will be hearing and appreciating those remarkable sound events in my absence and beaming… Read more »
Happy happy sounds
They certain do sound “happy,” don’t they?
I’m a bit disappointed at the introduction of voice to these. I have liked to use them as background nature sounds when I’m using the computer. But with the voice added, they are now in a different category. I’m glad I’ve got the previous ones saved so I can still use them. I realize you need to progress in what you’re doing, but….
Mystic: This is a “podcast prototype,” not really what I’d normally post to my blog. For blogging, the best format is pure nature with accompanying text. Podcasts are a different creature, designed more for radio listening, and requiring a narrative that sets the scene. I’m only posting them here to get feedback on my style of delivery for the podcast format. It seems, however, that some listeners are confused about my purpose here, preferring the “old” format, which I’ve not at all abandoned. I’m just trying to get feedback as it relates to the podcast idea. FYI, for easy listening… Read more »
Ok, thanks for the clarification. I think the voice over sounds fine, just for the record.
I just added the recording without narration at the bottom of the post.
: >) I’ll keep doing that when I post a podcast.
Great job. Good to go!
Thanks Chris. So you think the way I handled narration versus the nature sound themselves is workable?
It’s always tricky to do the mix, so that the primary songster sings during pauses and not while there’s talking. In order to pull that off, there’s lots of editing and especially the use of crossfades behind the voice so as to hide transitions that might otherwise be audible.
Yes, whatever you did works for me Lang. I suppose it is helpful that much of your speaking voice is at a lower frequency than the wildlife sounds.
I really enjoyed the podcast. Here is something I wonder (after thinking about some of the comments). I wonder if you had a brief introduction like: “Hi friends, I am in a meadow in upstate New York listening to Bobolinks. Let’s listen for a couple of minutes,” and then had a longer unspoken section, and THEN return with the narrative. It would give me a chance to listen and wonder and then get a chance for some better understanding provided by your narrative. After the narrative, another couple of minutes of uninterrupted listening. I found that I LOVE hearing what… Read more »
Adele: Thanks for you suggestion. That might work. It’s difficult to figure out beforehand what will work for the podcast and/or radio audience. Here on my website, there is already an established context and text is generally a better option than narration. On radio, however, voice is all-important and it’s questionable whether folks would actually want long un-narrated sections. So I’m a wee bit baffled for sure.
You would think the little fellow would get tired from that solo!!!!
On that day, the male bobolinks were cranking it out full throttle, probably for the entire week, maybe longer. They were fresh back, along with females, and it was quite a scene.
While I love the recordings of the birds, I find the constant narrative really intrusive. I appreciate the information you give about the bird, but please limit the talking throughout the birdsong.
Susan: This is interesting. My strategy was to do the talking and then give you a real big chunk of the soundscape (minus voice) at the end. So you’re saying you’d rather have longer pauses in the narrative (so as to hear the recording), at the expense of the long unbroken soundscape at the end? Or do both? Or dispense of the narrative altogether? Remember that podcasts are aimed at a different audience than my blog subscribers. On my blog, it is generally best to dispense with the narrative altogether and instead include text. So you are able to read… Read more »
I like the narrative addition. Don’t stop
When I saw your email I made a cup of tea to enjoy with your podcast. It is dusk here in Florida and we are expecting our first night of near freezing temperatures. Very comforting to hear your May day as I watch the last glow in the sky disappearing.
Today I enjoyed the call of loons on the lagoon and the sound of the rapid beat of their feet as they worked to take off.
Thank you for the treat.
I like your voice just the way it is.
Nancy: That’s good, ’cause it is the way it is, for better or for worse. As long as I’m able to re-do sections of the narrative, the result is definitely fairly decent. But not so if I had to just throw it out there once, without any editing or re-dos.
They sound like R2D2 from “Star Wars” Lang,thank you for sending this podcast to me 🙂 For your information, your voice is strong & soothing to my ears, so NO WORRIES!
Very R2D2. I am working on a longer podcast about the Bobolink that includes slowed versions of songs as well as examples of calls. It’s more involved in comparison to this one, so I decided to do the “easy” one first. Of course, I’m not sure what listeners will want. Do they desire to hear about all the details, or would most prefer shorter and simpler podcasts, without all the added frills? My purpose is to give listeners a delightful taste of nature, through the medium of sound. So, in a way, the simpler the better, as long as it… Read more »
‘Why bring it up? You delight us with the voices of so many wondrous creatures as I’m sure you are just as delighted to hear. Those ‘silky smooth’ voices are a reminder of what once was for you. I get it
I actually have a love/hate relationship with my voice right now. There’s something about that I like (in comparison to my previous voice), but then again I really dislike the grittiness I get with certain words. No matter how many times I try re-voicing those words, I can’t eliminate the problem. Maybe nobody else really hears it, but I do.
there might be voice coach assistance available, I know actors and actresses use these people to change the way they sound
Hi Lang, After reading several replies and listening to your podcast, I too like the recording of the singing bobolinks without voice but as stated a podcast includes narrative. I would suggest that you coul introduce the podcast with 10-20 seconds of your voice (introduction) with no bobolinks singing then let the bobolink recording play for 30-45 seconds, then back to a 10-15 second factoid by you you ( while no bobolinks are singing) then 30-45 seconds of bobolink singing , repeat until end of podcast. The podcast does give direction to the recordings and conveys factoids that you want… Read more »