Rainbow Beach Queensland
Today is our last full day with the hire car so we decided to go for a drive north. We drove through Gympie and up to an area called Rainbow Beach. This is part of the area near Fraser Island and the beaches are so huge that they also function as a highway to travel north. Only 4 wheel drive vehicles can use the beach road, but it is such a popular area that many people make use of it.
The beaches themselves are really beautiful at this time of the year. We decided to go for a walk along the beach because the weather was quite cloudy. I took the hydrophone along because I have never thrown it into surf before and I was curious what sounds I would get. After walking for a while I started to drop the mic into the waters as we walked. I captured some pretty good wave sounds but I also captured a lot of noise as the undertow of the receding waves would pull the mic along on the sandy bottom, so I recorded lots of scratchy sand sound. The sand noise wasn’t really usable, but I did get lots of great wave sounds. While we were walking the sun came out and the sky cleared so we got our towels and went for a swim, the water is fantastic and warm in this area and it was nice to cool off.
One of the recurring issues with recording underwater is the large extreme range of sound levels that occur. For instance a small wave will create a whoosh and some bubble sounds and be fairly quiet, however a large wave crashing is extremely loud with the hydrophone. This means I either need to constantly alter my input levels or decide I am going to try and capture either one or the other. I plan on getting an inline pad unit for my gear. This is essentially a small plug that is placed between the microphone and the recording device that reduces the input level by a certain level (in this case 20dB) with two inputs I can put the pad on one of the line in inputs and use that channel to capture the loud waves while still capturing the quieter waves with the other channel. I will need to investigate this further in the new year.
Stephan Schütze has been recording sounds for over twenty years. This journal logs his thoughts and experiences