Well this turned out to be a disappointing experiment. I have been thinking about doing a lot more recording with the hydrophone as I have captured some great material and want to continue to see what interesting results I can come up with recording under water. I decided to see if I could capture the sounds of ice cracking as it froze and melted so I placed the hydrophone into a plastic container, filled it with water and put it in the fridge. I attached the H4N to the mains power supply so it could run without fear of battery failure and left it on all night. 5 hours worth of recording later I an have nothing at all except the background hum of the refrigerator. Ok, so maybe ice doesn’t make much noise while its freezing, but I thought at least it would crackle and snap as it thawed out. So the following night I took the whole lot out of the freezer and left it to melt, again with the recorder running. Sadly I recorded another 5 hours of absolutely nothing. I was disappointed, but more than that I was very surprised, I really thought there would be some sound generated as the ice melted. I am going to do some more tests on this, but so far it has been a bit of a failure.
On a more positive note I did record a train today. There is a major freight terminal not far from where we live and some pretty big freight trains head out across the creak at the edge of the terminal. This means they spend several minutes clunking across the old metal bridge which makes a great sound. Anna and I were going for a walk as one went past so I got out the Zoom H4N which I was carrying and got some material. The sound these things make is pretty impressive and I want to find out if there is a regular schedule for them so I can bring down all my gear and do a proper recording session. Placing some mics right on the edge of the bridge would get some awesome sounds as these trains can be really heavy. For today I got a good short sample that I will use as motivation to get more.
Stephan Schütze has been recording sounds for over twenty years. This journal logs his thoughts and experiences