A few weeks ago, my fiance and I took a short camping trip into the backcountry of the East Bay. We visited Black Diamond Mines, which is out in Antioch. While it was a bit hot, the landscape is beautiful and affords some recording opportunities. Being the avid recordist, I packed my gear in for the night.
Black Diamond Mines view from above the valley.
The extra 6 or 7 pounds sucks on a steep hill in 95 degree heat, but getting a chance to be out in the middle of nowhere and never have to worry about vehicle traffic is Nirvana.

Unfortunately, Antioch is up the delta and the whole place is pretty windy. The wind was light enough so as to not cause mic pops through my blimp but just strong enough for the blimp to be the cause of the wind noise. That’s not usually a problem, unless you burnt your windjammer up in a little fire escape and have yet to replace it. D’oh.

I spent a lot of time recording wholly unusable things because of that noise and you’ll hear what I’m talking about interspersed in some of the effects below (especially the gate). I ended up with two pretty cool sets of effects after all was said and done. First was the rustiest old gate I’ve ever found and a next was a night of crickets in an open field.

Rusty Gate by dsteinwedel

The rusty gate.
This one speaks for itself. It whines, it moans, it ronks and bangs. Someday when I have the chance and a good wind forecast I’m going back to get a set that’s free and clear of that damn wind.

Our campsite was next to a large, open field in the bottom of a long valley. The hardest part about recording the crickets was deciding which direction to point the mic. The chorus of insects was absolutely beautiful in all directions. At points there are also peeps in the recordings. I’m not sure what kind of animal made them although my gut says some relative of a prairie dog.

Night Crickets by dsteinwedel

At 1:42 in you’ll hear a selection of the recording pitched down at about 40% of the original speed. Below is the sun rising across the lovely field in which they live.Cricket field

Recording geek notes: Neumann 191 -> Fostex FR2