This two-day course with Chris Watson & Jez riley French aims to explore aspects of field recording in more depth, plus a demonstration of techniques for editing audio files on a computer and mixing soundtracks. It is suitable for those who have already taken our Wildlife Sound Recording course, or those who already have good experience of sound recording in the field.
The bulk of the course will be taken up with recording in the field - experimenting with different techniques and microphones, including hydrophones and surround sound systems - and then analysing the results back at base.
The course is taught by Chris Watson, one of the world's top wildlife sound specialists who regularly works for the BBC, and assisted by audio specialist Jez riley French.
Day 1 : Aim to arrive by 6pm, directions will be sent when you have booked your place.
7pm - evening meal served (no problem if you arrive later)
8pm - introductory chat - who we are, who you are, and what we will be doing over the next two days.
Dawn - recording of dawn chorus in the grounds of Whitwell Hall.
8am - breakfast
9am - a discussion about the sound recording fieldcraft and techniques we will be practising. This will include the selection of appropriate microphones, microphone placement, rigging and cabling, mono, stereo and surround sound techniques and the use of hydrophones and contact mikes. This will be followed by practical work in the grounds of Whitwell Hall and analysis of the morning's dawn chorus recording.
1pm - lunch
2pm - a demonstration of how to edit, manipulate and improve sound recordings, and also how they can be effectively combined and mixed together to produce a soundtrack. This could be for a television or radio programme, for installations, or for your own enjoyment.
7pm - evening meal served, after which we will take a trip to Holt Country Park to attempt to record woodcock and other birds at dusk.
Dawn - recording of dawn chorus in Foxley Wood.
8am - breakfast
9am - further fieldwork including the use of hydrophones in ponds
1pm - lunch
2pm - critical analysis of recordings made over the weekend
4pm - course ends
Chris Watson - experienced sound recordist specialising in wildlife - Chris also runs courses in wildlife sound recording and post production at the BBC Natural History Unit, and lectures internationally on location sound and sound design. He has worked closely with two of the most high-profile natural history presenters in the business, David Attenborough and Bill Oddie. He is Oddie's favourite sound man and the TV veteran says of Watson: "I don't know anyone who is so intense yet so splendidly frivolous." Chris became a sound recordist in 1981 when he joined Tyne Tees Television and is now widely regarded as one of the most creative sound artists in the business. His recent credits include the hugely popular Springwatch and Autumnwatch, and he received the Wildlife Film Asia Award for the BBC's Galapagos: Born of Fire. Watson also creates for the radio, with credits includingSoundscape: The Sea Swallow, Watersong and The Estuary all for BBC Radio 4. See www.chriswatson.net
Jez riley French is an audio specialist whose output involves elements of intuitive composition, field recording (using conventional & extended methods) photographic images (including their use in photographic scores) and improvisation. He has performed, exhibited and had his work published widely across Europe and also lectures in both field recording and intuitive composition as a guest lecturer. He is currently resident artist at Hull School of Art & Design.
Jez also makes & sells his own hydrophones and contact mics + runs the ‘in place’ project with a website exploring various aspects of field recording & related work. In recent years Jez has been working closely with specific architectural spaces, capturing a sense of place that is both highly personal and yet offers the audience a fascinating opportunity to look and listen anew to the environments in which we spend our time. http://jezrileyfrench.blogspot.com/