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Spring Tech Talk & the Sounds Of Antarctica
by Paul Feyling

Saturday May 10th, was a double-feature day in San Francisco for nature sound aficionados. The society sponsored a Tech Talk held at Dan Dugan's studios in the morning, and in the afternoon at Dolby Labs, featured a premiere presentation by Doug Quin of his recent recordings from Antarctica.

At the Tech Talk, Amy Hunter gave a very clear introduction to the fundamentals of sound and to the terminology that is such a part of any technical audio discussion. During the second part of the program, Dan Dugan demonstrated computer programs for manipulating and editing sound, including Pro Tools and the Arboretum Systems' Ionizer program for removing wind and handling noise and tape hiss. The dozen or so participants, who ranged from beginners to professionals, clustered around Dan's work station in rapt attention as he performed his audio magic. Later, several members set up various combinations of microphones and recorders that the participants could try out. From the buzz of information that was in the air, this was clearly a very instructive and energizing morning for all.

The opulent Dolby Labs theater was the setting for the eagerly awaited premiere of Doug Quin's remarkable sounds from Antarctica. Presented in Surround Sound, the program transported the near capacity audience to a sonic world beyond our imaginations. We heard the eerie underwater creakings of ice and glaciers, the plaintive and almost human bleatings of Weddell seals, the complex and musical calls of Leopard seals and Orca whales, sounds that could be mistaken for the latest electronic music, haunting and astounding. Before he started the program, which was really a concert of natural sound, Doug regaled us with stories from his stay in that remote and dramatic realm, and conveyed the wonder that he experienced while recording the sounds of that frozen world.

Afterwards, the reception provided a festive conclusion to a memorable event and to a day that gave double pleasure to sound lovers. In addition, new members were recruited and participants were signed up for the annual field workshop. All in all, one of the most successful day that the society has presented.

Articles from Winter 1997

  Letter From The Chair

Editor's Note: The NSS Website

Sound Recording Adventures in Antarctica (2): Sounds of Antarctic Glaciers & Rock

Earprints on the Air: New Radio Show Gives Air Time to Nature Sounds

Spring Tech Talk & the Sounds Of Antarctica

Lucky 13! - 13th Annual Field Recording Workshop Review

The Niche Hypothesis: Creature Vocalizations and the Relationship Between Natural Sound and Music

Long Live Analog! Great Deals in Used Nagras

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