The Natural Music of the Wind

The Natural Music of the Wind

WIND HARPS

This library is the marriage of my love of recording wind and making drones. All recordings were made with an acoustic guitar tuned to open A (E-A-C♯-E-A-E) and open D (D-A-D-F♯-A-D) tunings.

LIBRARY DESCRIPTION

  • In Wind Harp, get an expansive collection of musical winds from the mountains of the American Southwest. Hear singing wires brought to life by 30 mph gusts and desert winds meshing perfectly with melodic drones. Hear blustery blasts whipping through mountain valleys and scrappy desert foliage rustling frantically. Hear dancing grasses strike fretboard strings, pinging rich melodies with each swaying stalk. 
  • To record this library, an acoustic guitar was transformed into an aeolian harp. I hope this library gives you a chance to hear the wind in a way you haven’t heard it before. Enjoy listening to the natural music of the wind as it sings on long thin wires.

    LIBRARY DEMO

    RECORDING CHALLENGES

    The most challenging aspect to creating this library was how to record both the subtle detail of the vibrating strings and the roar of the surrounding wind. Normally, it is very difficult to record in high winds even with a blimp. In this case, I couldn’t use a wind block because it took gusts of at least 20 mph to resonate the strings of the acoustic guitar.



    Thus, my dilemma was trying to find a way to create a sufficient wind block for the microphones and still have the strings resonate.

    It took a while, but ultimately I found a solution. I used a Mid/Side rig with a Sennheiser MKH 50 and 30 because these mics do exceptionally well in the wind. I found I could put the guitar on its back directly on the ground in order to minimize extreme gusts. Then, I pointed the rear of my blimp directly into the wind and placed the guitar strings perpendicular to the wind blasts. My best solution was to have the tail of the blimp take the brunt of the wind gusts and record from close to the ground. With this setup, I was able to get excellent recordings while out in blustery 20 to 40 mph winds.

    MICROPHONE PERSPECTIVES

    I experimented with three other microphone perspectives in this library. First, I placed two DPA 4060s inside the body of the guitar. This created recordings with rich harmonic detail but with a very closed and mono sound.

    Second, I tried placing one DPA 4060 under the strings of the guitar as the Mid channel. I used my Sennheiser MKH 30 as the side channel outside the body of the guitar (in a blimp). I lined up the capsules the best I could in 40 mph winds and made some recordings. To my surprise, this perspective had both the rich detail of the resonating strings and the open resonance of the surrounding wind. With some creative EQing, I was able to matrix the mid and the side channel together for a unique perspective.

    Third, I used a violin bow to resonate the strings of the guitar. I used my ORTF rig and placed it behind a wind block about 50 feet from the guitar. Then I bowed the strings, making my best effort to bow in parallel with the gusting wind.

    WIND HARP – TESTIMONIAL

    “Forget sound effects, I’d buy this as an album, an aeolian study that doesn’t fall into neat categorization. The whistling and the string resonances are supremely evocative in how they are perfectly correlated and mixed. This is a truly creative layer-oriented library that will add beauty and mystery to anything. This is not meat-and-potatoes SFX; it is true sound artistry.” – @noisejockey, Nathan Moody

      THANKS FOR READING

      Sound libraries are works of art and I hope you have enjoyed these behind these scenes stories. Really what I’m trying to say here is thank you. I’ve put a little piece of myself into each recording, and I hope that you love them as much as I enjoyed making them. 

      Buy Wind Harp ($79)