A multi-disciplinary journey in music, sound, and field recording.


Posted: January 12th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: field recording, sound design

Yes, the Noise Jockey Corporate Yacht follows the Noise Jockey Online Branding and Color Usage Guidelines.

Kayaking on the Whiskeytown Reservoir in Northern California, I was surrounded by motorboats pulling wakeboarders. I wanted to see what all those speedboats sounded like underwater, so I dropped my hydrophone over the side and took a listen (with my field recorder safely under the deck of my kayak, in a dry bag). The inboard engines emitted a clean, high-tech whine with none of the chunky, air-gulping combustion engine sounds we typically hear in the air. “Spaceship,” I instantly thought.

I merged two recordings of these motorboats, each about half a kilometer away, futzed with them just a tad (sorry, my effects chain is lost to the dim mists of time!), and turned it into a loopable drone.

[Aquarian Audio H2a-XLR hydrophone into a Sound Devices 702 recorder]

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4 Comments on “Hydromotordrone”

  1. 1 Colin Hunter said at 10:59 am on January 12th, 2011:

    My immediate thoughts – the poor fish! That’s some scary s#!t. Serious noise pollution for the underwater world! Funnily enough, I was just reading about a Whale Tracking program (www.beamreach.org) where they use a plug in diesel electric hybrid charter boat (http://www.gatoverde.com/) that allows hydrophone recordings to be made whilst following the whales, no motor noise at all!

  2. 2 Nathan said at 11:34 am on January 12th, 2011:

    Colin, thanks for the comment. I do think that man-made noise underwater is woefully misunderstood and underestimated, the results of which are only now being understood. Everything from whales to fish to pinnipeds are influenced by sound as much, and perhaps much more, than land and air creatures. Thanks for sharing the link and spreading the awareness of underwater noise issues!

  3. 3 Ryan said at 8:49 pm on January 16th, 2011:

    Nathan, that rocks! I’m going to be in Sacramento and San Francisco in this next week – looks like great weather you’re having up there in NorCal. Clean and clear, and clean water. I truly miss having seasons – not much change here in L.A.! Cool sounds – it could totally be a spaceship.

  4. 4 Ryan said at 11:14 pm on January 22nd, 2011:

    Alright Nathan, so I went up to Sac and then to San Francisco and it was the first sunny day in a month per the waiter at Ghirardelli Square. I guess I lucked out.

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