Friday, 1 May 2015

Recording bears

I had an amazing chance to record bears @ The Predator Center in Kuusamo. Especially Juuso was talking to the microphone. Special thanks to Sulo Karjalainen.

I was also interviewed by the local news paper Koillissanomat.

Video by Mikko Halvari

Photo by Mikko Halvari


Photo by Mikko Halvari


Photo by Mikko Halvari
Photo by Mikko Halvari

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Sound art with children!

I had a chance to teach children what a sound artist and a sound designer does. I met up with two groups of children in Annantalo Arts Center. A group of 5 to 6 year olds and a group of 7 to 9 year olds. They had seen my installation at the Arts Center earlier that week.

We talked about my sound installation with the wood that are playing sounds of the forest. The children had made some drawings about it. Here are couple of the sound trees by Iida and Johannes. They are both 6 years old.


Iida, 6, with a sound tree.                           Johannes, 6, with a sound stomp.

With the children we figured out what a sound artist and a sound designer does. I introduced my sound recording gear to the children and I also let them to hear with headphones and through the microphones how it sounds like to record sounds.

One child at a time put on the headphones and others made sounds. This way we made some test recordings (original) and here is one of them recorded with the 7 to 9 year olds:

I had so much fun, it was my first time to teach children about sound. After the class all the girls said they wanted to be artists when they grow up :)

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Contact mic testing...

Today I did the test that I have been meaning to do for a while. I am recording a comparison test between Barcus-Berry and Harley Benton contact microphones. I am lending a Barcus-Berry contact microphone, Piezo crystal sensor, with a 4000XL Piezo Preamp that comes with it. I have my own contact mic or basically a Harley Benton HB-T pick-up mic of a very cheap one. About 12 euros worth that I bought from Thomann some time ago.

For those who don't know what a contact microphone is, more info on Wikipedia.

Well, I decided to record a dish washer as a test to compare these to mics. I have only lifted the volume with 10dB from the original. I recorded using the same pre amp for them both, only by switching. I placed them in the center metal panel first.

Here are the sounds of both mics to compare:

As you probably hear there is a difference but it is not that bad actually. The Harley Benton pick-up mic sounds a little more muffled and bassier that the Barcus-Berry contact mic.

At least I now know how much there is difference with a very expensive contact mic and a very cheap one. You know it now too :)

Monday, 5 January 2015

Gramophone Fixing Part 1...

Some time ago I got two gramophones and some gramophone (shellac) records from my dad. Ever since I have been diving into the world of these mystic gramophones and shellac records. Some time ago I checked the condition of my gramophones with a professional and there are some problems with the gramophones that need to be fixed. So I have decided to fix them and clean the records so that I am able to play them.

During this weekend I have been washing the records. This is what I did:

1. The way to do this is to have hand warm water with a little bit of fairy liquid for washing. Then I scrubbed the records in the water with a microfiber cloth.

2. I rinsed the records under running water. I needed to be careful not to wash the label of the record because it might loose its colours.

3. Then I placed the record between two towels and pressed all over to dry the most of the water.

4. Then with a dry microfiber cloth I cleaned the record along the swirl of the record.

5. I have a rack for the records so after that I put them there for over night drying, before putting them into their sleeves.

6. Finally I put the records into their sleeves. And they looked so shiny and clean.

I bet the sound is much better now. I have about 50 shellac records including songs by artists like Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Pat Boone, Doris Day, Nat King Cole and many others. I am buying more records all the time. Later I will post more about my process in the following parts...

 Here are some photos of the shellac record washing up:

   1. Washing.                                                                 2. Rinsing.

   3. Drying.                                                                     4. Cleaning.

   5. Drying over night                                                     6. Records in their sleeves.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

First sounds of the year 2015

Today I am posting my first blog post. I am thrilled to start the year with firework sounds! I recorded the changing of the year while I was walking in the park next to Kumpula botanical garden. There was a countdown to the changing of the year. I also gathered some of the best fireworks I heard in the park. These are the first sounds of the year 2015 that I heard.

Fireworks sure sound great don't they :)