It's winter, so there isn't much to record in Scotland apart from wind and rain. We've had plenty of stormy weather since mid-November and I recorded it from several completely different perspectives. In Part 1 of this series I'm going to talk about recording wind in woodlands and forests.
There are several advantages to recording this kind of weather in the woods. First of all, the gusts aren't nearly as potent as they would be in open areas, therefore basic wind protection will do a decent job. Secondly, the sound of wind blowing through trees and vegetation are loud enough to drown out distant traffic or other man-made noise. On top of that you can generally get pretty close to interesting sound sources.
As with everything, there are disadvantages to recording wind in the forest as well. Some persistent wind gusts can sneak up on the forest floor, so setting the correct levels becomes a bit more difficult. Trees can break down or be uprooted by heavy winds, so I have to be very careful where I choose to stand and record. I often have to walk for miles through 60mph winds before I can find interesting sounds that I can record. Sometimes in order to get close to an interesting sound source I have to jump over ditches and navigate through twigs, branches and muddy terrain.
At any rate, today the weather was particularly windy but not that wet so I took a few hours off and went out recording. I only took my small kit (PCM D100, small mic stands, GoPro and binoculars, all in my backpack) since navigating in the woods with my recording bag and the MKH 8040s on a mic stand would have rendered me less mobile.
I was looking for trees that creaked or groaned menacingly which would provide an interesting twist to the wind-through-trees noise. As expected the wind was pretty strong but I had to walk for a few miles before I found a good spot to record in. There were plenty of creaking trees about, but some of them were in exposed places which would have definitely ruined my recordings. Others were almost horizontal or looked like they were close to collapsing so I stood well clear of them. I finally found a couple of good sounding places and recorded excellent tree creaks accompanied by pretty strong wind gusts. Here's a short excerpt that you can download and use in your projects for free: