Whisperpedia episodes: Learn about lucid dreaming, Bob Ross, History of YouTube, Sleep, Easter island, the hockey miracle, cashmere goats, Lochness monster, Klondike gold rush, miracle fruit, chinchillas, pyramids, black holes, Gilligan’s island tv show, computer keyboards, the deep sea, planets, outer space, burning man festival, melatonin, table etiquette, mythology, Gene Simmons from Kiss, dodo birds, Marco Polo, Komodo dragons, Buddhism, drums, dwarfs, black mirror tv show, roller coasters, salt, the diphtheria sled dog miracle, the failure of New Coke, protective armour, and more.
Tuck In and Fade Out episodes: Relax to guided meditations, guided relaxations, guided imageries, lists of soothing words, poems, surveys, catalog browsings, and recipe readings.
Story Time episodes: Enjoy curious stories by Frank L Baum, Hans Christian Andersen, and other authors.
Trivia Time episodes: Listen to interesting questions and answers.
Chat episodes: Hear me ramble about podcast updates and share listener feedback.
Batch episodes: Enjoy about 30-45 minutes of batched content from old episodes.
Big Batch episodes: Enjoy about 2 hours of batched episodes without any music, intro, or ads.
Bonus episodes: Enjoy even more Whisperpedias, Stories, Chats, Fade Outs, Trivia, as well as, music, interviews, tapping, crinkling, drinking, chewing, outdoor recordings, and other experimental recordings.
Soothing Nature Sounds (1 hour and 8 hour episodes): stream over rocks, cat cleaning itself, hiking a gravel trail, birds cawing, rain dripping and birds singing, ocean surf at jetty, small waterfall, birds at seashore, cat purring, trickling stream, ocean surf, hypnotic echoes of water drips, small pond at night, rain on an umbrella, backyard fire pit, Lake Ontario at night, birds in dense trees, stormy day at the beach, starry night with crickets, rain downpour with thunder, wind around house, birds on a windy beach, rushing stream, and howling wind with drizzling rain.
Relaxing Background Noises (1 hour and 8 hour episodes): floor fan, ceiling fan, small fan, white noise, brown noise, industrial hum and white noise, industrial air conditioner, dehumidifier, blow dryer, electromagnetic pulses, voices outside a factory, construction site, jets over beach, cars on a brick road, and clanky train ride.
Things to do if you are still sleepless and staring at the ceiling:
Another outdoor test with a bunch of microphones. My prior test was with microphones I already owned. This test is with 3 new microphones I recently purchased (except the first one).
The first microphone is the one I have used for most of my prior outdoor recordings. It has great audio quality, but it picks up a lot of distant sounds because it is omnidirectional. You can compare the 3 new microphones with this microphone.
All of the new microphones I purchased are cardioid (unidirectional), so they should pick up less distant sounds, although… small cardioid mics don’t usually sound as good as small omnidirectional mics.
I don’t think any of these new mics give a good balance of audio quality and rejecting distant sounds – but, you can be the judge!
Here are the mics and time codes so you can jump back and forth to compare:
Starts at 0m0s: omnidirectional (Fusion) – usual mic
Starts at 9m10s: cardioid/unidirectional (Pyle) – contender 1
Starts at 12m38s: cardioid/unidirectional (Mic J) – contender 2
Starts at 15m31s: cardioid/unidirectional (Maker Hart) – contender 3
Based on the results of my recent test with 11 microphones, I decided to try a set of the microphones from that test that sounded better than my prior microphones.
I had to invent a “Crazy Microphone Hat” to use these larger microphones outside, position them next to my mouth, and keep my hands free. It is the ugliest and most ridiculous thing…but it kinda worked to do what I wanted.
I’ve decided that I’m not happy with the microphones I’ve been using to record outdoors. They are picking up too many of the distant sounds in the environment.
So I decided to test eleven of my microphones to see which type might work better. That’s right, welcome to Harris going all techy, geeko, and nerdapalooza for almost a full hour. I tested various types of microphones ranging in cost from $30 to $1000.
Mini-boom mic: a small microphone that you might see on a gamer headset or used by a telemarketer.
Boom: a long shotgun microphone that you might see on a long boom pole at a movie or TV film set.
Condenser mic: a microphone type with more sensitivity for picking up distant sounds.
Dynamic mic: a microphone type with less sensitivity for picking up distant sounds.
Polar pattern: the focus pick-up area of the microphone, such as omni (from all directions), cardioid (mostly from the front), and super-cardioid or hyper-cardioid (very much from the front).
Diaphragm: the specific part of the microphone which captures the sound waves – diaphragm size may be small, medium, or large. Larger ones capture higher quality sound.
Here are the time codes to the different microphones tested. I also included a rating score:
<1> = low rating due to most distant sounds
<5> = high rating due to least distant sounds
0m:0s Mic #1 (FUSION, condenser, cardioid, mini-boom): <2>
12m:0s Mic #2 (VMODA, condenser, cardioid, mini-boom): <3>
17m:22s Mic #3 (CAD, condenser, omni-setting): <1>
20m:5s Mic #3 (CAD, condenser, cardioid-setting): <3>
21m25s Mic #3 (CAD, condenser, super-cardioid-setting): <4>
22m45s Mic #3 (CAD, condenser, omni-setting again): <1>
24m20s Mic #4 (TASCAM, condenser, cardioid, candle-stick): <4.5>
28m0s Mic #5 (POLSEN, condenser, cardioid, candle-stick): <5>
30m40s Mic #6 (SENN-MKE, condenser, super-cardioid, boom): <5>
33m55s Mic #7 (SENN-MKH, condenser, super-cardioid, boom): <4>
37m55s Mic #8 (PYLE, dynamic, cardioid, handheld): <3>
40m40s Mic #9 (SAMSON, dynamic, cardioid, handheld): <2.5>
44m50s Mic #10 (ATR, dynamic, cardioid, handheld): <3>
48m30s Mic #11 (SENN-835, dynamic, cardioid, handheld): <3>
Summary: Cardioid was definitely better than Omni for recording outside. Surprisingly, I think some condenser mics sounded better than the dynamic mics for rejecting distant sounds without adding extra hiss. I think mics #5 and #6 picked up the least distant sounds.
My first outdoor recording in a local wetland conservation area. I think I called it a “swamp” in the recording – it is not that extreme, I wasn’t wrestling alligators. I did test my newest fuzzy windscreens which worked perfectly.
I also posted a photo on my Patreon site so you can see what I am referring to when I mention things like lantern, boardwalk, reeds, and pom poms.
Disturbing background noises like dogs barking, cars driving by and other non-relaxing sounds are not as bad as in my backyard or in my neighborhood, but they are still present – so unfortunately this is not yet the peaceful nature experience that I hope to record someday : )