Handheld Recorder

Handheld Recorder – 1

Tuesday, 16th of June 2015

After my six hours recording marathon in the west of the island I decided to move towards the north to visit the more urban parts of the island. Quickly passing through Christiania – a part visitors are supposed to see – I aimed to find a spot were Amager is confronted and most near to Copenhagen old town – Christianshavn. I stopped at the lovely Christianhavns Kanal and sat down on a bench watching passersby, tourist tour boats, tiny sailboats and people eating and drinking in cafés near the riverside. It was about 8 pm and I decided not to take all my equipment and let things happen while drinking a beer and have a chat with my friend who luckily showed me around. That’s why there aren’t any photographs of that evening and just a few recordings. I ended up with the decision to record using the internal mics of the ZOOM H4n only. Positioning the handheld recorder directly upon the jetty’s stone and setting the X/Y angle to 120° the resulting recordings mirror the acoustic ambience I’ve witnessed there: People chatting, boats passing, waves hitting the jetty, touristic boat tours passing and (of course) helicopters flying in the sky above Copenhagen again.

Sound example (collage of different takes)

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Hydrophone – 2, 3

The next stop was at the huge canal between Amager and Copenhagen. We stopped in front of the Dansk Arkitektur Center were we had a good access to the water to make some underwater recordings using the hydrophone. Next to a water feed we tried to capture the passing water busses and tourist boats. That was more difficult than expected due to a strong current in the canal. We only hardly heard something so recording there wasn’t that fertile. During the postproduction process I again found some of these mechanical underwater noises but this time in the range of 6 kHz. At the end of the following sound example one can hear the water feed.

Sound example

The more intersting and water specific sounds resulted by holding the hydrophone directly into the current of the water feed that poured into the canal. At first I held the hydrophone just besides the feed which can be heard in the first part of the following sound example. In a second step I held the hydrophone directly into the current which can be heard in the second part.

Sound example


On the way back to the center of Amager I stopped on a bridge between Christiania and the Island (number 3 on the map). I wanted to record some underwater sounds because the current there wasn’t that strong but this bridge seemed to be one of the most frequented ones. It was though very hard to hear what the recordings would be like and I did not feel so comfortable between this dense bike traffic. That’s the reason why there’s no sound example and the sounds did not become a part of the final composition.

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Map North

1 – Handheld Recorder
2, 3 – Hydrophone

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