Earth Notes: Soundscape - Going Postal in Audio

Updated 2021-02-07 21:10 GMT.
By Damon Hart-Davis.
What happens when you send a sound-activated live field recorder in a parcel? #ambient #soundscape #fieldrecording
double post box

Another ambient soundscape podcast episode: no spoken words from me!

Selected noises from the start of a parcel's journey: voices, machinery, traffic... Part of a whole day's travel captured in 3.5h (1GB) of audio, further condensed to under one minute per hour for your vicarious pleasure!
1242s "202101 parcel en route" Uploaded . Download stereo MP3 clip 26887kB (may not be available in data-saver/lite mode), download low-bandwidth mono MP3 clip 5174kB, hi-fi stereo lossless clip 88599kB.
Transcript:
  1. 00:00 to 02:15 packaging and writing address and taken to front door, from source 0:00:08
  2. 02:30 to 04:15 picked up and walked to post office, from source 0:05:45.
  3. 04:15 to 06:15 collection from the post office, loading into van through sliding doors, and starting short road journey (~4m?), from source 1:12:30.
  4. 06:15 to 13:15 arrival at next stop, processing including electric motor noises, then setting off on ~30m journey, from source 1:19:00.
  5. 13:15 to 20:45 arriving at next (long) stop, processing, then setting off on next stage of (train?) journey (with liquid glugging sounds) during which storage ran out, from source 1:52:30.

Show Notes

Recorded with Deniz' Olympus LS-P4 live on its way back to him.

The recording is lossless (WAV) 16-bit stereo, at 48ksps, with voice activation. The memory filled up before the device reached him it seems from the cut-off.

Individual segments were loudness normalised (-23LUFS).

There remain some annoying pops from the voice-/auto- activation.

Notes made while device in transit, and from the raw recording:

2021-01-07T15:34Z parcel with live LS-P4 leaving 16WW en route to Deniz.
2021-01-08T13:54Z Your Item was received by DO on 08-01-2021 and is now due for delivery today. Service used: Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed 1pm.  14:39Z update delivered: 11:22am
Note: Recording level on LS-P4 should possibly have been 'low' not 'medium'.
File: 210107_0144.flac (1GB)
Notes on content:
0m testing, being sealed up and address written on (*wrapped, sealed, written)
6m being walked to post office (*walked)
11m at post office
13m at counter (15m done) (*some of beeping and going into pile)
18m intermittent capture from post office, various voices (public, staff)
1h11m "wait for one minute, yeah?"
1h13m something else put on top of parcel or things being re-arranged.
1h14m loaded unto van through sliding doors?
1h15m parcel collected, taken outside? (*collection)
1h17m in transit, external traffic noises?
1h19m intermittent, van and electronic noises (*beeping)
1h21m other voices (some cross!) possibly at a sorting office?
1h25m lift/motor noise, then van engine noise (*lift)
1h49m van/driving noise, some movement of contents (eg 1h32m), rattling, etc. *
1h53m slowing down / arriving. *
1h54m stopped, voices, new ambience. *
1h55m lift/motor noise, voices (another sorting office)? *
1h58h noisy movement maybe wheel noise, voices (*trolley?)
1h59m radio on in background?
2h00m loud wheel noise, louder radio, voices
2h01m electronic beeps, (mainly) non-English speech
2h02m movement, rattling, dropping?
2h07m intermittent, electronic noises, movement, voices/chat.
2h16m more movement close to package.
2h17m package moved?
2h18m sound muffled, from other things covering the package?
2h27m continuing sounds as if other items being stowed near/on the package?
2h32m container with package being moved?
2h33m container being moved/rolled then restacked?
2h36m more movement and rustling noises.
2h37m louder beeping, several sources, chatting quieter.
2h42m beeps and movement noises, few voices...
2h43m rattling, agitation, voices.
2h48m something being zipped up.
2h50m loud movement, eg being pushed or wheeled.
2h53m being wheeled (loud) over slightly uneven surface, voices very muffled.
2h56m different ambience (larger space?) few voices. (*ambience)
3h01m different ambience (larger space?) few voices. (*ambience)
3h03m rattling cage sound...
3h14m (faint voices)
3h17m (click, maybe stuff settling)
3h19m voice then wheeling noise (loud).
3h20m more wheeling (*wheeling)
3h21m more wheeling
3h21m rhythm being tapped out.
3h22m more wheeling
3h23m lift/motor, wheeling (*motor)
3h25m v low freq loud saturating mic, on van/lorry/trolley/train.
3h26m brakes or metal-on-metal sound
3h27m brakes or metal-on-metal sound
3h36m finished (storage full) while still in transit.
~299 words.