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Exploring Birdsong with
Domestic Technology

Recordings

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What do we do with our recordings?

  • Use live with a bird recognition app to increase accuracy of identification

  • Record with free app on the phone to share with 'E-Bird' 

  • Use with apps on the device to edit and process sounds for creativity (Garage Band, Thumb Jam, Voice Jam etc)

  • Export to your PC apps such as  Audacity, OcenAudio or Raven to visualise the birdsong as a graphic.

  • The higher pitch sounds are higher up the scale and the louder they are they change more yellow from blue which are the quietest sounds. These can be used for creative purposes or for analysing the birdsong.

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Image courtesy of Cornell University

 

Processing

Reducing background noise can be done through frequency filters but this can only edit whole frequency bands not individual sounds.

 

Please not for archive recordings of birdsong: Editing out gaps and silences is now NOT acceptable to scientists as the space between vocalisations can be as important as the vocalisation itself. It is helpful to include other ambient sounds for context especially any responses from other wildlife.

Outcomes

Both the audio and the visual aspects can be used for creativity in a number of ways. However the primary purpose is to empower people in far flung places to be able to make recordings of birds where they live. Whatever technology makes this possible will most likely be low tech, inexpensive, robust and compatible with a wider range of devices.

By using smartphones a GPS location is made automatically of each recording which can be shared globally. This is hugely beneficial in informing us about the behaviour of birds and therefore making us better equipped to protect them.

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