Friday, January 21, 2022

Noon Day Gun Echo

[This recording may now also be heard on YouTube at]

Following months of contemplation, and with five attempts, I yesterday obtained the best recording yet, of Cape Town's noon day gun with echo rolling off Table Mountain. This needs a hi-fi amplifier to fully appreciate the bass boom. Here is what didn't work:
• Attempt no. 1 was killed by an inadequate mic (I then designed my own).
• Attempt no. 2 was killed by the noise of cicadas.
• Attempt no. 3 was killed by the mist (no boom got through at all).
• Attempt no. 4 was killed by too much gain at the recorder.
• This was Attempt no. 5. A windstill day, with location and gain fairly good.
I was at the red-yellow spot in the photo. The gun is on the hill closest to the camera, about 5 km (3 mi) distant from me. The voices one hears in the recording were about 100 m (110 yds) further down a bushy mountain, about the length of a football pitch. 

POSTSCRIPT: I tried to post this on Twitter, but Twitter badly degraded the sound. This recording pushes the limits of the possible. I tried, and succeeded, to reduce hiss, but this compromised the sound of the gun.

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