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wit wit wit


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This file is like 10MB so I uploaded it to drop box...  I was hearing a fairly stead wit, wit, wit call from a willow tree. Anyone good enough to even pick up the calls and then ID? The bird never showed itself to me even though it couldn't have been more than 40 feet or so away. Eventually it went quiet.
Warning... I played this to listen to it like 5 or 10 minutes ago and I can STILL hear the insects buzzing in my year. You have to turn it way up but the bugs are loud.
Even though I know the bird was calling throughout, I could hear the calls better starting somewhere around halfway through.

https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fi/8va25zvww0a4t51p0dgw9/2023-09-24-10_36.wav?rlkey=xut1es9r72lrk3i6wt6yswmw2&dl=0

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NW Arkansas today.

A willow flycatcher would be flagged here right now, mostly because those empids get overlooked in the fall around here. There's been a lot of talk on least flycatchers being overlooked in this area this time of year, and they're also flagged on eBird. I had a singing least the day before at a different location and I reported a willow after seeing an empid with no eye ring making the same sort of wit calls.

I have software where I can raise and lower the volume of different areas but I'm not able to separate different sounds from each other. Would be cool if I had something like that to take out camera noise, my walking, the wind, etc.  ha

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8 hours ago, millipede said:

 

I have software where I can raise and lower the volume of different areas but I'm not able to separate different sounds from each other. Would be cool if I had something like that to take out camera noise, my walking, the wind, etc.  ha

Audacity. It's totally free, and super simple. If you download it, I can suggest some tutorials or walkthroughs. That's what I use 

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@millipede all you really need is an EQ or a set of filters. Wind noise can be easily removed from most bird sounds using a high pass filter. As far as isolating frequencies, you’d need an EQ with multiple bands. 

@Birds are cool I haven’t played around much with Audacity, but from my brief looks it seemed like it was not very user friendly for people just learning about audio. Does it have an EQ? I can’t imagine it wouldn’t. I should fiddle around with it more, but my workflow for fine tuning bird recordings is pretty quick with my other software. 

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14 minutes ago, Avery said:

Audacity

Just looked through it again, it has an impressive array of tools, but again it requires some technical knowledge. The (ok) EQ doesn't seem to have a way to do live monitoring while you fiddle with settings, which is a bit of a problem. Maybe we should make a thread to discuss audio with bird recordings, more of the technical side?

Edited by Avery
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25 minutes ago, Avery said:

Just looked through it again, it has an impressive array of tools, but again it requires some technical knowledge. The (ok) EQ doesn't seem to have a way to do live monitoring while you fiddle with settings, which is a bit of a problem. Maybe we should make a thread to discuss audio with bird recordings, more of the technical side?

Sure. I'm a big fan of audacity, but then again it is the only audio editing program I have ever used.

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1 hour ago, millipede said:

Any thoughts on the bird?

And, I have Audacity... but, I've never seen a way to separate frequencies and such...
It's probably like the Gimp with photo editing... powerful but, not self-explanatory.

That's exactly how I would explain it!

I've been trying to doctor the audio as much as I can, but the call is so soft I'm having a hard time making it stand out. As for the ID, I could see it as a Least/Willow, but I'm also having a tough time ruling out one of those weird Northern Cardinal calls.

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1 hour ago, Avery said:

I've been trying to doctor the audio as much as I can, but the call is so soft I'm having a hard time making it stand out. As for the ID, I could see it as a Least/Willow, but I'm also having a tough time ruling out one of those weird Northern Cardinal calls.

I was hoping for an ID... ha... oh well. I may put down empid sp. Based on where this bird was hanging out and the sounds I was hearing, I'd bet money it wasn't a cardinal. Maybe not a lot of money though. HA.  Was a willow tree but I watched for a while, even after the bird went silent. I'm 99% sure I would have seen a cardinal in there at some point.

Thanks for the help.

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49 minutes ago, Charlie Spencer said:

As someone just learning about audio, what's an EQ?  :classic_biggrin:

EQ means “equalizer” which is basically a device that can individually adjust gain (boost/cut, louder/softer) across a custom range of frequencies. 

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8 hours ago, Colton V said:

What software do you use?

I use Reason, which is a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) that is built for MIDI-based production. It’s the software I’ve used for music making forever, so it’s pretty simple to edit my bird recordings on. However, I’ll probably switch over to ProTools in the near future. 

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Editing your audio is great, but just like editing photos, it should be done as minimally as possible and in such a way to make the media more similar to the experience you had in the field.

The risk with editing audio - or photos - is that you can distort the media such that it is not representative of what actually occurred in the field. For example, by boosting contrast and saturation and adjusting colors in a photo, you could make a Cassin’s Vireo look more like a Blue-headed Vireo.

This is part of why eBird recommendations suggest only trimming and amplifying audio. That way no information is being lost, or added.

More important than editing audio, is obtaining decent quality audio in the first place. What this means is reducing background noise as much as possible - don’t have people talking in the background for example, or wait until there is a lull in other bird noises to obtain audio of your target. Basically your results will be better if you try to do more quality control on the front end, rather than the back end.

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On 9/30/2023 at 5:53 AM, AlexHenry said:

More important than editing audio, is obtaining decent quality audio in the first place.

This is all good info if collecting audio is your primary goal. But when you're out in the field focused on birding, maybe photos, and you just happen to hear a bird you're unsure of, well, sometimes there's nothing you can do.
Where I was, the insect noise was making it so you could barely hear the bird in that recording. There's really nothing I could have done about that with what I had to work with at the time. I couldn't have gone closer without trampling habitat. Just had the cell phone. By the time the people near my walked away, the bird was quiet.

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