Christmas in August… except not?

Good day, readers. Today, I have a rather odd bit of audio for you, recorded at my home last night at around 6:00 PM.

As is often the case here in the good ol’ southeast United States, a particularly nice thunderstorm came through the area.
During the convention I attended in Phoenix last month, I picked up an Olympus DM520 digital recorder, which I quite like.
For about the last 9 years or so, recording tests for new portable recording equipment have included toilets and thunderstorms. Yes, I know I’m a bit mad, but you’ll get used to it.
Anyway, a suitable test storm came through on July 28, but it was pretty standard, so I won’t bother bringing that up, other than to say it brought even more water into the basement. Oh, yes, I may not have mentioned that, when I came home from Phoenix, it was to a good deal of water on the studio floor, and the rest of the basement, for that matter. Having this happening over and over again, when I have no control of certain aspects of life here, is really getting quite old. Therefore, I’m investigating other living arrangements… but we’re getting off topic yet again. You should be used to this by now.

OK, back to storms. Yes, that’s what we were talking about, right? Yeah, that was it.

Yesterday, a rather large portion of North Carolina was hit by a multi-cell storm system, which was absolutely fantastic in terms of sound and lightning. Fortunately, it didn’t invade the basement, which I rather appreciate, given events of recent weeks. I decided, in typical stupid fashion, to stick a single-point stereo microphone out the window, connect it to the DM520, press record, and see how things turned out. What I didn’t expect, however, was hearing an ice cream truck going down the road playing Christmas music during this very obvious non-wintry weather. Silent night indeed! I don’t think so!
Yep, a clash of epic proportions. Maybe that works in Australia, but not on this side of the world. Sorry, try again.

Anyway, I recorded this storm, which, by the way, has some pretty amazing bangs in it, only to discover that my mic placement left something to be desired, and the stereo image almost didn’t exist. Fortunately, thanks to Sound Forge and it’s ms matrix decoder, flipping one channel out of phase, and lining up the amplitude of both channels, I managed to get a good image from it, despite the issues.
It was also pretty windy outside, and I couldn’t find a windscreen, so I used a pair of rolled up socks. Worked just as well, as it turned out, but if anyone happened to be looking in the general direction of the upstairs bathroom window, seeing a pair of socks hanging off a metal rod in the window had to look a little weird. I sure hope I didn’t break my pristine reputation. Oh, wait… never mind.
For those who may be interested in this sort of thing, 35 minutes of this storm can now be downloaded free of charge. As well as reprocessing the stereo image, a bit of dynamic compression was used. Therefore, it’s really not quite an accurate representation of the DM520 by itself, but it will give you a pretty good idea of what it can do if it wants to.

Don’t forget, you can always click here for a live stream of the environment just outside my studio window, if you’re bored with your own. For a while, you’ll make friends with Mr. next door neighbor’s air conditioning unit, as well as the occasional evening party with the local Mexican population, but that’s OK. It could always be worse.

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