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Recording the Ocean can sometimes be a Wash...

Updated: May 1, 2019

Sorry for the pun title. For some reason I thought it was funny.

Continuing with the coverage of my recent trip to the Oregon Coast I wanted to share a couple of recordings I did near the Heceta Head Lighthouse.

The Heceta Head Lighthouse is a large tourist attraction and it sits atop a cliff overlooking the Ocean. When we were driving to the coast, the glare from the Lighthouse was one of the first things we saw in the night sky. It was truly breathtaking. I can honestly say I have never seen anything like that outside of a movie. And the movies never really did it justice.

The Lighthouse was built in 1894 and is 205 feet above the Ocean. It also has a near by house that you can rent rooms in or even book it for events.

When you first get there you actually park near a beautiful beach. There are two huge rocks in the distance. We arrived on a pretty rainy day so the tourist traffic was fairly light. I took this as a chance to do a quick field recorder shoot out between my Zoom H3-VR, a Sony D100 and a pair of LOM Mikro Usi's going into a Sony M10.

This beach was a real challenge to record for a couple of reasons:

  • there was a lot of near by traffic and construction so it is not the most quiet place.

  • photographers find this to be a great spot to take portrait photos so there was a lot of people walking around.

  • the beach was covered in small rocks so any time I shifted or moved a little bit you could hear it in the recording.

  • and lastly by the time I set up my camera/field recording rigs the tide had moved out and I was not as close to the water as I would have liked to be. I tried to move closer after the fact but then every so often the waves would charge past me getting me and my gear wet.

Unfortunately they do not let you go into the Lighthouse, I imagine there are some great sounds to be heard up there.

While my Girlfriend was watching the video presentation set up by the people working at the Lighthouse I took this time to do a wind test on my LOM Mikro Usi's and the Wind Bubbles that are sold with them to protect them from high winds.

As we were driving away from the lighthouse we had to pull over abruptly because believe it or not we ran into the end of a rainbow. A beautiful rainbow stretched across the sky and appeared to end at the side of the road where the wreckage of a car crash sat by itself. I could not even make this up if I wanted to.

While we were pulled over, taking selfies in front of the amazing site we noticed a sound coming from the edge of the cliff. Below were a bunch of Sea Lions chilling on the rocks as the waves crashed beside them. Here is the best recording I could get of it with the Mikro Usi's and Sony M10.

I have some more posts of my trip coming soon, next time we visit the famous Sea Lion Caves.



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