How far do the different vocals travel?

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Rebelistic
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How far do the different vocals travel?

Post by Rebelistic » Tue Nov 12, 2019 3:29 am

With the recent knocking games we have been encountering last Saturday we did a little experiment while out on nights listening post. There was very little activity in the area so we decided to try something. I had set up a remote recording station about a mile from camp.

Both the recorders are in sync with the time stamps. Both are pretty much on the ridge tops. I did a couple of long howls and 3 series of 3 knocks on 3 different trees. I chose the trees by size difference as the area we were set up on is a hardwood only ridge.

The howls were easily heard and made an excellent signature on the spectrogram on the remote recorder. Some of the tones were not recorded like they were on the camp recorder but none the less it was easily heard. However the knocks were a different story. There was one very faintly heard and didn't show up on the spectrogram. And in all honesty, if I wasn't looking for it, most likely it would of been noticed in the review.

This was a surprising find for me as I thought the knocks would travel further. Brings up even more of a questions for the knocking stuff we have encountered. I was at the thought that the knocks we have encountered were at quite a distance from us when they occurred. I now think they were a lot closer than I thought they were. So based on this little experiment I don't think knocks can be used as long distant locator call like the howls and other screaming type of vocal can. From now on I will be focusing more when we have knocks as it pretty much tells me they are close.

Next experiment will be to go out and set up and go with 100 yard intervals and see how far they will travel. I realize that where on the terrain has a lot to do with how the sounds carry, so hopefully we can get some done from the hollers as well as the ridge tops as it would make it easier to tell just how far they are away by the direction they are coming from.
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Re: How far do the different vocals travel?

Post by admin » Tue Nov 12, 2019 3:34 am

Author: Holotype [ Fri Mar 13, 2015 9:22 pm ]
Post subject: Re: How far do the different vocals travel?
Great experiment rebel, you have to consider that your surroundings can absorb the sound . Different things absorb different frequencies . So given the higher frequencies comprising the knock . Could be absorbed or difussed by the trees ,rocks ,weeds grass . Now the lower the frequency the longer the wavelengths so these can travel farther ,and through things . Probably why the howls were so distinct. Also the atmosphere and temperature can effect how sound travels too. Reproduce the experiment on a cold night ,and a warm one and see if there is a difference.

Author: Holotype [ Fri Mar 13, 2015 9:23 pm ]
Post subject: Re: How far do the different vocals travel?
Great experiment rebel, you have to consider that your surroundings can absorb the sound . Different things absorb different frequencies . So given the higher frequencies comprising the knock . Could be absorbed or difussed by the trees ,rocks ,weeds grass . Now the lower the frequency the longer the wavelengths so these can travel farther ,and through things . Probably why the howls were so distinct. Also the atmosphere and temperature can effect how sound travels too. Reproduce the experiment on a cold night ,and a warm one and see if there is a difference.

Author: Rebelistic [ Sat Mar 14, 2015 8:36 am ]
Post subject: Re: How far do the different vocals travel?
Holotype wrote:
Great experiment rebel, you have to consider that your surroundings can absorb the sound . Different things absorb different frequencies . So given the higher frequencies comprising the knock . Could be absorbed or difussed by the trees ,rocks ,weeds grass . Now the lower the frequency the longer the wavelengths so these can travel farther ,and through things . Probably why the howls were so distinct. Also the atmosphere and temperature can effect how sound travels too. Reproduce the experiment on a cold night ,and a warm one and see if there is a difference.
That is why I think that sounds would travel further this time of the year. No Leaves. With things budding like they are the window of opportunity is closing fast to get it in these conditions for comparison. Hopefully the first part of the week I can make it happen. The frogs have started to sing at night again so I'll try to get it done before dusk to keep that contamination from effecting it. I also am thinking of doing a double recorder set up. One with the parabolic. One with and open mic only. In the summer with the bug and frog noises a parabolic is pretty useless from my experience. If I can get a decent baseline, it will be easier to try and figure out where they are when we hear the knocks. Thanks for your input Holotype!

Author: Holotype [ Sun Mar 15, 2015 6:40 pm ]
Post subject: Re: How far do the different vocals travel?
Some thing I have wanted to try . Is record a stereo track ,or you could double the mono track .And mess around with phase . Or just flip the phase 180 degrees on one track .should do some interesting things . In the studio I have gotten sounds to cancel out . And of course it can do some very artistic things . Or drive you nuts trying to get all 11 mics on a drum kit in phase with one another.there is a box called a little labs in between phase tool. It has a rotary switch you can rotate the phase 180 degrees + or _ .you hook it up to one channel of a stereo signal. Now my thoughts are ,and I may be wrong but you could use this tool to sweep back and forth till you cancel out or reduce say your frog noise . Since it is continuous, and not short and dynamic like a call.
Now a noise gate would defiantly work .But tricky to set up . You could set the threshold very slightly above the level of your back ground . And when a noise is above the background it will open and let it through. An expander would work too, maybe better .I use gates to track drums. It closes the mic until the drum is hit reduces spill from other drums etc.

Author: Holotype [ Sun Mar 15, 2015 6:47 pm ]
Post subject: Re: How far do the different vocals travel?
Come to think of it you may need to double a mono signal ,so they are exactly
The Sam for the phase flip to work .

Author: Holotype [ Sun Mar 15, 2015 7:00 pm ]
Post subject: Re: How far do the different vocals travel?
Thinking more about it ,if the mono signal were doubled and exactly
The same ,and the waves were perfectly aligned with each other.flipping
The phase 180 degrees on one channel should cancel out ,say frog
Background noise . Now I don't know if it would do the same for the call or vocalizations above it . But I would like to try it . I think + or - 180 degrees might reduce the background ,while persevering the vocalizations. That's were the phase tool would be cool to mess around with.

Author: Holotype [ Sun Mar 15, 2015 7:01 pm ]
Post subject: Re: How far do the different vocals travel?
Thinking more about it ,if the mono signal were doubled and exactly
The same ,and the waves were perfectly aligned with each other.flipping
The phase 180 degrees on one channel should cancel out ,say frog
Background noise . Now I don't know if it would do the same for the call or vocalizations above it . But I would like to try it . I think + or - 180 degrees might reduce the background ,while persevering the vocalizations. That's were the phase tool would be cool to mess around with.

Author: Rebelistic [ Mon Mar 16, 2015 6:15 am ]
Post subject: Re: How far do the different vocals travel?
Ok... That went way over my head, but I'll see what I can find.

Author: Nightwind [ Mon Mar 16, 2015 3:51 pm ]
Post subject: Re: How far do the different vocals travel?
I find that air pressure and humidity has a lot to do with the carrying of sound, Also the lay of the ground and the draft line is important too. dry air and high pressure makes a crisp sound from my living on the Gulf of Mexico. When a low came in and it was winter cool with fog, the Ship horns were muffled. Sorry need to have dinner Will finish in a few. Nightwind

Author: Nightwind [ Mon Mar 16, 2015 6:13 pm ]
Post subject: Re: How far do the different vocals travel?
Sorry fella's, before it came to dinner I had been thinking of making a call to Texas where I have a friend of 40 years of close contact in the recording business. I spent every free day I had in the studio's. This friend was the only student who studied under Burt Frieoe . Master Audio Engineer is exactly what my friend is. I was thinking he might be some help on this Question. As his wife is deathly Ill at this time, so I decided not to call this late in the day. As I was eating, My son I call Popeye on this site called from a big boat he works on wanting to chat. I hit him head on with the Sound canceling Question's. He went through a couple of idea's. Then he said, To save them money, tell them the research has already been done and manufactured, just for that purpose. he said call Musi. Friend: Tell them what you want to do. He said, Bose and JVC. are marketing from there a head phone that will do this for you. Nightwind: p.s. met a lot of supper stars on those wonderful adventures, and enjoy life fully

Author: Rebelistic [ Tue Mar 17, 2015 12:48 pm ]
Post subject: Re: How far do the different vocals travel?
We did the knock experiment this last Sunday in our research area and to say the least it was an eye opener. We used the GPS to mark the locations we did the knocks at and used both the parabolics and an open mic. With the varying terrain and type of trees in the area we made 30 points of references in different areas and distances. Our base location was on the highest point of the ridge and I think is fairly typical for the Ozarks.

I will post a more in-depth report after I get all the data mapped and figured. In general anything that was more than a quarter mile away would be missed if we were not really listening for it. Even at distances of 100-200 yards were a lot more faint than I ever expected. Even with the greater strength they have I don't think you would hear a knock much more than a half mile away. And from our experience I think what we originally thought was a half mile or more was actually within 300 yards. Needless to say I was really blown away by the results. That afternoon there was light to variable winds, no bug or frog noise, and no leaves on the trees so it was pretty much an ideal day for the experiment. We are planning on doing it again in the summer to compare the results to establish a baseline of sorts of the different seasons.

Again I do plan on putting together a map of the data points and audio from each location. Hopefully it will help others in their research too.
Author: therealsuperdave [ Wed Mar 18, 2015 2:19 pm ]
Post subject: Re: How far do the different vocals travel?
Great project idea. To reinforce, I was in a public campground last night in the Sam Houston National Forest. sleeping behind the steering wheel, I was listening to noise in the woods parallel to the campgrounds. To my surprise, I heard knocks, whistles, grunts, growling, talking, mumbling, summarai chatter, etc. After a period of time, the noises stop for 5-10 minutes, then start up again. I am so happy I have my recorder connected to my parabolic mic. :)

Then I notice a green glow above the tree line. every now and then I can see the green light twinkling deep inside the woods. CRAP! It's just some people walking thru the woods at 1:30am. they were probably no further away than 1-3 city blocks, (0.2 miles), yet sounded like they were much further away.

Bad news is I wasted a night recording kids on spring break pretending they were Matt, Cliff, Bobo, and Renae. good news is I have an excellent recording of fake BF sounds to use for future comparisons.

Author: Rebelistic [ Thu Mar 19, 2015 6:07 am ]
Post subject: Re: How far do the different vocals travel?
therealsuperdave wrote:
Great project idea. To reinforce, I was in a public campground last night in the Sam Houston National Forest. sleeping behind the steering wheel, I was listening to noise in the woods parallel to the campgrounds. To my surprise, I heard knocks, whistles, grunts, growling, talking, mumbling, summarai chatter, etc. After a period of time, the noises stop for 5-10 minutes, then start up again. I am so happy I have my recorder connected to my parabolic mic. :)

Then I notice a green glow above the tree line. every now and then I can see the green light twinkling deep inside the woods. CRAP! It's just some people walking thru the woods at 1:30am. they were probably no further away than 1-3 city blocks, (0.2 miles), yet sounded like they were much further away.

Bad news is I wasted a night recording kids on spring break pretending they were Matt, Cliff, Bobo, and Renae. good news is I have an excellent recording of fake BF sounds to use for future comparisons.

Yeah it was an eye opener to say the least. Once you knew it was kids you should of growled back! It could of given the kids a start and you may have gotten a real kids screaming like little girls type of thing!!
Author: Teresa1 [ Thu Mar 19, 2015 2:43 pm ]
Post subject: Re: How far do the different vocals travel?
Haha at Rebel! That would have been great if Dave would have done that.

I find it very interesting Rebel that the sounds you are recording appear to be coming from a location much closer than you had thought.
Author: Rebelistic [ Fri Mar 27, 2015 7:53 am ]

Post subject: Re: How far do the different vocals travel?
I was out last night and heard a few knocks. After that experiment we did it was kinda eerie to say the least to realize how close they were. It seemed to follow a ridge line and stayed on the edge of the ridge just below the crest. Brings up another thing to think about. How do they travel through an area? Guess I'll do some foot work and start another topic!

Author: YankeeSearch [ Sat Apr 11, 2015 10:45 pm ]
Post subject: Re: How far do the different vocals travel?
Hey, can I recommend you 'TEST' how far a normal human voice can be heard. I did this test a couple of times and helps to gage the distance... not that I have had any success in getting BF/Sq/Yeti/DM, but it does help a little for the other critters I have heard.

Author: Rebelistic [ Mon Apr 13, 2015 7:58 am ]
Post subject: Re: How far do the different vocals travel?
YankeeSearch wrote:
Hey, can I recommend you 'TEST' how far a normal human voice can be heard. I did this test a couple of times and helps to gage the distance... not that I have had any success in getting BF/Sq/Yeti/DM, but it does help a little for the other critters I have heard.

Good idea YankeeSearch and real easy to incorporate!

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