The Michigan Recording Project

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August 2/3, 2008 Fireworks

Selected individual clips of vocals

and environmental interaction











Full Recording, unedited long version,

very large file size

This recording is 1 hour, 3 minutes long. The first explosion occurs at the 4:00 minute mark, and the last sound event occurs at the1:01:16 mark. See time-stamped section in field notes below.

Clicking this file will launch your default audio player outside this browser window. This file may take a minute or two to download and play based on your connection speed, as it is quite large.

Full Recording, edited for time and file size

Please note that to the best of our abilites, the time edited files contain all or most of the known vocals on the recording. However, given the long periods of dead air between vocals and sub-events, it was decided to offer an abridged version of the event.

Fireworks Event Report

Event Report/Field Notes:  Saturday, August 2 and Sunday, August 3, 2008

Team Members in Attendance:
Pat Barker
Mike Bardsley
Paul Willison

Audio Equipment:
HI-MD Sony Walkman MZ-RH910 portable minidisc recorder with pre-amp in an insulated camouflage pelican case, two external omni-directional microphones. Placement location: 100 ft north of Base Camp  Recorder is positioned approx. 5 ft. high in a sapling tree. Two external microphones are clamped to tree branches approx. 3 ft. to south of recorder and approx. 3 ft. to north of recorder. The Left mic is pointed slightly SW. The Right mic pointed slightly NW. Recorder set to long play, manual internal volume at 13, external pre-amp setting at +30.

HI-MD Sony Walkman MZ-RH910 portable minidisc recorder, two external omni-directional microphones. Placement location: 370 ft. north of Base Camp at The Point  Recorder is positioned approx. 6 ft. high in a sapling tree. Two external microphones are clamped to tree branches approx. 3 ft. to south of recorder and approx. 3 ft. to north of recorder. The Left mic is pointed slightly SW. The Right mic pointed slightly NW. Recorder set to long play, manual internal pre-amp volume at 23.

Video/Photographic Equipment:
Sony HV-20 Hi-definition Mini-DV Camcorder. Placement Location: Base Camp
Digital Game camera. Placement Location: 3/4 of the way down the Game Trail

Night Vision Equipment:
Bushnell 2.5 x 42 Monocular
NightOwl 5x Marine Monocular

Spotlighting Equipment:
2 - 6 volt lantern-style lights
1 – 2 million candle spotlight

Strategies and Planning: Team members Pat, Mike and Paul will use inactive methods.

The plan is to set out 2 audio recorders a short distance from Base Camp, keep a camcorder in Base Camp, and remain within the bounds of Base Camp during the night.

If activity or vocalizations occur, they will observe and record the event(s).

Description of Incident:  This event happened at Base Camp on Sunday, August 3, 2008 from 1:15 am to 2:13 am.

Precursor to Incident: An all-night party is taking place about 1.25 miles to the SW, with a live band and fireworks. Throughout the late evening sounds of the party, music, and fireworks have been heard in the distance.

Time of Incident: 1:15 am to 2:13 am

Saturday, August 2, 2008
**Note: Throughout the late evening sounds of the party, music, and fireworks have been heard.  The fireworks will eventually play a major part in the events of the evening.

9 pm – Landowner leaves Base Camp for an overnight appointment in town. Pat hangs out audio recorder 100 ft. north of Base Camp. Paul hangs out audio recorder at The Point, 370 ft. north of Base Camp.

9:45 pm – Sundown and darkness setting in.
10:25 pm – Temp. 59 F. Owls heard.
11 pm – 58 F More owls.
11:53 pm – Paul starts engine, drives out to road, then returns. Due to previous incidents, he thinks motor sound might stir something into action.
12 midnight – Paul throws a rock down the embankment. It splashes loudly in water.

Sunday, August 3, 2008
12:15 am – Paul takes a rock and pounds the ground 6 to 8 times, in clearing just east of Base Camp. Temp. 55 F.

1 am – Pat goes to bed in tent. Mike and Paul are planning to retire as well, but are standing by Mike’s truck, talking.

1:15 am – This starts an event which is spread out over just under one hour's time. The event is not continuous, but is made of a number of "sub events". The following timeline is based off of notes taken while the event happened, and may be incomplete (we were understandably a bit distracted at the time!). To start, there is a large fireworks explosion, followed immediately by 2 to 3 whoops from NW on west side of river across from the game trail, then a series of blowing sounds, then 2 wood/tree knocks. Coyotes sound off in the distance. Paul calls out to Pat, who is already getting up (tent zipper at 1:16:23 am).

1:29 am – 2 whoops in the distance from North Woods on west side of river.

1:35 am – Large fireworks explosion. Whoops immediately in Cedar Grove across the river opposite Base Camp. The rest of the vocalizations come from this location.

During the vocalizations, Mike brings his camcorder into shelter area and sits with Pat and Paul close to the edge of the embankment, recording the sound events with the camcorder. At another point, Paul goes to the area south of the old growth oak tree (50 ft to SW) to see if he can hear or see any other activity better from that vantage point, then he returns to the shelter area.

**Please note that the following time stamps are somewhat approximate in nature, and may not represent every sound or vocalization found in this recording. Please use this as a general guide only.

0:00 on digital media player - Recording begins
4:00 on digital media player - First fireworks explosion

First Location: Trees north of Clearing (Subject 1)
Live band music in the distance before 1:15 am
1:15 am (4:00) – Fireworks explosion.
1:15:03 to 1:15:35 am (4:03) – whoop, wood knock, whoop, 4 hisses, whoop, 2 hisses, 2 knocks, hiss, whoop
From 1:15:35 am on – Live band music in distance
1:16:23 am – Tent zipper

1:17:06 am – Small fireworks explosion
1:17:32 am - whoop, crackling, truck traffic, dogs baying

1:28:26 am – Truck on road

Second Location: Northwest, across river from The Point (Subject 2)
1:29:08 am – Small fireworks explosion/whoop, whoop, loud truck on road, dogs (beagles) baying to north on and off

Third Location: Cedar Grove (Subject 1)
1:35:22 am – Fireworks explosion
1:35:25 am – whoop

1:35:32 am – Fireworks explosion/whoop
1:35:44 am – 2 hisses, 2 hisses, hack, 2 huffs, 2 huffs, hiss, crack/grunts/crack/crack, grunts, crack/break, hiss, knock, hiss, grunt, knock/hiss, grunt, hiss, hiss, hiss, hiss, hiss, crack/break
1:36:35 to 1:37:50 am – Car on road
1:39:23 am – hiss, short whoop, hiss, knock, hisses/2 knocks, 5 knocks, hiss, hiss, hiss, knock, hack, several knocks, crack, big crack/knock, small crack/crack

1:41:34 am – Fireworks explosion
1:42:30 am – crack
1:42:34 am – knock/hiss, knock/hiss, knock/hiss, hiss, hiss, knock/hiss/hiss, 2 grunts, hiss
1:45:01 am – Loud bass music in distance

1:46:18 am – Fireworks explosion/whoop

1:46:20 am – Fireworks explosion, 2 long whoops, hiss/knock, hiss/knock, 2 hisses
1:47:10 am – crack
1:48:00 am – Loud bass music starts
1:48:25 am – crack
1:49:37 am – crack, hiss

1:50:33 am – Small fireworks explosion

(*It seemed like Subject 1 had left or moved farther away to west, then came back and …)

1:52:20 am – 5 hisses, hiss/crack/hiss, dogs baying in distance, long whoop, dogs baying, long whoop, hiss, hiss, hack, 5 hisses, knock/hiss, knock/hiss, hiss, hiss, hack, hack, long hoarse whoop, 2 hisses/knock, 2 hisses/knock, huff, huff

1:54:53 to :54 am– 2 cracks

1:56:45 am – crack, music in distance
1:57:42 am – coyote or dog yipping, long whoop
1:57:55 am – crack
1:59:44 am – crack
2:00:01 am – crackle
2:00:20 am – crackle
2:01:24 am – long whoop (seems to be coming from slightly further west), heavy bass music
2:03:27 am – 1 knock, 4 rapid knocks
2:04:26 am – crack
2:05:45 am – hiss, crack, truck sound on road to 2:06:14
2:08:00 am – More road traffic
2:12:20 am - distant whoop
2:14:00 am - Recording ends
1:03:00 on digital media player - Recording ends

After sound event is over, Pat, Mike and Paul discuss the whole experience for quite some time.

3:30 am – Everyone retires to their respective sleeping quarters after nothing else has happened for over an hour. Mike and Pat take 2-way radios with them, so they can alert each other if something else occurs.

**Note the direct association between the explosions and the loud vocals. It is apparent that the subjects were reacting to the noise, although we hesitate to assume the reason why. It also appeared that the subject was venting its reaction toward the team at Base Camp, as if we were somehow responsible.

**Also note the apparent direct association at times between knocking and vocals, in particular, the hiss/huffs that follow in cadence with knocks. This is something also noted during the later August 30/31, 2008 event and to our knowlege is the first recording of this kind.

- End of Report -

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