Wildlife Acoustics Blog

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3 Tips to Prevent Wind Noise From Ruining Your Recordings

3 Tips to Prevent Wind Noise From Ruining Your Recordings

Field research presents a multitude of challenges, and wind noise may be one of the most frustrating. Not only is it out of our control, but excess wind can lead to distorted recordings, making it difficult to salvage the audio data that you are interested in analyzing. 

While you may not be able to take all the wind noise out of the recordings, you can significantly reduce its impact with a few simple tactics: 

Get Field-Ready With This Checklist

Get Field-Ready With This Checklist

If your Song Meters are in from the field, winter is an excellent time to make sure they're ready for this spring.

Here's a short checklist to help you prepare:

  • If you have our ultrasonic equipment, check your SM3BAT, SM2BAT+, Echo Meter Touch, Echo Meter EM3 recorders and ultrasonic microphones with our Ultrasonic Calibrator. And if you don’t have our Calibrator, add it to your field kit.
  • Make sure you have cable extensions for your SM2+/SM2BAT+ microphone.
  • Look for any evidence of physical damage and/or water intrusion to your Song Meters.
  • Check, and if necessary, replace the batteries in your Song Meter recorders.
  • Check your windscreens for wear and tear. Order extra for the upcoming season.

How should I save, in .wac or in .wav?

How should I save, in .wac or in .wav?

If you have used our ultrasonic Song Meters before, you may be familiar with two different options for saving our recordings, triggered .wav, and our proprietary compressed format, .wac. While we recommend triggered .wav format in almost all cases, there are a few instances where it may benefit you to use .wac format instead.

  • First, we recommend our ultrasonic users record to triggered .wav format for several reasons:
    Triggered .wav format comes with noise scrubbing capability, which allows for more accurate triggers. This means you won’t be wasting card space with recordings that have been falsely triggered by non-animal noises, such as rain. Though .wac files takes up less space than .wav, this could actually offset the amount of space that would have been saved recording in a compressed format if you are in an area prone to ultrasonic noise.
  • Wav is 30% more energy efficient than .wac and can be used directly for ZC analysis
  • If you are using a Song Meter SM3, you will have automatically embedded metadata in your .wav files.

So when is it preferable to use .wac?

If you are interested in GPS tracking, you may find it more valuable to record to the .wac format. .Wac recordings take GPS information every second, allowing for continuous tracking data. While some GPS data is available with .wav, you will have fewer data points than in .wac.

Another advantage of .wac is independent triggering. If you are recording different species on different channels, you may want only one channel to trigger at once. For example, you may want to record birds on one channel, and bats on another. You wouldn’t want bats to trigger recording on both channels if there won’t be another birds to record for several hours. In situations such as these, the .wac format will be much more space saving than .wav.

Wildlife Acoustics is proud to support wildlife conservation efforts

Merlin Tuttle's Bat Conservation Bat Conservation International Bat Conservation Trust Wildlife Habitat Counsil