Found Sounds: Gone batty

Found Sounds: Gone batty

Found Sounds is a SoundCloud community feature focusing on some of the most weird and wonderful sounds that can be found on SoundCloud. Count on new installments with some of our favorite sounds each Tuesday!

Everybody knows some weird facts about bats: they’re mammals that fly, they’re awake during the night, and they see with their ears. It might be that last fact that attracts field recorders to the creepy critters, who are known to live in large (and sometimes loud) groups. This isn’t the first time we’ve featured a bat during Found Sounds — in fact, the very first installment had a great one — but this week we’re taking an in-depth look into our furry flying friends.

Our first bat sound today comes from the great New Zealand-based field recorder Tim Prebble. He turned his Sound Devices 722 and a pair of Sennheiser MKH70 mics on a “flying fox” while in Samoa. He’s written a bit about the recording experience on his blog, which is worth reading if you like what you hear!

FLYING FOXES Savaii by timprebble


If you’re into that particular fruit bat sound, there’s plenty more where it came from! SoundPlusDesign got a few recordings of a very large group of the very excited “megabats” while in Liberia. In his blog post description he gives some insight into how to excite such a group. Sounds like something I don’t want to try myself.

FruitBats Excited by SoundPlusDesign


One thing about these recordings is that it can be hard to pick out the bat voices and the sounds they make. That’s why Alexis Jung ran these next bat sounds through a pitch shifter a few times. Check the timed comments for an explanation of the different pitch levels, and hear the bats become more and more distinct!

Bats ultrasound by Alexis Jung


The final sound is one of the more striking ones on SoundCloud: a colony of 1.5 million bats under a bridge in Austin, Texas, recorded binaurally by BinauralAirwaves. Definitely throw on a pair of headphones for this sound, and get a load of the sense of echo-y space under the bridge!

1.5 million large bat colony under bridge in Austin, Texas by BinauralAirwaves

photo: Smile for the Camera / Matt Reinbold / CC BY-SA

That’s all for this week’s Found Sounds! Tune in next week for more crazy sounds from the ‘Cloud.

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