The Frogcast

Pretty self-explanatory, this one. Last night I attached my earbud microphones to my glasses with rubber bands to minimize the “cranial backwash,” walked outside to the rice paddy next to our house, sat there quietly for about 10 minutes or so then went back inside.

I recommend listening to it with headphones on–your best pair–and in a very quiet setting. The detail is incredible, if I do say so myself. You can hear exactly what I was hearing. Try picking out the two times I scratched my head.

It loops very well. I feel asleep listening to it and dreamed I had little vicious frogs stuck in my hair. No joke.

I’m using the NYU Distributed Network to cache and distribute this podcast. Please let me know if there are any problems with it.

Rich Pav

Richard has been living in Japan since 1990 with his wife and two teenage sons, Tony and Andy.

14 thoughts to “The Frogcast”

  1. That really was one of the neatest podcasts I’ve heard. I was wondering when you were going to speak and after a few minutes I realized you were not going to. It got very cool after that. Reminded me of growing up near the woods. Thanks for doing such a cool podcast.

    1. The first time I listened to it, I thought to myself, “What if I spliced in a blood-curling scream in the middle of one of the quiet parts?” then laughed myself silly, imagining the looks on the faces of thousands of unsuspecting iPod users. But instead I’ll save it for next April 1.

      1. Actually, I kept waiting for the scream… which would have been too funny! But perhaps the idea is funnier than the actual execution?

        If you don’t mind, I’d like to “remix” your Frogcast into an upcoming podcast.

  2. Wow…
    A total new kind of soundseeings. Nature for the ears.

    By the way: what kind of microphone did you used…and how do you protect you and your family not to go crazy with this noise around your house all night long?

    1. I used the earplug mics I’ve been using all along. The big difference was I didn’t have them inside my ears. The binaural mics I ordered for US$35 haven’t arrived yet. And the piece of shit stereo lapel mic I bought in Akihabara for 1,500 yen a few weeks ago fell apart. But that might be a good thing. Maybe I can create a better case for the mic elements.

      As for the frogs, we have double paine windows so we can’t hear them, but honestly it doesn’t bother anyone. It’s a good sound.

      1. My Good Audio binaural mics arrived and they’re great for this sort of thing, but not great for putting on a lapel and talking into. I need to test them more…

  3. Another stroke of brilliance, way to go Rich. For those who are interested in the binaural recording experience you might consider this technicque. Place the recording earbuds on either side of styrofoam head like they use for displaying toupees about where the ears should be. This way you can leave your “head” someplace and let it record something just as a listener with headphones would hear it.

    BTW, it was great to read about the reaction from your buddy in Iraq.

    1. I thought about doing something like that, but I don’t want to walk around Tokyo carrying a head. If I did though, no doubt I could drill holes and stuff to house everything inside the head. There might situations where I’d leave the head stationary, but they’d be few and far between, I think. Plus, I think it’s more interesting to experience the surroundings while taking a ride inside someone’s head.

      Instead, I’m thinking about looking through Tokyu Hands for tubes, foam and sponge of different hardnesses and various clips and stuff to make something small, wearable, windproof, unobtrusive and impervious to handling noise.

  4. Fantastic, fantastic, fantastic. This is the most fun I’ve had with my iPod. Thank you so much for not saying anything, and just letting me experience the frogs “by myself.” Please do more of these as you find yourself in other sound-rich environments…

  5. This is fun! The cicadas, in particular, bring back happy memories of my visits to Japan. My two year old son has just as much fun listening to the frogs (“Froggies, Daddy, Froggies!”). Cheers!

  6. I had to hear this one again, first time I heard it was when you first uploaded it. You were really onto something here… putting us in your head like this…

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