Field Recording in Laos
I’ve recently returned to Australia from a trip to Laos with the intention of collecting sounds, hiking through the jungle and drinking beers.
Despite the fact that there are so many portable/handheld recorders on the market I decided to get creative with the equipment I already have. With the help of some super glue and half a glass of creativity I managed to create an alien looking portable sound recorder.
The portable sound recording rig consists of the following equipment:
Sound Devices Mix-Pre 6
Manfrotto Desk Top Tripod
Rode Stereo Bar
Sennheiser MKH 8020 Stereo Pair
Rode Dead Kittens
Despite getting some weird looks and multiple questions at airport security this rig is ideal for recording high quality ambiences when your main rig is out of the question.
Our first destination was Vientiane, the capital of Laos. With a small population (relative to our cities such as Phnom Penh and Ho Chi Minh) Vientiane is a peaceful city unique streetscape atmospheres. Plenty of mopeds and scooters flying through the streets as well as brand new SUV’s with modernization rapidly encroaching.
Moving north our next destination was Vang Vieng, notorious for tubing prior to the government shutting this tourist attraction down. As with any spot that is popular with tourists in the world there is serenity to be found. Waking up at 5am we hired bikes and rode through the mountains to some rural villages capturing sounds of rural highways, mountain crickets and village walla.
Luang Prabang gets alot of attention when it comes to tourist (justified in my opinion). With excellent food along the Mekong Delta, night markets that run for hundreds of meters & waterfalls continuously creating a cacophony of white noise.
One thing that isn’t written about in Lonely Planet, Trip Advisor or Travel Fish is that the circadian rhythm of the Laotian rooster is completely out of order. Instead of waking up at the crack of dawn and crowing once Laotian roosters wake up at 4am and crow until they go to sleep. It definitely made for some interesting sound recording.
Once again moving north (ever so close to the Laos/China border) we depart on our final adventure, a 4 day hike to the rural villages of the Akha people. The Akha are an indigenous hill tribe who live in small villages at higher elevations in the mountains of Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, and Yunnan Province in China moving to these areas in the early 20th century. Apart from medicine the Akha are completely self sufficient growing their own rice, farming their own chickens & pigs and sourcing water from mountain streams.
Click here to download a free sample pack.
10 files - 10 minutes - 24 bit - 48khz