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Dolphin Talk

During my sampling session in Madeira in spring 2019, I met Filipe, a local nature guide who specialises in spotting cetaceans. Dolphins' vocalizations and whales' songs have been among the top requests on myNoise for a long time, but my previous attempts to record them had failed. I wanted to try again.

The rules governing dolphin and whale spotting around Madeira are very strict. To preserve their wellbeing when so many tourists are on the island, permission is required both to approach the dolphins at a close recording distance, and to switch off the boat's engine — which is necessary, in order to make a clear sound recording. Though we didn't encounter any whales, the mission was a success, as reflected in the sound quality of this generator. I would like to thank the authorities of Madeira for their kind collaboration, and Filipe, who made it all possible!

Dolphins' vocalizations extend well above the human hearing range, especially when they use sound waves as a sonar. To discover all the sounds they can produce, I picked up devices capable of recording up to the ultrasonic range. Then, by slowing down the original recording during playback, one can reveal the inaudible, though at a slower speed. The sliders marked with the symbol  are playing at half-speed. You are not hearing the exact sound, but a sort of "slow motion" version, allowing your ears to discover the sounds that were made one octave above human hearing. Still, the resulting frequencies can be very high and inaudible to you if your hearing is not perfect.

Because this soundscape includes a lot of high frequencies, it would be a perfect companion to mask your tinnitus, if you suffer from it, or even to retrain your hearing if you have developed hyperacusis to certain higher frequencies.

This post is not sponsored and I paid Filipe for his service. But since I was so impressed by his professionalism and his utmost respect of the local fauna during our recording, I am happy to recommend H2O Madeira, Filipe's dolphin-spotting business. If you meet him, please say hello from me (Stphane from myNoise). He is a great, easygoing person!

Published on November 18th, 2019

User Stories

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  Feels like you're right there with them :)

  Noises are very clear! Relaxing and not too distracting. Go well with other underwater gens!

  I prefer the clicking noises above the sounds the dolphins make that are sounding like drills of the dentist. Sounds that are high pitched have not a relaxing effect on me, but the other effect. I'm blind, and as I may believe the words of my audiologe, my hearing is good for my age. Too high or too low sounds can make me feel uncomfortable.

  A quiet, benevolent, non intrusive presence that fades in and out. Perfect to relax for when silence is too much and elaborate noises/generators a little too distracting.