Running Time:

72 min

Release Date:

May 2014

Recording Location:

near Maldon, central Victoria, Australia

Summer Thunderstorm

It is early summer, and all day the weather has been developing toward thunderstorms. By late in the afternoon, dark clouds are banking up, and rain is threatening.

Eventually it begins, a gentle precipitation that patters on the dry woodland floor. The first peals of thunder roll across the sky, receeding into the distance. Frogs begin calling softly, welcoming the moisture.

A first stormfront passes over, and for a while thunder rumbles ominously around the horizon. Soon another dark cloud bank approaches, and winds gust through the treetops. Small birds flit for shelter as the storm gathers and thunder gets closer.

Andrew comments:

"This recording was made at our home in the bush in southeastern Australia. In late spring and early summer, we frequently have moisture-laden weather systems which move down across the continent from more tropical regions. Thunderstorms develop toward the afternoon, bringing with them unusually humid and muggy conditions (for our part of the world).

"Recording these storms can be tricky; wind gusts get strong and buffet the microphone, and just when the storm gets really close and interesting, the rain often begins falling in bucketloads. So I had to wait for the right circumstances to make this recording.

"A highlight, inaudible on the recording, was a flock of Spine-tailed Swifts, which unexpectedly appeared overhead. For a brief minute or two, I had 200 or so birds above me, streaking across the stormy skies as they surfed the stormfront. As suddenly as they appeared, the flock had passed over and disappeared."

Audio sample of this album

1.

A First Thunderstorm with Rain

17.21

2.

Thunder on the Horizon - A Lull Between Storms

17.58

3.

Wind in the Trees as Another Storm Front Approaches

36.42

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About the audio formats

Mp3:

Mp3 is a universal audio format, playable on iPods, computers, media players and mobile phones.

Mp3 is a compressed format, allowing smaller filesizes, offering faster download times and requiring less storage space on players, but at some expense to the audio quality. Many listeners can't really hear the difference between mp3 and full CD-quality audio, and hence its convenience has lead to it becoming the default option for audio.

Our albums are generally encoded at around 256kbps (sometimes with VBR), balancing optimal audio quality without blowing out filesizes excessively. We encode using the Fraunhoffer algorithm, which preserves more detail in the human audible range than the lame encoder.

Our mp3 files are free of any DRM (digital rights management), so you can transfer them to any of your media technology. You've paid for them, they're yours for your personal use without restriction.

Mp3 files can be burned to disc, either as an mp3 disc, or an audio CD after converting them to a standard audio (.wav or .aif) format first.

FLAC:

FLAC is a high-quality audio format, allowing CD-resolution audio. It is ideal if you wish to burn your files to a CDR, or listen over a high resolution audio system. However files usually require special decoding by the user before playing or burning to disc.

FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec) is a LOSSLESS compressed audio format. This means that it preserves the full audio quality of a CD, but optimises the filesize for downloading. Typically, file sizes of around 60% are achieved without any degradation or loss of audio quality from the source files at the CD standard of 16bit/44.1kHz.

Obviously the file sizes are larger than for the mp3 version - usually around 300-400Mb for an album, compared to 100Mb for an mp3 album.

In addition, you'll need to know what to do with the files once you've downloaded them. In most cases you'll want to decode the files to wav or aiff, either to import into programs like iTunes, or burn to CDR. Some programs will play flac files natively.

There is a lot of information about flac online (eg: http://flac.sourceforge.net/)