George Vlad in Patagonia
Patagonia - George Vlad, a professional sound designer, recordist, and composer, packed his bags and set off on an adventure to Patagonia. His goal was more than just braving extreme weather conditions and noisy environments to record sounds. George was on a mission to capture the unheard symphony of nature, to bring attention to the significance of sound in our visually saturated world and the unique beauty that lies within the noise of our acoustically polluted globe. His journey wasn't just about collecting sounds; it was about making us listen.
Armed with Rycote's audio equipment, George Vlad had a clear purpose in mind. This time he wasn't just out to record sounds, he was on a mission to push the boundaries of what's possible. He ventured into extreme weather conditions and noisy environments, testing the limits and exploring the constraints of sound capture. His goal went beyond mere exploration, George wanted to underscore the importance of sound in our predominantly visual culture.
"Being a passionate sound designer, recordist, and composer, I have always been fascinated by sounds that aren't readily accessible,” says George. “It's this fascination that compels me to travel the world, to capture and reproduce these unique sounds. My eagerness to explore places where no human ears have heard is relentless. There's an indescribable thrill in being the first one to record such an untouched sound environment. However, each year, it becomes increasingly challenging due to the expanding human footprint.”
Patagonia, a region at the southern end of South America, is known for its breathtakingly beautiful landscapes and its diverse and unpredictable weather conditions. Often described as experiencing "four seasons in a day", the climate here can shift rapidly from strong winds to heavy rain. In this context, Vlad embarked on a week-long expedition involving a strenuous eight-hour uphill hike.
“My adventure in Patagonia underscored the importance of reliable audio equipment in challenging conditions. Despite the challenges presented by restrictions on off-track wandering and traffic noise, I managed to capture Patagonia's unique sounds without violating any rules. We had to hike up a hill for around eight hours to find a spot in a secluded area shielded by a large hill, providing a tranquil place to capture pristine forest sounds. It was essential to pack wisely and travel light, carrying versatile but robust gear. In this regard, Rycote's equipment proved to be incredibly handy."
Vlad utilised four Rycote Nano Shields, treated with Nikwax for added protection against the elements. He also carried various microphones, including a Rycote BD10 for testing. Despite hauling 30-40kg of equipment, including JOBY GorillaPods and sound devices recorders, all gear proved resilient and portable during the long hikes.
Rycote's products played a significant role in Vlad's recording experience. The blimps were instrumental in keeping his mics dry during downpours and periods of high humidity. Vlad praised the reliability of Rycote equipment, stating: "The blimps were amazing - they kept my mics dry. They helped me record where in other places I wouldn't be able to. I have to be very selective about the kit I take with me - it has to work - if it lets me down, I can’t use it again. Rycote products passed this test with flying colours."
George concludes: "In our expedition, we sought to bring attention to the often-ignored auditory essence of nature, which gets lost in the cacophony of modern life. My mission was to amplify these muted sounds, highlighting the beauty that lies beyond the noise of urban life."

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