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Giving a Hoot About Inaudible Animal Sounds

Recordist aims to capture animal sound frequencies beyond human hearing.

Mattia Cellotto with his JoeCo Cello

Guildford, UK (April 15, 2019)—How do you accurately record the squeaks, chirps and hoots of bats, birds and monkeys? If you’re sound designer and field recordist Mattia Cellotto, it means not only bringing quality gear to bear, but also recording frequencies typically undetectable by the human ear.

While Cellotto works for Criterion Games on projects like Battlefield V and Star Wars Battlefront II, he is also a freelance field recordist currently working on the second chapter of his Animal Hyperrealism sounds collection. It’s an effort that requires dedication; after all, his most recent escapade found him recording fruit bat pups roosting in a cave.

So far, the library includes an interesting variety of wildlife, including lemurs, leopards and birds such as parakeets and owls, which Cellotto says are particularly interesting due to their unique ultrasonic potential. Dealing with sounds that transcend the human auditory range posed challenges, however.

Recording Ed Sheeran at Wembley Stadium

Cellotto recalled, “I was looking for an analog-to-digital converter that would sample at 384 kHz, so I could record up to 192 kHz, which sounded pretty fun. I could find a few, but they didn’t feature preamps, so I’d have needed an external one and that seemed like an expensive and cumbersome option.”

The answer, it turned out, was to add a JoeCo Cello interface to his recording gear retinue: “I used the Cello alongside mics that are specifically designed to capture ultrasonic sound up to 200 kHz. I connect it to a Fusion 5 tablet and record everything at 384 kHz with Reaper and that’s pretty much it.”

Mattia Cellotto •

JoeCo’s Cello •

JoeCo •