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If you're someone who likes to head to the beach for a relaxing vacation, you're not alone. In fact, a third of all Americans travel to the beachside at least once a year to soak up some sun and surf. However, on your next beach trip, there's an especially awesome way that you can spice up things up: recording underwater sounds using a hydrophone. Here, we're going to discuss what exactly a hydrophone is as well as how and why you should use it, so read on for more information on how to make your next vacation one to remember!
What Is a Hydrophone?
‘Hydrophone': derived from the ancient Greek terms for ‘water' and ‘sound.' It refers to a microphone designed underwater use and records sound from the depths of the ocean.
These devices are made from something called a piezoelectric-type transducer, which converts sound pressure waves into electrical signals when submerged in the water. These electrical signals are recorded to make your sound file.
In addition to being a microphone that captures sounds from within the water, a hydrophone can also be used as a simple contact microphone. It will pick up sounds from anything that it touches- the water is no exception!
How to Work the Technology
In addition to people like you who want to have fun, people in a lot of scientific communities use hydrophones for research. This technology allows them to listen to whale songs, sharks, dolphins, fish, and more.
You can capture these sounds, too, if you go far enough down into the ocean! Just make sure you dive with an appropriately trained diving tour professional before you go too far out.
In any case, a hydrophone itself is a very light device despite being too heavy to float around by itself in the water. It connects to a microphone cable and turns on while submerged in the water, likely while attached to your swimming or scuba gear.
The technology has a small screen on it through which you technically could monitor recordings, but this is impractical when you're down in the deep blue. You can, however, insert the headphones and monitor your recordings that way.
What Sounds Will You Capture?
There are a lot of different sounds that you can record while under the water. As we discussed before, hearing the sounds that sea life makes is one of the coolest ways that you can use your hydrophone. However, there are more ways to use this technology than just one!
You can also hear:
- Huge sounding water drips as it moves into areas of the water that have different pressure than the one it was in before
- Rainfall on the surface of the ocean. This is extraordinarily unique experience, so try taking a dive on a rainy day!
- Breaking waves, which are especially cool when the tide comes in
- A variety of man-made sounds, including those made by passing ships and military sonars. You can hear boats passing through the ocean from miles away from you if you power your hydrophone up to full power and aren't distracted by other noises!
- Natural physical processes like cracking sea ice
These are only a few examples. The sea is a treasure trove of unique and intriguing sounds!
Why Record Underwater Sounds?
There are a huge number of reasons a person might be interested in recording underwater sounds.
First, it's really interesting from a scientific point of view. If you're a student of any type of sciences, particularly biology or physics, there are a lot of ways that you can examine and analyze underwater sounds. This will help you (and the world as a whole) to make scientific discoveries so that we can better understand the world we all live in.
It also is pretty amazing from an aesthetic standpoint. The sounds are calming and good for a person's mental health. By listening to calming underwater sounds, a person will be able to lower their heart rate and relax all aspects of the mind and body.
Finally, it's a great way to satisfy your curiosity and learn more about the unknown. For most people, the depths of the ocean are unexplored territory, and it's human nature to want to learn more about the places that we can't get to easily.
In general, underwater sounds need to be recorded to explore a previously unexplored frontier!
Playing Your Sounds Back
Once you've recorded your underwater sounds, it's time to give them a listen!
It's easy to connect the digital recording to any computer. Simply insert it onto a flash drive and plug it into your laptop. Whether you have a PC or Mac, there are a huge number of media players that you have to choose from!
You can then play back your underwater recordings on a Mac. If the sound isn't working, be sure to check the sound settings on your Mac. You can do this by heading to the following link:
Have fun listening to the ocean's songs!
Start Listening to Marine Life!
While there are many amazing things you can do while on vacation, using a hydrophone is an incredibly fun and exciting way to have a unique experience.
Now that you know how to record underwater sounds and hear the amazing marine life in the ocean, it's time to learn more tips to make your next travel experience as amazing as possible. Check out the ‘travel and leisure‘ tab on your home page to get more tips on how to make the most out of your next vacation.