tonebenders – episode sixteen – gordon hempton

Tonebenders / Episode Sixteen


In episode 16 Timothy talks to Gordon Hempton about recording in pristine wilderness, protecting natural silence and his personal bouts with hearing loss. That interview is followed up with a talk with audiologist Marshall Chasin about the best ways to keep our ears in long term health.

Show Links:

One square inch of silence
Soundtracker documentary about Gordon Hempton
Quiet Planet SFX Libraries
Free PDF of “Hear The Music: Hearing Loss Prevention for Musicians” by Marshall Chasin
Musician’s Clinic of Canada


Thank you for another great episode. I have to say that having a bad day and feeling pretty down was instantly cured by listening to the pure joy he had from that train recording! I was also wondering. How does noise cancelling headphones affect the math behind safe hearing? Also I was visiting some Old episodes and there are quite a few episodes missing in iTunes. Will they come back or do we have to listen on YouTube? I thought one really good point that game up in one of the older episodes (4?) was to be less focused on the actual process of making a recording but focus more on making interesting recordings. Be an artist not just an engineer. Much love once again from Norway. Kristoffer Lislegaard

Kyle Raub
Kyle Raub

Awesome episode.  This was both inspirational and thought-provoking to me as well.  I like that you guys took a chance on covering a topic that sound professionals might shy away from out of some kind of fear or maybe even ignorance.  Kudos!  I hope many listen to this episode and come out with questions.  


As I have!  Except it does not have to do with hearing loss or tinnitus :).  This came up in a discussion group I was watching and no one commented on the idea once it was posed, so I thought I might ask about it here.  When using a field recording setup that might produce a more-than-negligible amount of self-noise (either via pres or mics) and now with having a fairly robust and detailed noise removal tool (like RX2), have any of you gentlemen ever used the technique where you take dry recordings of your setup (at the appropriate and surrounding volumes / with or without mics), and then later used those as your noise profiles to scrub your actual recordings?  In theory, trying your best to only remove self-noise from your captures; very quiet captures most likely as masking would naturally take care of light noise in louder/busier recordings of course.  


I just wondered what all of your thoughts might be on this concept, and if you've even ever used it.  It might not be as necessary for an SD 7-series, but perhaps for a PCM-D100, H6 or H4n, DRxxx, Marantz, or lower level Nagra recorders.


Keep up the amazing work guys, seriously.  




Amazing episode. It would be great to get him on again.


Great episode! Bought The Soundtracker film right after listening - very inspirational.