Low Country Rain (1-hour recording)

Low Country Rain (1-hour recording)

Low Country Rain

Low Country Rain is a recording of a summer rainstorm that occurred in Pawley’s Island, South Carolina. It is not a looped or artificial digital simulation but an authentic, natural rainstorm that ebbs and flows as the storm moves across the island. Recorded under the roof of an open beach house, you’ll hear occasional distant rolling thunder that remains low in volume making this 60-minute natural soundtrack well suited for sleeping or relaxation.

From the recordist, Ward Archer...

I lived in a busy urban environment for 27 years. I learned to sleep with the sound of fire engines, dumpsters, late night revelers, Amtrak, riverboats and midnight motorcyclists with no muffler system.

Over the years I have used a variety of sounds to mask what was occurring outside my window. The oscillating fan or air filter seemed to work, although the actual noise levels of these machines are sometimes too loud.

One day I stumbled upon a recording called “Summer Rain” which was recorded in Martha’s Vineyard by Toby Mountain in the early eighties. This rain storm, had no thunder, no gawking tropical birds—just the ebb and flow of a real rainstorm. I used this recording to help me sleep for a number of years.

Being a recording engineer and record label owner myself, I often thought of recording my own “atmospheric recordings." I began to experiment by recording local rainstorms and quickly learned how difficult it is. Most storms are just too violent and windy and interference from city noises is just impossible to avoid. 

The Pelican Inn, Pawley’s Island, SC


In 2011, I joined my extended family for a week at the beach in Pawley’s Island, SC. I packed my recording gear thinking a recording of the South Carolina surf would make a great sleep recording. But, as fate would have it, the surf at Pawley’s Island, breaks too far off shore. The result was an almost “white noise” surf sound. I recorded at low tide, high tide, morning, night... but nothing impressed me until, near the end of one recording attempt, a rainstorm rolled into the area.

The Pelican Inn, Pawley’s Island, SC


I packed up the gear and began to retreat to my room at the Pelican Inn (a wonderful small inn, btw). As I was walking back on the board walk, I paused at the old wooden beach shower house which was surrounded by a dense canopy of trees and shrubs.

I listened.

I could hear the rain hitting many different surfaces—the wooden deck, the old roof, and the leaves on the trees. Forget the surf, the shower house was the perfect place to record a rainstorm and keep the recording gear dry.


The Pelican Inn, Pawley’s Island, SC


 So, I quickly set up the recorder and microphones and settled in for an almost two-hour rain storm. Normally I would say thunder is not good for sleeping because it’s disruptive. But this thunder was low in volume and it sounded like it was 10 miles away. 

The Pelican Inn, Pawley’s Island, SC


When I listened back later, I realized that by being at the right place at the right time, I had captured one of the best sleeping rainstorms I had ever heard.

I took the recording back to our Music+Arts studio in Memphis and listened over the studio monitor system. There I could really sense the natural ebb and flow of the storm. We prepared a one hour edit and I loaded it onto my iPhone to take home and sleep test.

That was seven years ago. I still use it for sleep and it has never let down. You can listen on iTunes or Spotify where the recording is divided into 15 tracks. Or you can download the full length, 1 hour recording here as one track.

There is something about a real rainstorm that connects with the rhythm of the human body in a way that synthetic sounds don’t. It’s a natural way to help you find sleep.