Good news for anyone who wants to add a bit of soundscaping to their tracks.
The Macauley Library at Cornell University has uploaded their entire archive of Nature recordings, some dating back to the 1960's and earlier.
This is the place to go for that hawk screech, frogs chirping in the tall grass around a pond, and all the zoo animals you can think of. Elephants, kangaroos, whales and dolphins, the whole menagerie is in there and the monkey house is, of course, the most fun.
Unfortunately their site is not optimized for embedding audio so you're gonna have to go thru those links before you can hear anything, sorry.
But the good news is, these are all royalty-free sounds. They're open for use which means you can put them on a record and you don't have to worry about getting busted for ripping off the Lion King soundtrack anymore.
While I'm standing here in the middle of the jungle listening to monkeys howl, let's just talk about the Ferrari of waterproof outdoor digital recorders: The Aaton Cantar X3 for location sound or multitrack music.
See those purple sliders? Those are your volume controls for the channels. They're REMOVABLE MAGNETIC BUTTONS on top of a sealed rubber plastic case. You can take the whole thing to the beach in a hurricane and not have a problem.
They cost about $16,000 though... this is one of those things you don't buy just to test it out...
PRO TIP: Never buy a piece of gear until you know exactly how you will use it to bring in more money.
You can easily spend all your money on audio equipment during times when you think everything is going great, but if you want to be in this business long-term, always be thinking about how you bring in more gigs BEFORE you lay out dough on fun toys.
(note: I am not getting paid to promote this product, I just saw one in action last week and F'ing loved it. - Steve)