Rumours have been swirling about SoundCloud’s demise for years. The sound-sharing website has been haunted by news of huge annual losses as far back as 2014 and 2015. Their own financial auditor warned that they may run out of cash and collapse. In August, 2016, SoundCloud removed their much-loved “groups” feature from the site, leaving specialized communities of sound fans in the cold. The situation hasn’t improved. A recent article reported that the company laid off 40 percent of its staff and has 50 days of funding remaining.

SoundCloud disputes the cloud of doom that seems to be hovering over the website. Last year, SoundCloud launched “Go,” a subscription service similar to Apple Music and Spotify. The company claims the paid plans will rejuvenate their bank accounts.

Despite this, sound effect sharing fans have watched the streaming service with an uneasy eye. SoundCloud has long been a favourite of the field recording and independent sound library communities. It’s the preferred method of sharing sound clips with other sound fx fans and sound library customers.

Now, there’s no guarantee that SoundCloud will fold. However, there’s no harm in being prepared. With that in mind, today’s post offers a list of alternative sound-sharing websites.

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What’s the best way to organize your sound effects, field recordings, and sound design clips?

The last two articles have explored ideas. The first post shared sound fx library categorization basics. Last week’s article included 13 tricks and tips for categorizing a sound library. Those shared the concepts. What does this look like in practice?

Today’s post describes a quick workflow for creating your own sound fx library category and subcategory list. The post also deconstructs a sample field recording tree. It shows the thought process behind building a category and subcategory list that you can use as inspiration for building your own method of classifying sound effects.

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Use discount code SUMMERSALECFR17 to save up to $25 on field recording and sound library e-books.

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Your sound effects library is overflowing with new tracks. How can you wrangle all your sounds so your fans can find what they need easily and accurately?

Last week’s article shared one idea: organize your field recordings and sound design clips in categories and subcategories. That introduced sound effect categorization, the theory behind sonic grouping, why it matters, and ideas such as nesting, broad and narrow categorization, and two methods for naming your categories.

Today’s post shares quick categorization tips and tricks for classifying your sound effects.

Note: the rest of this month will be dedicated to sound library curation and categorization.

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You’ve been at it for years. Every weekend you’ve ventured out and captured dozens of fresh field recordings. Now, your hard drive is bursting with sound effects. There are thousands. How do you sort them all? How can you find the clip you want?

The first place to start is by writing a good sound file name. Other metadata fields follow, such as description, track title, and others. Once you’ve captured many similar sound effects, it’s helpful to collect them all in one spot. This is done by placing similar clips within a category and subcategory.

What are the best sound effect category and subcategories? How do you name them? Is it better to have dozens, or a select, chosen few?

Today’s article explores those questions. It shares why categorization is important for large sound libraries. It delves into the theory behind sonic grouping. The post includes lists of sample categorization trees you can browse and use yourself.

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Is it that time again?

iZotope recently released the latest version of their suite of audio repair tools, RX 6. New numbered releases of the widely respected software have been revealed at regular intervals. RX 4 arrived August 2014. Just over a year later, RX 5 was released September 2015. RX 6 has waited longer than that gap of 13 months, being unveiled in April of this year, 19 months after the last version.

What has the wait brought us? Today’s post will take a first look at new features and changes to the industry leading audio repair software.

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A while back I wrote a review of a popular community portable audio recorder, the Sony PCM-D100.

At that time, a number of people mentioned that there a number of better options than the stock windjammer that is shipped with the D100. So, I decided to buy the Sony PCM-D100 Rycote windjammer ($34.50) and try it myself.

So, today’s post introduces a new feature I’ve been meaning to add to a site: a video article: Sony PCM-D100 Windjammer Test: Sony vs. Rycote.


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A few years ago I published a post called the Field Recording Gear Buyer’s Guide. It was intended to help field recording fans decide how to choose the best pro audio equipment for them.

It wasn’t just a list of gear stats, though. It was written for new field recordists. After all, it’s hard to know what is the best gear amongst the hundreds of options available. So, the post was designed to help people grow through their kit choices. It begins by sharing sub-$200 kits that help beginners get started. Each later section of the post included ideas on supplementing their existing kit economically, then switching out to more expensive upgrades, later. That was meant to mimic the natural progression of a field recordist’s career: from simple, enthusiast equipment to elaborate, expensive pro options.

Today’s post also features field recording equipment options. However, it takes a different approach. Some field recording equipment is used only in rare, special situations. So, it’s not commonly added to a growing sound pro’s kit. That’s why specialized equipment didn’t appear in the previous post. Just the same, we shouldn’t leave unique or unusual field recording tools neglected, should we?

Today’s article explores those options in The Unconventional Microphone Buyer’s Guide.

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During the last two articles we explored explored a theme: is it possible to be inspired when shackled to the technical demands of gathering sound effects? The first week’s post suggested there is potential to be creative when using highly sophisticated equipment in the field. The last article shared ways to inject creativity within the rigid requirements of mastering sound effects. That gives hope to creative professionals who need to collect audio and slice sound with uncompromising accuracy.

Is the same true for one of the final stages of sound effect sharing: sound clip curation? The final post in this series will explore that answer, and share ideas for presenting exceptional field recordings and mastered clips to your listeners.

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You rip apart the shrink wrap and pull your new audio recorder out of the box. You power it up. You flip through the menus and apply the settings. You string lengths of cables to a dozen microphones. Each microphone is wiggled into Rycotes and spun onto stands. Their position is adjusted and tweaked. Then you slip into headphones and twist tiny dials so that the levels are just right.

What’s that? There’s hum on the line? Which mic is it? Another is picking up a current of air across the diaphragm. You fix everything. Then, after the first performance, you struggle to get levels from the contact mic without peaking. Half an hour later you’re ready to record. You’re frustrated and exhausted. How can you possibly expect to capture inspired performances now?

It’s not easy to be creative on demand. It’s especially hard when struggling with the technical demands of field recording. Last week’s post shared ideas on how to use adaptation, imagination, and creativity to grow beyond gathering only “sufficient” technical sound effects. And why not? There’s an opportunity to inject each field recordist’s expression into the sounds they capture. That invests a sound pro into their recordings, and sparks excitement in listeners, too.

Is there room to grow in other areas of a sound effect’s lifespan? As we know, capturing a field recording is only part of sound effect’s arc. After being captured, a clip must also be cleaned. Just like field recording, mastering requires precise technical skills. Is it possible to inject creativity when mastering, too?

Last week’s article explored whether field recording can grow beyond the technical boundaries of the craft. Today’s post shares a new idea: that it’s not enough just to record sound effects with emotion; the best field recordings must be presented that way, too.

So, today’s post shares tips and tricks for detecting and applying creativity when cleaning sound clips. Next week will conclude the series with ideas for organizing clips so listeners will be inspired when they discover them.

Please note: I explore this idea in detail. This article should take you about 15 minutes to read. Click the button below to email the article to yourself to read later.


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