A few years ago I started a series called “Metadata Month” (series 1, series 2). That explored how to add the valuable bonus text info known as metadata to sound effects to aid searching and using field recordings.

In one of those posts I took a stab at listing every “metadata app” capable of managing sound libraries, browsing sound clips, using and adding metadata, and transferring sound files.

There were 15 apps in that post. Well, it’s been three years and things have changed. Recently I refreshed the post with new info.

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A few months ago I published a new list of field recording equipment. It wasn’t the first time I examined gear choices for sound pros. My first stab at it was the Field Recording Gear Buyer’s Guide. That helped people new to the craft explore gear options in an evolution from basic kits to intricate, expensive microphone, preamp, and digital recorder combos. Thanks to you, that post remains one of the most popular articles on the site.

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Recently sound effects metadata app Soundminer added an often-requested sound library curatorial feature: it is now possible to apply both category and subcategories to sound fx listings at once. What’s more, Soundminer provides a list of categories from a pre-defined list, making a once tedious exercise swift and simple.

Calls for the feature had been floating around for a while. Last month Tim Nielsen (Lord of the Rings, Avatar) posted on Facebook revisiting the idea. Well, the team at Soundminer took the concept and ran with it.

Today’s post will explain the value of working with a pre-defined category and subcategory to sound effects. It will share how to use the new Soundminer features. Finally, I’ll include step-by-step instructions for creating and adding your own custom category and subcategory list to Soundminer, and also one from the Airborne Sound library that you can use yourself.

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During the last month we’ve explored a lot of ideas about classifying sound effects. The first post shared sound fx library categorization basics. The next had 13 tricks and tips for classifying field recordings, and last week shared a brief guide to creating your own category tree.

Now let’s learn how you can apply categories and subcategories to your sound library.

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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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Please note: the sale has concluded.

Today you can save 50% off all field recording and sound library building e-books. We have this sale once a year, and it lasts 48 hours only.

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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