The craft of field recording is a complex one. It requires nuanced skill and on-demand creativity that take years to cultivate.

Of course, capturing field recordings doesn’t end when you return home and start charging your batteries: the sound clips must be polished and organized before they can be shared with listeners. That’s why sound fx mastering and curation are important steps that complete the arc of sharing sound.

I’ve noticed there are a lot of questions about preparing field recordings for listeners. It’s understandable. Field recording itself is hard to learn. Mastering and curation are even more niche.

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iZotope’s RX noise-reduction software has received ample praise from throughout the pro audio community. It’s well deserved; RX’s suite of powerful tools can eliminate clicks and pops, remove buzz, and diminish noise.

There are dozens of these “modules.” In fact, it can take hundreds of hours to master them all. That’s why it was just last week that I discovered a new trick to help repair sound effects: the Find Similar tool.

Today’s post shares a quick trick to use the Find Similar function to help when mastering sound clips.

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Lately I was trying to find a microphone for a parabolic dish. I wanted a low-noise omnidirectional microphone under $1,000.

I looked in the regular forums. I browsed Facebook. I popped in and out of manufacturer websites. It took a lot of time to compare and contrast mic models, current prices, and technical specifications.

I thought: There must be an easier way to do this.

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It seems like everyone is on vacation during August. So, while everyone’s away I’ve taken the opportunity to post updates of older, popular posts.

The last to be updated is the Digital Sound Recorder Buyer’s Guide. It’s different from the larger Field Recording Gear Buyer’s Guide in that it focuses specifically on audio recorders. It also was designed to give field recordists tools to make informed choices by examining basic features, advanced features, fancy, bonus features, and extra considerations. There is also a section to discover audio recorder models in three price brackets.

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Last week I mentioned that I had updated the list of metadata apps. That revised post compared the prices and features of 19 sample organizers.

That’s a lot to go through. Today’s post is intended to help you choose the sound clip cataloging app that’s best for you.

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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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