Sound Effects Article Roundup #2

2012/09/12

I mentioned recently I had planned two books on field recording sound effects. Well, I finished both last week. They’re currently being professionally edited.

As a result I’ve had more time to catch up on blogs and poke into some interesting corners on the Web. Below are links I found.

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Articles & Blog Posts

  • Most people know sound designer Frank Serafine for his work on Star Trek, Tron and The Hunt For Red October. I met Frank maybe ten years ago. He’s a laid-back, super-cool guy. One thing I noticed about Frank’s work is that it continually evolves. He’s not just a film guy. He’s usually working on some audio gig that’s just a little bit different. He always has an interesting and fresh perspective on audio.
    This interview in HDVideoPro magazine discusses Frank’s new studio and explores the merits between software and outboard gear.
  • We sometimes talk about selling sound effects here. On the ecommerce side of things, there’s an excellent article on The Trichordist that offers another perspective on music file sharing. It shatters some myths about the Free Culture Movement and drops some numbers, all in a reflective, non-preachy, and exceptionally well-written letter.
    Browse the article’s comments afterwards to find responses from world-class producers and musicians.

Websites

  • Lately I’ve been keeping an eye on The Field Reporter. This website publishes thoughtful, detailed reviews of field recording projects by sound artists. These are less like the individual sound clips we talk about here. Instead, the projects are more similar to concept albums of sound effects. I’ve written about how a field recordist’s Focus strengthens their sound effects. These recordings are good examples.
  • I’ve also been enjoying Des Coulam’s blog, Soundlandscapes. It has cool binaural sounds from across Paris. Combined with photos and extensive historical details, it’s an evocative way to explore The City of Light from your desk.

Community

  • Reddit is an addictive website. Users post articles or links, then others vote on them. (In this way it’s like the questions on Social Sound Design.) It’s a cool way to see what’s popular or compelling. People can comment on the articles, and these responses can also be voted on. Intriguing posts rise and boring ones are buried.
    The coolest thing about Reddit are the “subreddits.” These are pages with articles only about certain interests. There are hundreds ranging from politics to minimalism to yes, all things audio.
    Check out the subreddits for: audio post and game audio.
    Posts on Reddit are raw and brief. However, they feel genuine and more immediate.
    I also wrote an article about community earlier. Check out other options there.

Tutorials

  • Do you have a consumer audio recorder like the D50 or H4n? Want to improve your sound effects with a better preamp? Dan McComb cracks the problem of attaching pro preamps to consumer recorders. A two part series explains how to get around the signal issues and connect a Sound Devices MixPre to an H4n.
    Make sure to read the post’s comments for additional info and tips from the community.

Tools

  • Use Sound Devices’ Audio Record Time Calculator to find how much storage you need based on duration and sample rate.
  • There’s another DAW disk space calculator here at A-NO-NE. If you own a Apple Mac, you can also download the Widget.
  • When I’m researching microphones my first step is to pass by Microphone Data. This is a no-nonsense site that includes stats and specs. Login required.

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