Note: SoundCloud has now removed groups from their website.
Lately I’ve been enjoying sharing field recordings on SoundCloud.
SoundCloud is the one of the largest online sound sharing websites. It is packed with music, but there are indeed places where you can track down field recordings, exchange sound effects, and listen to bizarre sound design.
Some generous readers have shared cool corners of the site with me. I’ve stumbled across others. SoundCloud is a great way to connect with other recordists that share your particular stripe of sound fx recording.
I’ll explain how in today’s post.
What is SoundCloud?
Alex Ljung and Eric Wahlforss designed SoundCloud in 2007 as a way for musicians to share tracks with one another. It’s evolved quite a bit since then. Major artists share new releases there, and even sell their tracks online.
It has some cool features that are helpful for field recordists:
- You can upload and store two hours of audio, free of charge.
- SoundCloud allows you to embed any sound uploaded to the site elsewhere on the Web. It displays the sound as a clickable waveform with art and comments. This is incredibly helpful for sound bloggers. It eliminates the need to install audio player software on your blog. It also sidesteps expensive bandwidth and storage costs. The embed code can be customized with your branding if you have a pro plan. Also, you can even share tracks others have uploaded if they allow it.
- You can collect similar tracks into a “set.” This is a playlist of field recordings. Sharing a dozen fresh field recordings? No need to fill your Web page with a curtain of clips. The set feature organizes them neatly in an attractive player.
- It also has great sharing features. You can automatically Tweet uploads. It is easily shared to Google+, Facebook, and the rest of them.
- You can create and join groups. Groups are communities that gather sound effects based on a theme. You may create a group that shares Australian field recordings. You may join a birder’s group, and submit your tracks for all members to hear. Groups are a cool way for likeminded field recordists to gather and share sounds.
- SoundCloud is now embedded in apps. Thanks to SoundCloud’s API, “Upload to SoundCloud” is becoming a standard part of sound editing software such as Pro Tools and smartphone apps. That means you can upload recordings to your account directly from your DAW or mobile phone.
Uploading to SoundCloud is free of charge. Paying for a Pro or Unlimited subscription allows you to upload more minutes of audio, swap out uploaded tracks, access statistics, and more. It also allows you to share your work to multiple groups. Here’s a list of differences between the subscription levels.
How to Join SoundCloud Communities
SoundCloud is so huge that’s it’s tricky to know where to begin. I’ve found the groups feature helpful.
It allows you to share audio quickly to a wide audience. Some groups are quite specific: styles of recording, subject matter, location, and so on. The groups allow you to connect with other recordists who hunt the same sounds as you.
I’ve listed a handful below. Browse to the links and click the group’s “Join” button to become a member. You’ll then see new uploads from those groups in your homepage stream.
Field Recording Groups
I listed field recording groups here at one point. I’ve moved it under the “Community” menu item, above.
Below are some examples take from the groups listed on that page.
Feel free to follow me on SoundCloud. I’ve uploaded just over 160 tracks. There are some free downloads, too. Browse them here:
Do you know a group I should add to this list? Other places where you share sound? Share your ideas in the comments.
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