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What are Ambisonic recordings? What microphones are used to capture these sound effects? What software is needed to use them? Where can you find Ambisonic field recordings?

This month’s series was designed to answer those questions. We’ve learned a lot about Ambisonics during the past month. We began by reviewing the basics. Then, a handful of field recordists generously shared their knowledge with us.

Today’s post summarizes all the info we’ve discovered so far. It includes a list of microphones, software, hardware, and applications for Ambisonics. There are also a few links to existing Ambisonic sounds you can download and try yourself.

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Last week I shared a roundup of articles I had written that share how to sell sound effects.

That’s one of the most popular questions I receive from readers. What’s the second-most popular question? Unsurprisingly, it asks about the next step in selling sound fx libraries:

  • What’s the best topic or theme for my first sound fx library?
  • What is the best subject for a sound collection?
  • What title is best for a new sound clip library?
  • How do I find a good idea for a new sound fx library?

Today’s post will be a roundup of advice I’ve shared to answer that question both here, and on other websites.

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It’s quite exciting to see many field recordists and sound designers eager to begin sharing sound fx with the community. I receive many emails from people curious about selling sound.

Writing about sharing field recordings on the Web is one of my favourite article topics. However, as the site grows larger, those posts are a bit trickier to find amongst the other articles.

That may be why I still receive many questions about sharing sound, such as:

  • How do I sell sound effects?
  • How do I create a sound fx library?
  • How do I design a sound effect library?

Those are all good questions. So, it’s time for a refresher. Today’s article is a roundup of all previous posts about sharing sound.

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Best Posts of 2016

2017/01/04

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Every year I summarize the most popular posts from the year before. I also include a few favourites I’ve enjoyed writing.

Let’s take a look.

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Recording Jet Airliners in the UK

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Earlier this month I released the free Jet Fly Bys sound effects library over on Airborne Sound. I explained that I had captured those field recordings when I found myself living beneath the flight path of an international airport.

A reader recently wrote me to tell me he tried the same technique after reading the post here. Chris Procopiou lives near Heathrow Airport outside of London, England. He described his experience recording his own jet airliners in a post on his blog. And here's a bonus: he's offering them to the community free of charge. Check them out!

Read the article on Chris' blog and download the sound library.

A New Giveaway: Discuss Field Recording. Win Prizes

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For the entire month of December the Designing Sound news site is offering prizes for asking and answering questions about field recording or sound design on their new forum, Designing Sound Exchange.

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Imagine: soothing waves creeping onto a beach, then retreating with a sandy hiss. Hear distant thunder rippling as it rolls over a mountain. Imagine quiet, evening rain pattering on fallen autumn leaves.

Wilderness field recordings are some of the most loved sound effects. The sound of nature has a universal appeal.

However, nature field recordings are some of the most difficult sound effects to capture. Finding pure wilderness locations is difficult. Atmospheres are constantly invaded by air traffic and distant delivery trucks. The sound of rural industry travels for miles and overlaps even remote conservation areas. Sonic purity seems incredibly elusive. And, when field recordists do find a few moments of peace, wind, rain, and snow make field recording a challenge.

Perhaps that is why it is hard to find knowledge about recording these tricky sound effects. A handful of weekend workshops introduce fans to wilderness field recording. However, the most precious soundscapes are beyond the reach of a weekend retreat. They require descending into canyons or hiking into deserts, or month-long expeditions deep into jungles. The process is difficult, and few have returned to share their experiences recording there. So, knowledge of how to gather these field recordings simply does not exist.

Thankfully, collecting sound from these stunning locations is within our grasp. Just last week a new guide was released to help you gather field recordings in almost every conceivable wilderness environment: Gordon Hempton’s Earth is a Solar Powered Jukebox.

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New: A Sound FX Library Sale & Discount Listing Page

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A quick update: I’ve added a new page to my independent sound effects library search engine, Sound Effect Search. The page is a community service that lists sound fx sales, discounts, and bundles from indie sound fx library publishers. Just click the links there to visit the Web shop and save on cool sound fx.

Since it’s American Thanksgiving weekend, there are many sales for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Check them out!

I update the list every time I spot a new sale, so you can bookmark the page and check back for new deals. You’re also welcome to follow Sound Effects Search on Twitter, or subscribe to the free email newsletter or RSS feed.

Do you own a Web shop? Launching a sale soon? Add sound fx library discounts and coupon codes.





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Preserving the Sound of the Pacific Northwest: A New Kickstarter Project

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Well, it’s been a busy week for community projects. A few days ago I mentioned Paul Col’s new collaborative CrowdsourceSFX website. Barely a day later, a new crowdfunded sound fx project launched: The Northwest Soundscapes Project.

The year-long project, led by field recordist and sound designer Andy Martin, aims to capture 15–30-minute long 96 kHz quad ambiences from 72 distinct locations across the Pacific northwest at various times during the day. Interestingly, Martin plans to include impulse responses from each location as well.

The project is already well underway, having gathered over $2,500 out of a $9,450 goal. If you’re interested in nature ambiences, preserving the sound of northwest America, or want to grow your sound library, check out the project. Here’s the link to The Northwest Soundscapes Project Kickstarter page.

Learn more about the project in an interview on the A Sound Effect blog.

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As field recordists, we all know that venturing out of the studio to capture sound effects takes thought, effort, and skill. Weather, network demands, and milestone deadlines highlight another challenge: time. Superior field recordings are diligent and comprehensive; neither aspect can be rushed. That’s a shame, since sound fx editing becomes easier when pros have multiple variations of similar sound clips. It just isn’t possible for a single recordist to gather ample variety on the tight schedules that are becoming more common in pro audio. So, how can someone stretched for time beat this problem?

One increasingly popular way is crowdsourcing. This approach combines the efforts of an entire community of skilled pros to create something bigger than a single field recordist can accomplish themselves.

Field recordist and sound designer Tim Prebble was one of the first sound pros to champion a crowdsourced sound fx collection. That became the respected "Doors" sound library of 2010.

Since then, there have been a number of other fx-themed crowdsourced projects: René Coronado’s trolley library and the Free Firearms library by Still North SoundFX used Kickstarter to help overcome the financial hurdles of creating a sound collection. Both Mike Niederquell’s Audible Worlds forum and Michael Maroussas’s The Sound Collectors Club draw from community submissions to create theme-based sound libraries. Just recently a new crowdsourced library website was launched with a compelling twist: CrowdsourceSFX.

Today’s article will explore this community project and its website. The post will explain how you can become involved in this intriguing new crowdsourced sound library, and how it can keep giving back to collaborators, years after their first upload.

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