Archives For Books

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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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Steam Train

Imagine you walk into work one day and discover you’ve been assigned to edit a television series based in the 1970s. The picture hasn’t arrived yet, so you spend the morning browsing your sound effect libraries. Will you have the proper police sirens, telephone sounds, or vehicle clips suitable for the period?

I had been thinking about this while watching the second season of Fargo. That’s based in the 1970s as well, and I wondered how the editors dealt with cutting authentic sound for that time. We’ll see an answer to that in the coming weeks. For now, though, the concept came with an interesting coincidence. Last week blog reader Martin wrote to me about British sound recordist Peter Handford.

Handford (1919 – 2007) was a pioneer of film sound, having worked with Sidney Lumet, Alfred Hitchcock, and Sydney Pollack. It was his collaboration with the latter director that earned him both a BAFTA and an Academy Award for his work on Out of Africa.

In addition to his mastery of production sound duties, Handford also dedicated his life to a fascinating mission: a urgent race to record the sound of steam trains before they vanished from British railways.

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Law Books

Field recording is a unique craft. It is practiced under very specific circumstances: field recording captures real sound effects beyond the controlled environment of a sound studio.

That makes field recording tricky to learn. I have mentioned in the past that some schools touch upon field recording in film and recording courses (article one, article two), as do actual field recording workshops. Generally, though, field recording is learned via exploration or apprenticeship. A dedicated, academic method of learning field recording has yet to emerge.

Of course, there’s a more immediate way to learn field recording: by reading. I’ve been collecting links to field recording books for some time. So, today’s article presents a resource for those of you that want to sit back and flip through a good book about the craft of field recording.

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Sharing Sound Online Group

It’s been a while since I posted here regularly. That’s because I’ve poured all my energy into writing a new e-book about sharing sound effects and field recordings.

It’s called Sharing Sound Online and it’s available now in the Creative Field Recording bookstore.

Sharing Sound Online is an e-book that explains how to build an indie sound bundle and share it from your own Web store. It collects all my knowledge of selling sound on the Internet since 2000, and presents hundreds of tricks and tips.

I wrote this book because I know many of you have excellent sound effects that are waiting to be discovered. I’m excited about the book because I think it is an extremely simple way to help everyone move their great collections out into the world to be enjoyed by listeners everywhere.

It’s the result of a solid three-and-a-half months of writing. I’m very excited to finally share it with you today.

This post will be a brief overview of the book. I’ll also be publishing two articles (article one, article two) with info from the book, starting today. At the end of the post, I’ll also include a discount code for 15% off the new book, which is good for the next 48 hours.

Interested in learning how to build an exceptional sound bundle and share it with thousands of sound pros on the Web? Read on.

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Selling Creative Sound - Upgraded Edition, Nexus 7

I’m very happy to announce that my e-Book, Selling Creative Sound, is now available for instant download.

It’s my second book about sound effects. It has a new twist: selling sound clips on the Web with fans eager to support you.

I began this book almost exactly one year ago, and I’m thrilled to finally share it with you today. Discover more in the bookstore.

What is it? How can it help you?

I’ll explain the idea behind the book in this post, and why you may want to read more.

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Field Recording Book - Print Version 1

I’m very happy to announce that a print version of Field Recording: from Research to Wrap – An Introduction to Gathering Sound Effects is now available.

It’s published by my imprint, Airborne Publications, and printed by Amazon.com. It’s sold directly from their Web shops in America, the United Kingdom, France, and Germany. Find it via the Creative Field Recording bookstore page by clicking the Amazon button at the bottom.

I know I’m biased, but I have to say I am excited with the result. I received a promo copy recently and I am thrilled with the print job.

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My first eBook, Field Recording: from Research to Wrap – An Introduction to Gathering Sound Effects is now available!

It has been a long journey bringing it to publication, and I’m incredibly excited to finally share it with you.

Discover what the e-Book is about, what you will learn, and how it will improve your craft on the bookstore page. You’ll also see the table of contents there, and can download free sample chapters.

I’ll explain a bit about the book in this post, and why it may interest you. But, before I do, I’d like to thank you, the field recording community. Without your forum posts, Twitter conversations, and feedback here and on Airborne Sound, this book simply would not exist. I found inspiration from you all, so in a way, this is your book, too.

But what’s this book about? And why did I write it?

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