Archives For Sharing Sound

Audio Waveform

You’ve finally decided to share your sounds on the Web. And why not? You’ve spent countless hours recording sound effects. You’ve tweaked endless plug-in settings. You’ve slaved mastering each clip: sculpting every fade, the slice of each edit, and each precise pinch of EQ.

The result? A collection of clips you can objectively say are excellent.

The problem is no one knows.

How, then, can you show off how impressive your sound library has become? With a sound library preview montage.

In today’s post I’ll take a focused look at this important part of sharing a sound library. I’ll describe:

  • What is a sound library preview montage?
  • How preview montages are used.
  • Why sound library preview montages are essential.
  • Preview montage errors to avoid.
  • What a superior montage must include.
  • How to create an irresistible preview montage.

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A Sound Effect Logo

Much of the appeal of field recording comes from how the craft changes. One day you’ll be crawling under a car lashing microphones to its chassis. The next you may be wrangling puppies to record dog vocals. Perhaps today you’ve piled up a creative stack of plug-ins to create a shimmering, unearthly drone.

You’ve captured, mastered, and organized impressive sound effects. Now you’re excited to share them. How can you do this?

I suggested some ideas in my book, Selling Creative Sound. That showed how to share your sound effects library on existing Web shops. What if you want to build your own store?

That’s trickier. It introduces a new challenge. The Web is vast. How do fans find your work?

Last week a new option emerged to help: A Sound Effect. It’s a website that catalogs independent sound libraries. It helps recordists list their work, and helps fans find them.

A Sound Effect was created by Asbjoern Andersen. I reached out to Andersen to ask him about the site. He kindly answered some questions about his background and his vision for the site. Today I’ll share our conversation, as well as my experiences test-driving the site, and its impact on the sound effects community.

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Madrid Edifice

What do you need to share sound on your own site?

In my e-Book, Selling Creative Sound, I explained that a Web shop allows customers to do the following:

  • Search for sounds using keywords and categories.
  • Hear sound previews.
  • Create and modify accounts.
  • Add or remove sounds from a virtual shopping cart or basket.
  • Send payment information in a secure manner.
  • Exchange payment for permission to use a sound.
  • Securely download a copy of a sound file.

That is fairly obvious since we’ve all been shopping online for years now. From a shop owner’s perspective, however, it isn’t as easy as it looks. Selling Creative Sound explains how to share sounds on a partner’s site. If you want to share sound from your own home on the Web, you’ll need to figure out how to jump through each of those hoops.

The most vital, yet difficult, roles are sending payment information in a secure manner and exchanging payment for permission to use a sound.

Are you thinking about starting a sound effects store? Have one already? In today’s post I’ll explain what happens behind the scenes. I’ll also explore two options for getting this done: PayPal, and Stripe.

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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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Fallen Leaves Still Life

You’d think that sharing sound libraries would be simple. I once thought so. After all, I thought, how hard is it to send an MP3 to a fan?

That was in 2000. Since then, I’ve peeled back layers of library ingestion, SSL, licensing, and other arcane Web shop terms. There’s no manual for sharing sound. It was exciting exploring this world and discovering how it worked. But good information remained clouded. One reason I started this blog was to part these clouds. Why would I do this?

Well, one benefit to creating this site is that I’ve had the privilege of hearing cool tracks from people who visit. Others need to hear these recordings. They will love them. It still amazes me that we can hear recordings from thousands of kilometres away seconds after they happen. It’s easier than ever to trap and ship audio anywhere.

But this has introduced a problem. While transferring sound is simple, sharing it well is not. Why?

The transmission of a creative idea is never easy. It can be misunderstood, or corrupted midway. Crafting an irresistible collection is trickier. Serving it to others is harder still. Web shop ingestion is a maze of confusing requirements littered with land mines of bugs. And every shop is different. You’re busy recording cool tracks. Who has the 13 years I did to learn the ropes?

This is why I wrote my upcoming book, Selling Creative Sound. I’ve read email from many people who want to know how to share sound smartly, and support themselves from their work. The book is designed to help send your audio to fans quickly, wisely, and support you while you do it.

So, today I’ll share how to prepare a sound library for Web shops. It’s an abridged checklist taken from the book. It’s meant to prepare a bulletproof package that will be prized in Web shops, and, later, perhaps a site of your own.

Update: Selling Creative Sound is now available. Learn more about the e-Book.

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How to Name Text 2

When you decide to share your library, your sound effects begin to exist outside of your control.

They float around on networks and hard drives for other people to experience, and interpret.

I enjoy working as a sound librarian. I think about sound effects names, searches, and accuracy deeply. It is an important part of field recordings: it is the method by which our creations are accessed, and shared.

This is the last in my two-part series about naming sound effect libraries. The first post explored the philosophy behind sound names, and necessity for good ones.

Because you’ll develop your own style for naming, today I’ll share 15 tips I keep in mind when creating names and assigning metadata. They’re tips I’ve picked up over the years I’ve spent optimizing collections for Web shops. You can use them as guidelines for your own methods. They’re general enough that they’ll strengthen your names and improve the chances that your sound will be found, and used.

Since these posts are taken from my upcoming book, Selling Creative Sound, you’ll see there’s a slant on selling sound. You can also apply the ideas to sharing sound at work, or on your own.

Update: Selling Creative Sound is now available. Learn more about the e-Book.

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How to Name Sound Effects 1

A sound effect has a long lifespan.

Its childhood begins with scouting. Its teen-aged years are when it is recorded. The college years are when its direction is shaped with mastering. The longest part of its life, its adulthood, is when it is shared.

In my book Field Recording: From Research to Wrap, I said that sharing sound is inherent to field recording. We capture sound so it can be released elsewhere: in the projects we work on, or for the fans who are listening.

Sharing sound clips happens in two ways. The first is by transmission: you can share audio by playing it (alone or within projects), sending it to someone, or so on. Another part of sharing a sound is being able to access it. Or, in other words, being able to find it. After all, we all have thousands of sound files in our libraries. We need to locate them to use them.

I’d like to write about just one part of how a sound effect can be found: by its name.

Today we’ll take a deep look at the ideas behind naming sound. I’ll explain five reasons why a name is a vital part of a sound effect. It’s about the philosophy behind naming a sound. I’ve written it to get us thinking.

Next week we’ll look at a more practical aspect of naming sounds. I’ll share helpful guidelines for naming any sound library, and hazards you should avoid.

A sound’s name can be created quickly. It takes only seconds of tapping a keyboard to compose a name. This is usually done during mastering. However, a name has such a large impact on sharing your sound library that I’ve dedicated an entire chapter to the idea in my upcoming book, Selling Creative Sound. My hope is that the ideas will help you share your creations more successfully.

Update: Selling Creative Sound is now available. Learn more about the e-Book.

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Onwards, courtesy Bala

Many shops sharing sound effects today will soon be extinct. They just don’t know it yet.

Last week I explained which shops will diminish and fade. Why will this happen? It’s because they’ve lost touch with technology, and the people that use sound effects.

You’re probably familiar with the idea. The same process has been happening to the music and movie industries. Traditional distribution is scrambling to adapt to the digital age.

Fans want easy access to movies and music. Shops struggle fitfully to protect their creative work, and earn a fair amount for sharing it. The result?

Movies and music become bookended with lecturing Interpol warnings, copy-protection schemes, delayed releases, and distribution staggered across dozens of territories.

It sounds complicated, doesn’t it? It is. Is there any point to sharing sound, then?

Of course! People yearn for good sound. Often they crave it more strongly than music and movie fans because the benefit is more direct. Sound effects are tools they need to assist projects they craft every day.

So, if the old ways of sharing sound are dying, what can we expect from the future?

Today’s post will describe the future of sharing sound, and how your sound effects library will join it.

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Hard Drives

A long time ago I was offered a position as a staff editor at a post facility in Toronto.

At the time I had just moved back to Toronto after living in Montréal, France, Los Angeles, and Vancouver. I was broke. I had no clients. At the time the Airborne Sound library was tiny, and appeared in few stores.

I turned down the offer.

Today’s article is about choosing the right way to sell sound effects. After all, beginning selling a sound library is daunting. There are dozens of companies and scores of websites. Each sells sound effects differently. How do you do it? What’s the best way to get started?

It’s far easier than it seems. I’ve shared sound in various ways since around 2000. Despite the abundance of stores and libraries, there remain only four ways of selling sound effects. I’ll share them with you today. It’s important to know these before you begin selling sound. Why?

The first two methods no longer work. You must avoid these. The third, however, is thriving. And the fourth? It is the future of selling sound.

So, the goal of this article is to show you the advantages and hazards of each. This will help you make the best choice so you can share your sound library without risk, and reach the greatest amount of fans.

This week I’ll share two ways sound effects are sold. They’re dead, or are dying. Next week I’ll conclude the series by showing the future of selling sound effects.

What does this have to do with me turning down a job offer? I’ll explain at the end of the series.

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Obama Hope Poster Comparison, courtesy stevesimula

On February 10, 2007, Chicago Senator Barak Obama declared his intention to run for the presidency of the United States. Later that year, street artist Shepard Fairey decided to create art to support Obama’s campaign.

At that time, Fairey was already an established artist. His “André the Giant has a Posse” and “OBEY” stickers and posters were plastered in schoolyards and underpasses worldwide.

The project that brought him the most attention was the Hope poster he created to support Obama. The poster was designed in Fairey’s trademark stencil style with heavy blues, reds, and whites. The poster immediately became immensely popular. It is widely recognized as the most effective political art since “Uncle Sam Wants You.” Since then the poster has been adapted, imitated, and parodied worldwide.

What does this have to do with field recording, and sound effects?

Well, the Hope poster is an excellent example of the challenges that someone sharing creativity faces today. And this includes sharing sound libraries online.

No one seems quite certain what’s involved in sharing sound. Many questions are batted around:

  • Will people pirate my sound effects once they are online?
  • How can I protect my sound library?
  • Can I use a clip from another library to build a new sound for my collection?
  • Is it okay to do this if I process or alter the original clip beyond recognition?
  • Can I use a brand name when I describe sound effects?

I’ll answer those questions today. In this post I will explain how to protect your sound library, and share your collection without risk.

This article is based on my experience sharing sound for the past decade. I’ve seen examples of copyright issues, piracy, and lawsuits. As always, though, if you want iron-clad legal advice for your country, ask a lawyer.

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