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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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Field Recording: From Research to Wrap is now available via Kindle Matchbook. This means if you bought the print version of the book from Amazon, you can now download a matching digital copy free of charge.

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New Sound Effects Sharing Book Arriving Soon - Stack of Books

I’ve often written here that I believe that the entire craft of pro audio improves as more exceptional sound libraries surround us. I believe our field recording community is packed with talented people who capture clips that will inspire us all.

Earlier this year I decided to put my money where my ideas were. Why not put that concept into practice? So, for the past two months I’ve been writing a book that explains how to do two things:

  1. Build an exceptional indie sound library bundle.
  2. Host that collection on a website you own.

The goal of the book is to help everyone share their creations with fans worldwide and find freedom while doing so.

In this post I’ll explain the broad strokes of the project.

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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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My upcoming book Selling Creative Sound is coming along quite nicely.

What’s it about? Well, two things, really:

  1. How to assemble a powerful sound effects or music collection using the pinnacle of your craft.
  2. How to share it in the best Web shops on the Internet.

It contains advice, ideas, and tricks I’ve discovered from the fifteen years I’ve spent sharing sound.

Since I last wrote, I’ve added new chapters I’m quite excited about. They are:

  • What a Badass Sound Library Looks (and Sounds) Like
  • How to Name Sounds, including:
    • What Makes a Sound Name Powerful?
    • Two Ways to Name Sound Effects
  • Expanded sections: links to software and helpful websites.
  • Blending Creativity and Commerce
  • Preparing Your Music Tracks, including:
    • Registering Your Tracks
    • Signing With a Publishing Rights Organization
    • Working with Composers and Publishers
  • Common Problems… And How to Avoid Them, including:
    • Fixing Limp Sounds
    • Strengthening Weak Collections
    • Avoiding the Wrong Partners
    • Getting Out Of a Bad Deal
    • Avoiding Over-Saturation
    • Increasing Low Sales
    • Resolving Distributor Disputes

These sections are in addition to the 102 chapters and 44,000 words already completed and polished.

To give you a taste of what I’ve been writing, I’ll be posting chapters pulled directly from the new e-Book, starting this Wednesday. Stay tuned!

Want to learn more about the book? Sign up for the free e-Book newsletter. You’ll receive news and free sample chapters, exclusive to those just on the list.

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

Moody Construction

Over the Christmas break I had time to think about what sound effects articles would help you best.

My main goal for this website is to help other people bring better, more inspiring sound into the world.

Last year I wrote mostly about the side of field recording that concerns capturing sound effects: field recording technique. I shared a few posts that explained my approach to gathering field recordings, what makes sound effects valuable, and how to master them afterwards.

I also explored how less tangible elements contribute to superior field recordings: influencing ‘passive’ sessions, and adding personality to your tracks.

(Read an article roundup.)

This year I’d like to try something different.

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Athens

It feels like it has been a busy year here on the blog.

I wanted to share some posts that may interest those who have been visiting only recently.

At the end of every year I write a “roundup” post that collects the best articles from the past year. I also share a few thoughts on them, now that some time has passed since publishing.

I’ll return to writing regular articles in the new year.

Thanks for visiting, writing, and Tweeting the articles!

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It’s been a busy week since I released the field recording e-Book, and I wanted to share a quick update.

I have been surprised and encouraged by the support and enthusiasm from the field recording community. That includes the Tonebenders trio, Sonic Terrain, Designing Sound, everyone who has re-Tweeted, emailed, and commented on newsletters or forums. I appreciate every message!

And of course, thank you to everyone who has supported me by purchasing the e-Book!

I’ll have more news about the books and future projects soon, but in the meantime, I’d like to get back to sharing ideas about field recording.

So, to start, later today I will be posting the first of a series of three articles interviewing sound pros from across the world. They share their thoughts on learning sound recording skills, and advice on beginning a career in sound. The first of those articles will be arriving at 1300 EST.

Once again, thank you for the support!

Are you interested in a podcast about field recording?

Check out the Tonebenders. It’s a podcast discussion about field recording, sound effects, sound design, and gear.

You’re likely familiar with the Tonebenders themselves already. They are prominent sound pros in the industry. They are René Coronado, Timothy Muirhead, and Dustin Camilleri.

I had the pleasure of meeting the Tonebenders recently as we spoke about the importance of sound effects mastering and naming in their fourth episode.

It was a fantastic discussion. They are great hosts, and made me feel completely comfortable despite my nervousness! We chatted about different approaches to mastering, and shared techniques.

There’s also a segment at the end where I discuss my recent e-Book, Field Recording: from Research to Wrap, and share plans for new books.

I had a blast, and I think you’ll enjoy listening to the podcast.

It’s interesting because each episode shares three or four contrasting opinions about field recording techniques. The Tonebenders’ perspectives and experience compliment each others’ perfectly. It’s invaluable for learning about the craft, and for inspiring new ideas.

It’s also recorded, edited, and mixed at high resolution, so it sounds superb.

Another cool feature is their weekly “mailbag” segment where the three pros answer questions from listeners.

Visit the Tonebenders website to hear the podcast. It’s also available on iTunes, and the Tonebenders website has instructions for subscribing. Follow them at @thetonebenders on Twitter.

Many thanks to the Tonebenders for inviting me to their show!

A few months ago I received a revelation while writing here.

In response to a reader’s email, I wrote an article called An Introduction to Sound Effects Mastering.

In that post I outlined the stages of mastering sound clips, and shared my own experience polishing sound effects. I broke the tasks down, then unraveled them. I was forced to consider my workflow, step-by-step. I reflected on the effect each stage of mastering has upon the value of a sound effect.

That post made me realize an important idea: it’s incredibly helpful to return to the roots of your craft. It’s vital to reserve a place for your roots in your thoughts. After all, it’s easy to abandon them while we become dazzled by other aspects of work. Writing the article pulled me away from software versions, headphone models, and plug-in upgrades. It forced me to reflect on the way I work, and what mastering is about, at its core.

I’d like to continue that idea today.

So, in this post, I will describe exactly what happens when a field recordist strikes out into the world. What do they do? What sound do they capture? How do they do this? What happens while field recording?

My new e-Book Field Recording: from Research to Wrap, grew from that original post. I explore those field recording concepts in depth in that book. However, I felt that the ideas may interest blog readers too, so I wanted to share an abridged version here, as well. If you want to go deeper, check out the e-Book.

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