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!
Field Report Articles
The “field report” articles describe my recording missions, how I conceptualized them, performed them, and what I learned. In 2012 I recorded:
- IndyCar and Nascar racing sound effects. My second attempt recording races in Toronto, with samples, and shoot breakdown.
- CF-18 Jet Fighter Sound Effects. My experience recording aircraft and accommodating for a noisy environment. I followed the post with the lessons I learned.
- Hospital Sound Effects with a D50 External Microphone. I brought a Sony D50 into a local hospital and tried recording stealth using a binaural headphone.
- Museum Gallery Crowd Sound Effects. I recorded at the Art Gallery of Ontario using a stealth rig. I explain the challenges of this, and offer suggestions.
- The Mennonite Auctioneer field report described my experience recording rural sounds, and the effect switching perspective has on sound compositions.
Field Recording Technique
After reviewing the posts from 2012, I realize I’ve written the most about technique. I covered three topics: mastering, field recording, and abstract reflections on technique.
Reflections on Technique
- Getting Good Sound Effects from ‘Passive’ Field Recording Sessions. In this post I suggested ideas for controlling the audio you collect even when the subject is beyond your control.
- How To Add Personality to Your Sound Effects. This post discusses the power a field recordist has to influence the outcome of recordings, and how to add character and vibrancy to sound clips.
- I wrote a three-part series on “perfection pitfalls.” The idea behind the series was to think about the concepts of success and failure when field recording. Part one discusses why you should avoid perfection. Part two suggests avoiding perceiving field recording merely as a matter of stats. The third concludes with tips to escape these perfection pitfalls.
- I firmly believe that sound effects have power to become more than just utilitarian data files. I shared some ways to strengthen sound effects, and how to add value to them in How to Take Your Sound Effects to the Next Level.
- I began discussing sound effects mastering technique in Why Every Field Recordist Needs a Built-in, Shock-Proof, ^&*@ Detector. It grew from my experience acquiring, mastering, then selling a steam train bundle.
- My second post on mastering grew from a reader’s questions in an email I received. I described my sound effects mastering workflow in An Introduction to Sound Effects Mastering, which became one of the most popular posts of the year.
Field Recording Technique
- My favorite sound effects to record are travel atmospheres. I described the techniques I use to get good results in 5 Tricks to Record Better Atmospheres.
- When I gather atmospheres, I enjoy recording stealth. I offered some of my stealth tips in What Ruins Stealth Sound Effect Recordings, and How to Fix It.
- Recording noisy sounds are frustrating. I looked at why noise occurs in field recordings, and what can be done about this in 5 Ways to Fix Noisy Field Recordings.
- I wrote a brief introduction to field recording, and the steps that one takes during a session in a post called An Introduction to Gathering Sound Effects. It also serves as a cross-post or introduction to the eBook I wrote that expands on the ideas in the post.
Selling Sound Effects
I sell sound effects on line in my own store, Airborne Sound and some others. I share things I’ve learned in e-commerce articles.
- There are a lot of questions floating around about selling sound libraries. I offered my thoughts on what makes a collection valuable in How To Build a Viable Sound Effects Library.
Toward the end of 2012 I started writing a few articles for people completely new to sound. Part of this was influenced by a book I was writing about introducing people to field recording. Here are the tips:
- How to Record Sound Effects on a Budget presented the idea that good sound effects can indeed be captured with little cash.
- I continued the trend by describing 4 Ways to Grow a Field Recording Career.
- At the end of November I launched an eBook I had been working on called Field Recording from Research to wrap. This introductory post give a bit of background on the book, and what readers may learn from it.
I spent a lot of time on research While writing my eBook. Part of this process involved interviewing other sound pros.
- I interviewed sound pros at universities and colleges worldwide. It explores what students can learn from their programs, and shares the pros’ thoughts, advice, and tips. First article, and the second.
- I also researched ways to learn field recording outside of conventional institutions. I spoke with recordists who run workshops in the wild, who shared their thoughts on wilderness field recordings.
Tips and Tricks
- I still like to keep busy in the frigid winter months. 12 Tips for Field Recordists to Keep Busy During Downtime described ideas on staying productive.
- I started a new feature on the site: question and answer posts. The first discusses travel recording, forging a career in sound effects, and giving credit. The second looked at metadata requirements for Web shops, and copyright.
- A second new feature I began was a roundup of interesting sound effects links. They collect links to free downloads, tools, or interesting articles. First roundup, and the second.
- I’m hooked on productivity and efficiency. In an article called How to Use Filtering to Record Better Sound Effects I explained the tricks I use to run a Web shop yet manage my time well.
- I looked at productivity challenges with sound work, and suggested how to work with them in Why You Must Know The Yin and Yang of Sound – And Embrace It.
- I continued with two more articles that offered tips for productivity for sound pros considering the duality of focus and productivity. The first was 6 Tricks to Help Sound Pros Focus, and the second was 6 Ways for Sound Pros to Get Things Done.
- I discovered a cool interactive visual stereo recording tool. I shared it, and discussed some thoughts on it.