Update: New Directions, e-Books, and Upcoming Articles


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.

Sharing Sound

We’ve talked a lot about field recording itself. I’ll continue this, however I wanted to explore another aspect about the craft: sharing sound effects.

Sound effects aren’t valuable if they are hidden away on a hard drive. They are meant to be experienced and heard, and shared. This is a part of the purpose of recording them. Field recording is a craft that collects audio creatively, then releases it for others to hear. It inherently compels recordists to share sound clips.

So, for the next while, I’ll write about this aspect of field recording. This doesn’t always mean selling them in Web shops. Sharing them includes mixing them into the games, films, and radio shows you create. However, selling sound effects does happen to be a popular topic here, so I will certainly draw on my experience to help you do that, too.

The goal for the next while will be to discover how to take the great sound effects we’ve discussed recording here, and lead them to the next stage: sharing your work with others.

I’ve wondered the best way to get this information to you. So, in this post I’ll share what I have planned, including:

  • New sound effects books for 2013.
  • New article topics for 2013.
  • Sound libraries and competition.
  • Your input and ideas.

Field Recording Book Post-mortem

Writing and publishing Field Recording: from Research to Wrap took me a bit by surprise, actually. When 2012 began I had no plans to write a book, and definitely didn’t anticipate the process, or the result. I was glad to have the opportunity to share my take on field recording with people new to the craft. (You likely have a sound book in you too; I’d highly recommend writing one, it’s a fun experience.)

Thank you to everyone who purchased the e-Book, wrote me their impressions, reviewed the book, and shared the posts and articles!

Honestly, the best experience from publishing it was realizing the strength and passion behind our own disparate field recording community. I was blown away at how engaged, friendly, and supportive this community has been. We’re actually quite lucky to have this. Not all communities are this positive and engaged. Anyway, I truly enjoyed the discussions and feedback from the book, and meeting everyone.

As I alluded to within the book, I’d like to share my experiences on other field recording topics.

Library Bookshelves

New Sound Effect Books for 2013

So, I will be publishing more books 2013. I’ll begin by writing about two closely-linked topics that are popular with you: sharing sound, and making a living from your sound effect recordings.

I’ve been selling sound on the Web in one way or another since around 1999. I’ve noticed what sticks, what struggles, and the best way to take advantage of the medium. But, more importantly, I believe that there are many field recordists out there with excellent recordings that the world would be thrilled to hear. I’ve heard them on blogs, and SoundCloud. Some of you have emailed me your work. I’ve learned there’s many talented people and incredible libraries out there. The difficulty is sharing it, and making a library appealing enough that people would be happy to support your work.

Despite the accessibility of the Web, this is tricky to do correctly. A thoughtful approach ensures you begin a career selling sound confidently while also expressing your creativity.

What’s the best way to do this? To answer this question I am writing two new sound effects e-Books.

Selling Sound Effects and Music

The first is Selling Creative Sound. It is about two topics.

The first part explains how to assemble a strong sound library that evades competition while expressing your unique abilities as a field recordist.

The second half explains the quickest, risk-free way to share sound: by partnering with existing downloadable websites.

So, the book shows you how to record, gather, and present a bullet-proof sound effects or music library. Then it explains how to find, rate, and partner with the best sound effects shops on the Web. I am packing it with all the tricks I’ve uncovered from over a decade of sharing sound on the Internet. I explain how to do this in little time, for free, or very cheap.

That book is mostly done. Like Field Recording: from Research to Wrap, it will have a basic edition, and an upgraded edition. The basic edition has theory, ideas, and suggestions. It describes a concrete method for building your library, then sharing it. It’s not just one rigid approach, though. There’s enough room to apply the ideas to your own personal collection, and goals. It also has tips for things to avoid, and what to do when things don’t work out as planned. That’s the core material.

The upgraded edition, like Field Recording: from Research to Wrap, has a 30-day quick-start guide that presents daily tasks you can easily fit around a busy work schedule, yet have your library shared with millions of fans in a month.

I was struggling to come up with a decent cover, but I’ve got a cool idea now. I just have to drop it into Pixelmator. I’d also like to add some more bonus materials to the upgraded edition. Right now I have worksheets and databases that help you track your library, partners, and sales. I want to add a few more to beef it up. Also, although most of the writing is done (around 40,000 words or so), I want to add a few additional sections that provide concrete suggestions for how both music and sound effect libraries can create distinctive, compelling collections.

Overall, it’s fairly close to being ready. I’m quite happy with its progress, and I’m excited to share it with you.

I’m aiming for a late-March release.

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

A Second Book

I have a second book planned as well.

It’s about a similar subject, and I’ve already started scribbling away at it. It has some new, cool ideas I haven’t described yet on the blog.

I’m incredibly enthusiastic about it. It’s shaping up well, even though it’s quite early.

I’ll share more info about this as it solidifies.

New Articles

In 2013 I’ll be pairing articles to match the e-Books. So, in the upcoming months I’ll be writing about how you can create a unique library and share it with others.

I jumped the gun a bit on the topic of sharing sound with the article last week. It explains that whether you already own a web shop, or are planning to build a sound library, competition is irrelevant. Read more at How to Build an Irresistible Sound Library To Evade Competition.

I’d also like to focus on either sound effects mastering and library management, or, alternatively, field recording while travelling.

And, of course, throughout I’ll have the regular field reports of my own recording missions, interviews with field recording pros, and more.

In the immediate future I have articles about sound effects naming, metadata, and style sheets planned.

Your Input

Are you interested in learning more about the e-Books? I’ve created a special, free mailing list just for those people interested in the books. I’ll include detailed news and sample chapters there.

I’ve worked hard to cover everything you need to know about sharing sound in the books. However, it’s possible you want to know something special about sharing sound. Is there something you’d like to learn in the e-Books? Contact me and let me know what you’d like to read. Or you may comment below.

Many of you have emailed me with questions and comments that have sparked great discussions. If you want to learn or discuss something about field recording, sound effects, or selling sound, feel free to write me. I’m happy to share what I know via email, and in articles.

Best wishes, and continued good tracks in 2013!

To stay in touch, receive free updates by email newsletter or RSS feed.  |  Follow on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, or SoundCloud.