I recorded the Honda Indy a few weeks ago. There was a lot of downtime between races. As I stood waiting in the blistering summer sun, I found myself thinking about how important slating is to field recording.
The Indy was incredibly loud. It required working stealth. I had to race around the 2.8 kilometre course from hairpin to back stretch to capture all my takes before each race ended.
The result? Slating was incredibly difficult. I walked away from that session with over 16 gigabytes of audio. Without slating, those files would have been jumbled, misidentified, and weaker from lack of detail.
Have you been in this situation? Have you recorded a batch of sounds, became distracted, then realize you have no clue what is on your hard drive weeks later in the studio? Do you have sound files with featureless descriptions? Maybe you felt as I did at the Indy, that it was a struggle to slate anything in the time and environment I had.
I’ll write about the Honda Indy session a bit later, but right now I want to describe slating: why it is done, and how you do it. I touched on this in my book, Field Recording From Research to Wrap. I also want go deeper, and share some new ideas about the impact of slating, and how it can affect your craft as a field recordist.
Next week I’ll list five reasons why we slate. I’ll wrap up explaining how I slated during that difficult environment at the Indy, and share some tools that can help you get the job done.
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