It’s been a while since I wrote a sound effects article roundup. Here are some articles about sound fx that I found interesting, and you may, too.
Articles and Blog Posts
- Cities and Memory is a unique website that maps worldwide field recording submissions, then pairs them with designed, re-imagined versions. A few weeks ago they published a series of two interesting articles. The first explores favourite recordings from 15 field recordists. What’s particularly fascinating is the second article. It examines why these recordings are favourites, and answers the question: “What makes a field recording special?” Check it out for a new perspective on capturing sound fx in the field.
- We all know the “Hollywood punch” sound effect. An article from the Wall Street Journal (complete with sound samples) explores this history of the classic punch sound. Various sound designers contribute great fresh ideas of creating punch sounds.
- How can you add your personality to your audio projects? In this excellent article on Designing Sound, sound editor and mixer Joel Raabe describes the perspective you need when adding your imprint to your work while collaboration with others.
- I revisited this one recently: how can you find expression and control it while field recording the most difficult subjects: animals? Shaun Farley examines field recording animals in this article. Includes sound samples.
- We sometimes try to explain the rare craft of field recording by comparing it to other arts. While I’m still deciding about the comparison to photography, Cities And Memory brings up a fascinating notion: finding the heart of a sound and focusing on that.
- In 1997, a monitoring station in the antarctic picked up a surprising underwater sound. It was several times louder than any whale vocal recorded, travelled vast distances, and certainly wasn’t technological. What was it? No one really knows. Check out other unexplained sounds.
- Need a quick sound file conversion? Check out cloud convert.org. It converts between about a dozen audio formats completely online. No software download required.
- What’s the most beautiful sound in the world? A contest attempted to find out. Check out the submissions, and the winner.
- Reader Rick shared with me the BBC Radio 4’s show Soundstage. It features short, 15-minute “audio postcards” from field recordist Chris Watson.
- Which sounds are becoming extinct? The Museum of Endangered Sounds is preserving audio recordings of rare or disappearing sounds.
The Tonebenders Podcast host René Coronado takes a few hits to explore the role of emotional experiences in field recording in Episode 41 – Boxing. Coronado explains how emotional or unexpected experiences leave a mark on the mind and “invoke an emotional response.” Great suggestions for embedding more than audio into your field recordings.
The gentlemen from the Beards, Cats and Indie Game Audio hosted an interesting episode about creating a workflow for your own sound libraries.
- Field recordist Melissa Pons shares her thoughts on field recording, sound design, and production sound at The Sound Design Process.
- Jez Riley French is well known to the community for work at the WildEye nature recording workshop, and his contact and hydrophone microphones. I’ve had his site up on the community pages for a while. He has another site, too: A Quiet Position, where he has recently been reviewing hand held recorders and other gear.
- There is great interest in recent Zoom F8 release. Notably, it features 8 channels for just $1000.00. Folks have speculated it could finally give Sound Devices a run for their money. A poster on the Gearslutz forum compares the F8 to a Zoom H4n and a Sound Devices 722 with sound samples. Is it better? Listen to the samples and decide. Check out the forum posts to hear thoughts from community pros. Note: the review article in German, so use Google Translate to read it in English.
- I recently caught up on Sonic Terrain’s excellent interview of Cheryl Tipp, curator of natural recordings at the British Library.
- Another great interview from Designing Sound: BBC natural sound recordist Mark Roberts describes his fascinating and challenging career.
- “In the Field” is a collection of almost two dozens of interviews about field recording, including one with Jez Riley French.
- “Sounds from Dangerous Places” is a CD and book collection that explores the sounds of locations that are under ecological, military, or political threat from the perspective of “sonic journalism.” (Thank you to Rick for the suggestion.)
- A few years ago, I wrote an article about the problem of noise in field recordings, and steps you can take to record cleaner sound effects. The article pointed out that part of the problem lies in the hardware components, and suggested the possibility of swapping them out. Oade Brothers Audio offers a service that does precisely that. For a fee, the techs will swap out your old audio recorder components for newer, cleaner versions. They offer upgrades to specific Edirol, Fostex, Marantz, Tascam models.
- I really enjoyed this article about classic car recording on Sound Mind FX. Field recording Michal Fojcik analyzes and records classic Eastern and Central European vintage cars. Many great recordings here.