Last week I saw news website Designing Sound highlight an article from 2015. In that post, sound designer and field recordist Stosh Tuszynski of Web shop Collected Transients identified a disconnect between recording sounds, detailing them on location, and transferring that info into sound library metadata.
The Disconnect Between Slating and Metadata
So, what’s the problem?
Imagine you are recording on location. Perhaps you can’t speak because there isn’t time – you punched in just as the dragster fired up. Maybe your voice will ruin the purity of a dawn chorus recording. Either way, vital details such as environmental changes, prop quirks, subject characteristics, and more are left unmentioned. How then will you remember what was recorded in the dozens of takes you capture that day?
To get around this, many people write these details on a notepad or type it into a note taking app. The challenge? Tuszynski observers that it’s tricky to match these notes to the sound file numbering scheme created by digital recorders on location. That means sorting them is a pain when you return to the edit suite, later.
Tuszynski’s solution? Use a Google Form to enter data, save it to the cloud, synchronize it with your desktop. The form can be customized to follow any naming and numbering scheme you want, and imported directly into a metadata app.
It’s an inventive solution I wish I had discovered before. I use an app called MyPlaces to do this. I really like it, however, it lacks one vital feature Tuszynski’s insight provides: matching the recorder file name syntax.
Of course, apps like Sound Devices' Wingman allow notes to be written directly to the file itself even while recording. That's helpful. For those with other recorders, Tuszynski's solution is definitely worth trying.
Learn more: check out Premeditated Metadata – Fuse Slating with Metadata.
- Why Slating Sound Effects is Vital – The Basics and Beyond
- A Sound Effects Slating Checklist
- 5 Tools to Help You Slate Sound Effects
- How to Slate Sound FX in the Field with GPS, Photos, and Notes