Archives For Review

Sony PCM-D100 Angle

I've been meaning to write a review of the Sony's PCM-D100 portable audio recorder for some time now.

The D100 is the successor to Sony's popular PCM-D50 model. The D50 is known for its excellent sound quality, impressive battery life, and sturdy construction. How does the PCM-D100 (US$775) measure up to its older brother? This article will take a "deep dive" into the D100 to learn what's new, what's changed, and how it performs in the field. It also includes dozens of field recordings from the D100 and other recorders that you can download and experiment with yourself. So, settle in and join me to explore this popular portable audio recorder.

Please note, I'm very detailed. This is an in-depth review that will take approximately 24 minutes to read. If you prefer, click the link below to email yourself a copy to read later.

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Article: Review of Wildtronics Parabolic Microphone Dishes

Article: Review of Wildtronics Parabolic Microphone Dishes - Hero

I’ve had a fascination with parabolic dishes ever since I read community field recordist Tim Prebble’s experiences using a Telinga dish to capture nature recordings. Prebble’s article showcases the stunning results parabolic field recordings achieve. Recordist Daan Hendriks, who is currently roaming the wilds of Africa capturing sound effects, is also a fan of the dish, and his clips are equally impressive.

I have a glaring lack of birds and insects in my sound library, so I’ve been chewing over the idea of buying my own parabolic dish. What options do field recordists have for using parabolic reflector dishes?

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RX4 Hero

It seems like just a few months ago that I wrote an article comparing iZotope’s RX3 audio restoration software with its predecessor, RX2.

At that time, RX2 had been known as a respected tool for polishing troublesome audio. The software hadn’t seen a major update in years, however. So, last year’s announcement of RX3 was met with considerable excitement. It delivered a fresh coat of paint, new tools, and welcome workflow improvements.

iZotope didn’t wait as long to release RX4. It arrived roughly a year after RX3. Does that seem quick to you? You wouldn’t be the only one to think so. Many sound editors understandably wondered what could have changed so quickly to be worth hundreds of dollars in upgrade fees.

I’ve written this article to answer that question. What’s new in RX4? What’s changed? Is it worth your upgrade dollars? Today’s post takes a deep dive into RX4 to learn more about the cornerstone audio repair software.

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Altiverb Main Window

The are many talented sound designers among us. Using software, creativity, and inspiration, they warp door slams into space cannons. They twist pig squeals into alien queens.

I’ve always admired these designers. Part of the reason is because sound design and samplers are foreign to me. I record natural sound effects: atmospheres, engines, nature, that sort of thing. I don’t dabble too much in sound design. Because of that, I don’t have much call to use creative software plug-ins.

Recently though, I was mastering field recordings that demanded a particular stylized effect: reverb.

So, today I’ll share my experience choosing a reverb plug-in for field recordings. Buckle up (this is another long one), and join me for a first look one of the most popular reverb plug-ins on the market: Audio Ease’s Altiverb 7.

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Another quick update: I’ve written a review of Sony’s PCM-D50 audio recorder on the main Airborne Sound blog.

I look at from the perspective of stealth recording, specifically.

I’ve broken it down into three posts. The first examines key audio recorder considerations. It also has free sound effects samples you can download and analyze yourself.

The next post looks at more finicky portable recorder details, and that will be coming the following week.

A final article will be a portable audio recorder shootout between the Sony D50 and it closest competitor (in popularity, anyway), the Zoom H4n.

Head on over and check them out!

In my last post I wrote about a few useful apps that help me get work done and return to field recording quickly. I covered sound converters, writing apps and administrative apps.

This post we’ll look at more apps that can help you work better, organize your sound effects library and get back recording faster. I’ll highlight utilities, internet, website coding apps and social media apps.

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I’ve spent almost 15 years recording sound effects for Airborne Sound. On any given day I’d rather be out in the world field recording but the necessity of digital audio means field recordists need to work in dark rooms with computers.

I’ve made a list of outstanding apps that help me work better and return to field recording quickly. This list doesn’t specifically apply to sound editing. If you’re working with a sound effects library on a computer you’ll likely need these kind of apps at some point.

I chose these programs based on:

  • productivity – does they save me time?
  • usefulness – do they fill a need?
  • aesthetic – is the app designed with the user in mind? Is it easy on the eyes, making for a more smoother, pleasant experience? I’m a sucker for the ‘Mac look’ and interface.

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Update: I’ve added new info to reflect the gear I use now since I published the original post.

When field recording sound effects worldwide we need equipment that will be mobile, durable, flexible, and capable of capturing realistic, evocative sound effect recordings. You can read more about these considerations here.

In my last post we looked at headphones and a microphone that work well field recording sound effects on the road.

Today we’ll continue by looking at a preamp and a digital audio recorder.

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Update: I’ve added new info to reflect the gear I use now since I published the original post.

Ask a dozen field recordists what gear they use and you’ll hear a dozen answers.

A few readers have asked what gear I use. Like any field recordist my list of equipment isn’t meant to be a checklist of what is best; it is what I find is the most comfortable balance for field recording international sound effects.

Which equipment you choose depends on what you’re recording, the location, recording style and countless other reasons.

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Update: I’ve revised the info here to reflect gear options and prices from mid 2017.

One of the most common questions beginning sound effects recordists ask is which equipment to buy for field recording. What is the best digital audio recorder? In this article I’ll review the options for buying digital field recorders.

To begin field recording you’ll need a recorder, headphones, a microphone and cabling. Optionally you may add a separate preamp. And let's not forget your most important equipment: your ears.

Today we'll discuss how to choose a recorder, and what features to look for.

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