Archives For tips & tricks


Today’s article is the last featuring community responses to the field recording survey. It’s the first that begins to move away from gear itself and explores more intangible aspects of field recording. That will conclude with a final pair of articles drawn from the “A Month of Field Recordist” interviews: the motivations behind field recording.

The last question in the survey asked:

What one suggestion would you give to beginning field recordists?

At first, I debated adding this question. I’m glad I did. The responses were captivating.

Let’s take a look.

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Field Recording Gear in Sunlight 2

Today’s post is the second post in a short series about pro audio career advice. The last article explored general pro sound tips and tricks.

Today’s post answers two of the more common questions I see in my email inbox:

How do I become a field recordist and share sound libraries on the Web?

How do I get and established selling sound, and what’s the most effective way to break into that world?

Do you want to record sound effects beyond the studio? Are you eager to share your field recordings with other sound pros? Today’s post includes suggestions to help you build a field recording career sharing sound on the Web.

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Gain Control

How do you begin field recording? What’s the best way to break into pro sound? Can you earn enough cash to survive selling sound effect libraries on the Web?

I always look forward to receiving email from readers. Recently, I’ve received a handful of similar messages:

How can I work in pro sound? How do I become a field recordist and share sound libraries on the Web?

They are popular questions. I always like seeing them in my inbox. Why? Every message has interesting variations to the question. Some people want to know about post sound. Others are interested in radio production. A few are specifically interested in field recording and sharing sound fx bundles.

Today’s post begins a two-part series of reference articles with career advice for beginners. It shares tips and tricks that you can add to your toolbox to help you find rewarding, paying work in pro audio.

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Gear Hero

I finally polished off two major field recording gigs last week. After decompressing for a bit, I dove into my long list of sound articles gathered from Tweets, and various field recording websites.

I’ll share my selections of interesting articles and other finds in today’s post.

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Mastering Tips 2 Hero

Last week I suggested tips for mastering sound clips.

I wrote about four organizational mastering tips to keep your session tidy, and help work smoothly.

This week I’ll add two more, and conclude with two different suggestions: content tips.

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I recorded about 16 GB of raw audio from the Honda Indy in July. That had me mastering sound effects for about a week straight.

As I sat there working, I thought about tricks editors use to get the job done. We’ve all heard about the superstar plug-ins that deliver impressive results. We’ve read posts about layering impacts with gunshots or thunder booms or metal door slams. Pitch shifting and reversing tricks are in the first pages of any editor’s handbook.

However, often the most helpful tips come from smaller changes. Not every trick is profound. Sometimes they address smaller issues, like making your workflow faster and easier.

Do you feel entangled in endless mastering sessions? Feel a need to simplify things? Are you worried about losing hours of processing from a careless mistake? Looking for ways to cut more quickly? Want to improve the overall quality of your work?

Each editor develops their own tricks to do all that. I’ll share eight I used while mastering the Indy tracks. I’ll include four today, and four next week.

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Portable recorder? Check. Headphones and windscreen? Check, check. Some cool sound effects waiting for you to record them? You’ve got that, too.

Have you been recording sound effects for a while? Are you confident with your technique and your gear? Captured all the easily-accessible foundation sound effects nearby?

Eventually a field recordist needs more. How, though, can a recordist switch from capturing the essential bird chirps and car doors around them, and record complex subjects like boats, animals, and cars? Do you need certain gear? Which skills, and why?

I’ll answer these questions in today’s post. I’ll share an attack plan for recording complex sound effects and field recording sessions.

Tomorrow I’ll post how I used these ideas in a session I recorded this summer: recording Honda Indy race cars.

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Reservoir Stairs

For most sound pros, finding work is a regular challenge. It’s easier if you become the first option for a handful of production managers or sound supervisors. Perhaps you find steady work at a facility. Then you can finally relax a bit.

However, until then, finding work is a concern that will follow you throughout your entire career.

Breaking into pro audio may seem like black magic. Why? It’s dominated by nebulous webs of freelance relationships, ironclad union requirements, and inscrutable studio politics.

Has this happened to you? Have you graduated school, eager to cut sound, mix it, or record dialogue on set, but feel completely lost? Lacking opportunities?

A reader wrote me last week asking me the best way to break into the pro audio world. I shared a few thoughts via email. Since then, I’ve reflected on my answers, and expanded them. I’ll share them here today.

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Dark Park

Here are a handful of sound effects articles, websites, tutorials, field recordings, and free sound fx from the last while that I found interesting.

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Subway Stairs

Not working during the holidays? Have some time? Want to read about sound?

I actually look forward to travelling during the holidays. It gives me time to catch up on reading sound effects blogs.

Here are sound-related articles I’ve enjoyed:

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