How TO CREATE SOUND LIBRARIES
FROM FIELD RECORDINGS
Let’s talk about sound libraries and the things that are important for me to provide a finished product that I want to release. We made a video that takes you behind the scenes and I show you different areas that will be included in an upcoming sound library.
We have been traveling the world for several years and that alone gives me a great variety of sounds to record. Over the past 4 years, I have published hundreds of sound libraries on our Bandcamp account that I have divided into categories and focused sounds. We have also saved the All-In-One bundle with thousands of sound recordings from around the world in one place on this website.
I still have an incredible amount of unedited sound that without leaving the apartment, I could edit and publish one sound library every day for the next year!
living under lockdown
Last year when we lived in Reunion Island, France announced that the first lockdown would start in mid-March and would only be lifted after 60 days. I promised you that I would publish one sound library every day as long as this lockdown lasts.
I didn’t miss a single day! During that time I trained myself and learned how to categorize the sounds I recorded over the years and could combine them into “usable matches.”
what are usable matches
To give you a general idea of how I differentiate the sound libraries I have created and categorized, I need to understand where I am currently live.
Every country offers me different and unique opportunities. I read travel blogs, watch YouTube videos, search Google Maps for areas of interest, walk through cities, check Atlas Obscura, drive around, or ask locals if I can.
With this research, I begin to understand the potential and know that I can record sounds from busy and quiet cities at day and night. I can also find and record sea sounds, caves, abandoned places, underwater recordings, lakes, forests, church bells, traffic, harbors and cruises.
When I explore different areas, I always do it without my main equipment and only bring a small recorder. Just in case I might miss out on a great recording opportunity.
What I bring with me when I'm scouting
I keep my main gear at home and only bring a handy recorder for “just in case” sounds. But why?
First, I’m on a research trip and I have no real direction. I’ll take notes, save these areas on Google Maps and come back later.
Second, I learned that my time management during my field recordings trips and during my editing process is much more efficient if I record the sounds on a topic-related basis and not just wildly across the areas.
In that past, when I had no direction, I would record all types of sounds in one day. For example, I would start recording sounds in a new apartment, then footsteps on a side street, record traffic sounds, find a market and capture random ambience.
Since I also know that I have the Priezor with me, I take a few electromagnetic fields with me, then I use the geophone, and if there is still a port or river nearby, I would use the hydrophone.
I think you know where this is going?
Reality would set in after I transfer the files and see 50GB of potential recordings I’d need to edit! But what about the other cool area I wanted to explore?!
What happens now is I start filling my hard drives and cloud storage with hundreds of unedited records!
This brings me back to lockdown. I told myself that I would never record like this again and only make subject-related recordings that I can categorize.
I hope this post gives you and understanding of how I go about recording sound libraries! If you find yourself creating your own libraries in the future, just remember it’s all a learning process and to stick with it!