Feb
14

Author:

5 Comments

Viviana Caro: A Career Working With Animal Sounds

100_2152

100_2152Guest Contribution by Leonard Paul

You’ve worked a lot with animals as a sound engineer, could you give a brief history of how your initial interest in audio restoration of bird sounds has led to being the recordist for the Colombian Mountain Grackle in the mountains of Colombia?

My interest on animal sounds started when I worked on my audio engineering undergrad thesis. I paired up with a biologist that was building an animal sound archive at the Humboldt Institute in Colombia and he needed the technical help of an audio engineer to help him develop the archive. One of the objectives of this collaboration was to produce the first CD of Colombian bird sounds using the material he recorded in different locations around the country. It was a challenging project since at the time there were no local audio engineers working in this area. They were working in either music, live sound or audio post-production and all the tools available for sound restoration were focused on those applications. I tested out filters from different software including ProTools, Audiosculpt, Canary and Matlab. After a year of research, I ended up programming filters on Matlab and applying them to each recording, based on the information from their frequency content. I found, among other things, that audio restoration for animal sounds is very subjective; sometimes removing too much “noise” from a recording makes it sound out of context and it’s not pleasant to listen to. I came up to this conclusion after doing a survey to people from different backgrounds (musicians, biologists and the general public). They listened to the same recording filtered in different ways and chose the one that was more appealing to them.

Read More

Feb
12

Author:

3 Comments

(Mis)adventures in Cat Recording

DS_stellamic
2012-10-25 15.19.54

Stella demonstrates how cat recording NEVER happens.

About three years ago, on a whim, I adopted a 6 month old kitten. I had dealt with cats before at friends’ and family’s houses, but had never owned one, and Luna (short for “Lunatic”) was full of surprises. After her initial “moving in” period, in which she hid under the bed for nearly a week, I discovered that Luna was an exceedingly outspoken individual that needed to make sure everyone knew that she was here and ready to conquer the world (or at least the apartment): Read More

Feb
10

Author:

7 Comments

Capturing Personality in Animal Recordings

Loki

There’s something I’ve noticed about recording animals over the years. Even if the animal is being cooperative, it can be damned difficult to really catch an individual’s personality. If the animal is trained, that’s wonderful. You may be able to get a variety of sounds out of them with the handler’s help…BUT…vocalizations recorded from trained animals can often sound rote. They seem to get into the mentality of reacting to commands. You may get lucky and get some more interesting sounds between the performed ones, but take a step back and think about how situations affect YOUR behavior. Do you act differently when your boss is around? Your parents? Your significant other? Your best friend? When you’re by yourself? Your situation tends to define which sides of your personality come out.

Read More

Feb
6

Author:

1 Comment

SFX Independence – Welcome to 2014

The year is still fresh, but 2014′s already brought us a number of great new SFX libraries. Go back to analog times and the earliest days of digital with new collections from New Sound Labs and Dynamic Interference. Monkey around with HISS and a ROAR’s latest offering. Or just blow the whole thing up with help from Blastwave FX.

 

news

What Is ‘The Most Beautiful Sound In The World’?

Friday, November 22, 2013

 BeautifulNow and The Sound Agency are accepting entries for the ‘The Most Beautiful Sound in the World’. Anything that encourages people to stop and think about the ecology of…

Black Friday SFX Library Deals

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

  A bunch of SFX Libraries are having Black Friday deals!  Below is a description of each. Click their name to head over to the site or deal-specific…

Wwise Limbo Redux Contest

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The game Limbo was originally released in 2010, and quickly garnered much critical acclaim for its combination of fluid gameplay, beautiful art style, and evocative sound design. The…

Blastwave FX “Heroes & Villains” Contest Winner

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

A winner has been chosen for the “Win a Copy of Blastwave FX “Heroes & Villains” contest we put up about a week ago! The winner is: Ole Sünderhauf…