Guest Contribution by Stephan Schütze
Why I am not going to tell you which microphone to use
The simple answer to this statement is, because we don’t have time. The exact choice of which microphone to use for each situation of recording a vehicle is a detailed exercise and would take more pages than we have space for. Even then, there is a major flaw associated with the idea. What I hear and what sounds good to my ears may not work for you. Suggesting Brand X or a Model 2B, stuffed up the exhaust pipe of your Honda, may only serve to encourage you to spend more money than you need to. As much as we all love to buy new equipment, I think there is value in stepping beyond the tools and toys. I’m going to be more general and share a more conceptual approach to capturing good vehicle sounds.
What I will do is take you through some of the essential lessons I’ve learned when recording vehicle sounds for Sound Librarian. In creating our sound libraries, I’ve recorded motorbikes, cars, tanks, boats, airplanes, pretty much every vehicle I could get my microphones near.
As Designing Sound’s month devoted to Silence comes to an end, what better time to take a look at a remarkable video course that delves into the vast and interesting world of effective sound recording.
The Sound Recording Workshop (video/audio series) comes to us from Sound Librarian and presenter Stephan Schütze.
I intended to have this up last week but recovering from GDC was a fulltime job and the proverbial dog ate my homework when Google Docs made the rough draft of this article disappear. However at the time of writing the GDC Vault has not updated with audio/video of the event so hopefully this post will have a more timely release around the same time as GDC Vault. All of the photos were taken on my phone (apologies!) except the above header which is courtesy of the GDC website.
Lets get to the talks!
The first day of GDC had the Audio Bootcamp hosted by good friends of Designing Sound: Garry Taylor and Damian Kastbauer. It was super super informative but the talks were super short and not the easiest to take notes during! So instead I live tweeted as much as I could so please check out my Twitter feed from around that time and more importantly check it out on the GDC Vault.
Earlier this year, I reviewed the Hybrid Library from Pro Sound Effects. Overall, it was a fairly positive review. While I was impressed with the library, I also pointed out some of its rough edges. The primary focus of the review was on the library’s metadata and how it would affect work-flow. I won’t go into heavy detail on the process here, as you can simply lick on the link above if you haven’t already read the review. Pro Sound Effects took notice of the few complaints I had with the library, solicited feedback from existing owners, and has taken steps to address the library’s weaknesses. Now that the library is available again, it’s worth seeing if the improvements have made the library any more enticing.
Guest Contribution by: Michael Theiler
The creation of sound is a very specific area of production requiring unique skills that can take time to learn through practise. Some people like myself take part in University courses to help get the skills and knowledge required to perform to the exacting standards required of the industry. I have a Masters Degree in Sound Design. I learnt many important skills and work practices and industry requirements doing that Masters, and it stood me in good stead entering the industry. But this industry is constantly evolving and there are many methods and techniques to achieve results on the varied productions in which we are involved. Finding ways to further yourself and your skills becomes very important.
Last year I attended a workshop presented by Stephan Schütze of Sound Librarian on sound effects recording, It was enlightening to witness how much knowledge and experience can be shared in just one day if an experienced, knowledgeable and enthusiastic communicator takes you through their world. I am fairly experienced when it comes to recording sound effects, as it is a passion of mine, but I still learnt a number of things that had not occurred to me previously, many of which I went on to implement in my work. So this year, when I found out Sound Librarian was planning to do it again, I immediately signed up to lend a hand.