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Monday
Dec032012

New Tonebenders Episode and Book Review of Field Recording: from Research to Wrap

 

Episode 4 of the Tonebenders podcast has been released. You can go grab it at www.tonebenders.net, or subscribe through iTunes via the quick instructions found by clicking on the “?” icon on our website.  We are having problems getting the podcast up on the official podcast directory in iTunes, but for now through a couple quick clicks you can force iTunes to subscribe.  If podcasts are not your thing you can listen through the youtube clip above too.
 
This episode Dustin, Rene and I are joined by Paul Virostek to have a long conversation about the various different ways we all master and database our sound effects recorded out in the field.  It is surprising how differently we all go about this.  Paul is the expert we brought in to help us sort through the differences.  He runs a great blog I have talked about here before called Jetstreaming.org.  On his blog he regularly goes into the behind the scenes details about what has to happen to build a SFX library for sale to the general public.  Although I have no real interest in selling the SFX I record, I am also aware that cataloging the sounds properly is of great importance if I want to find sounds years from now.
Paul VirostekPaul has also written an eBook that has just been released called “Field Recording: from Research to Wrap”.  We talk about the book in the final act of the podcast, but I had not read any of the text yet at that point.  Over the last week I have had a chance to really dive into the book, so I thought I would share some of my thoughts about it with you. 
 
First off it is a real professional product.  It has clearly been well edited as it is easy to read and well laid out.  I loaded it up on my iPad and was reading right away.  I have found independent publications can be a pain in the butt in the past, often featuring clunky layouts, that don’t transfer to easy reading.  That was not the case with Paul’s book.
 
I also really like the way the book flows.  If you are new to field recording or are thinking of getting involved, this book is your new bible.  It will help you navigate everything you are going to run into in your recording adventures. This really must have stuff.  Newbies should also strongly consider the delux version of the book that comes with a companion book called "The 30-Day Quick-Start Guide".  This second book offers a 30 day program to follow. This walks you through everything you need to actually get sounds on tape, including templates for a ton of forms, checklists and diagrams.  
 
Yet for those of us that have experience out in the field already, this book has a lot to offer still.  Paul has broken things down in a way that makes me think about things differently then I had previously.  Categories large and small are boiled down into digestible chunks.  For instance in his chapter about research he writes about finding talent and breaks this down to 3 categories:
 
  1. Performers. 
  2. Consultants. 
  3. Gatekeepers.
 
The idea being that “performers” are people who will actually perform the act you are recording, “consultants” are people who will help you find the best version of things to record and finally “gatekeepers” are the ones who you need to actually grant you access to the objects you want to record.  Obviously in some circumstances one person could be all three but in many other cases you will need to search out each category on its own. This is something I knew already but I had never really taken the time to break things down to be able think it all out like this.  Paul goes into much more detail and makes everything clear and easy to follow. 
 
Now this is not the most glamourous example (for more exciting examples of these new ideas, you will have to buy the book!!) but I think it illustrates the extent to which Paul has broken things down.  If this book existed 10 years ago it would have saved me a lot of mistakes and sped up my learning curve quite a bit.  I am looking forward to finishing the book over the holidays, I have not even read the final third of the book yet.  It deals with what you need to do to wrangle your recordings into useable individual sound files in your master library.  I am sure that will open my eyes to a lot more great nuggets of wisdom from a guy who has been there and done it all with a microphone.
 
The ebook is available at Paul’s Jetstreaming website.  It costs $17US ($24 for the delux version) and I have a feeling it will pay for itself nearly instantly in terms of time saved based on the lesson’s learned.  It will be worth it to have on your phone or tablet out in the field as a quick reference guide.  I think the info really shines in the area of getting ready to record.  That is not the most exciting part of the shoot but getting the prep right makes the exciting parts run smoothly and this book will help with that immensely.  
 
If you are on the fence on if this book is for you, please take a listen to the Tonebenders podcast featuring Paul and get a feel for his thinking and personality.
 
Finally if you have any comments or ideas for future episodes of the Tonebenders, please let us know!  Head over to Tonebenders.net and add comments to the show notes.  We would love to hear from you all.
 

 


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