Category Archives: EDU

Current Field Recording Setup


Kahurangi National Park, Karamea – at the end of the road, by Box Canyon Cave

As people often ask what mic stands etc I’m using I thought I would document my current field recording setup. I came across the photo above & while its from before the pandemic, it shows all of my mics & stands etc..

For a long time now I have been using the Manfrotto Nano stands – in the photo above, the big Sennheiser MKH70 mics are on Manfrotto 5001b stands which have longer legs making them more stable.

The MKH8050, MKH8040x2 and MKH8020x2 are all on Manfrotto 156 stands which have a smaller footprint & work fine other than in strong wind…

For the Sanken CUX100K mics (not in the photo) I bought a pair of the new Nano MS049c carbon fibre stands which have as much reach and stability as the big 5001 stands, but being carbon fibre are lighter… & inevitably, a bit more expensive…

My Sound Devices MixPre10-II recorder lives in a Petrol PS602 bag which it seems are no longer made. I’ve had this bag for ages, as I used to fit a SD744T + SD722 + 302 preamp in it. And while the MixPre10 is small enough it could fit in a much smaller bag, I also need to safely store batteries (I use 2 x NP75) and headphones, sometimes contact mics + preamp or hydrophones, and I also have eight mic cables permanently connected, routed, ID’d and safely coiled & attached to the bag with velcro cable ties, such that I can hike with it all securely.

To carry the mics & stands I use a Peak Design 65Litre Travel Duffelpack – thanks to Hide Aoki at AntiNode Design for the tip on this. The Peak bag has zips which makes it expandable, and also has both backpack straps & a normal duffel bag carry handles. It can fit all my mics, stands & camera tripod, so I can hike from car to location in one trip:

Totaranui Beach, Takaka

Both bags have rain covers, so if I get caught out I’ll get wet but the gear will be fine!

Baschet – The Transfiguration of Daily Life

Baschet: The Transfiguration of Daily Life (sous-titres en français)

An excerpt from the 2003 documentary by Eric Marin

 

 

Sound Design Book list

Here are the best books that I own & reccomend on the subject of film sound design!


The Practical Art of Motion Picture Sound by David Lewis Yewdall – if you only buy one book, I would buy this one. It is very practical & talks through every department & element of the soundtrack. The only caveat would be that it suffers slightly from the ‘bigger is better’ syndrome, but that comes down to aesthetics & taste which I wont debate here…


Audio-Vision by Michel Chion – this is the best book on film sound theory I have read – it is very thought provoking with a great foreword by Walter Murch.


Soundscape by Larry Sider – this is actually a copy of various lectures given at the School of Sound, a week long course held every two years in London. This book features lectures by Walter Murch, David Lynch, Randy Thom, Michel Chion, Carter Burwell and Mani Kaul amongst others….


Sound-On-Film: Interviews with Creators of Film Sound by Vincent LoBrutto – this book contains some very interesting interviews including Walter Murch, Ben Burtt, Skip Lievesay, Gary Rydstrom, Mark Mangini and many others..


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Film Sound – E. Weiss & J. Belton
– fascinating book with indepth discussion and analysis of film sound design.


The Foley Grail by Vanessa Theme Ament – great insight into the world of the foley artist!


Dialogue editing for Motion Pictures by John Purcell – a very thorough, if a little dry, explanation of dialogue & ADR editing


The Sound Effects Bible by Ric Viers – a handy guide to recording sound effects


The Reel World: Scoring for Pictures by Jeff Rona – I don’t write music/score for film, but on every project I get to collaborate with film composers so I figure the more I know about film scoring the better!


Finally, its not a book but its the best online resource for sound design: filmsound.org

Feel free to comment any other books you’ve come across that are useful… I haven’t included any Game Audio books as I have no experience with that field of work.

Exploring the Science of Sound with Invented Musical Instruments

BART HOPKIN - "Exploring the Science of Sound with Invented Musical Instruments"

BART HOPKIN – “Exploring the Science of Sound with Invented Musical Instruments”

BART HOPKIN – Exploring the Science of Sound with Invented Musical Instruments

 

 

Instrument Building

I’m currently doing R&D on a physical instrument/sound generator, and my go-to practical reference book has always been this one:

Musical Instrument Design – Practical Information for Instrument Making
by Bart Hopkins

 

 

Also invaluable:
an archive of all of the back issues of Bart Hopkins magazine “Experimental Musical Instruments”
Download the entire PDF archive, there is so much invaluable info and practical advice…
There is a TABLE OF CONTENTS for all of the issues, which is a good starting point

 

 

Another book I found recently, ‘rented’ for free as an ebook via Archive.org

Vibrations : Making unorthodox musical instruments
by Sawyer, David

 

 

This one looks interesting:
Acoustics of Wood
by Voichita Bucur
but the purchase price is rather prohibitive at $379.99 for a paperback copy….

 

 

Another free to rent ebook from Archive.org

Tone : a study in musical acoustics​
by Levarie, Siegmund, 1914-2010

 

 

Sound Designs: a handbook of musical instrument building
by Reinhold Banek & Jon Scoville

 

 

Sound Sculpture, ed. John Grayson
Download [PDF, 24mb] at ubuweb
A collection of essays by artists surveying the techniques; applications; and future directions of sound sculpture.

CONTENTS

PART I: ESSAYS ON SOUND SCULPTURE

BERNARD BASCHET: Structurcs Sonores
FRANCOIS BASCHET: Structures Sonores and the Future
A. VILLEMINOT:Sketches of Large Scale Baschet Sound Sculptures
HARRY BERTOIA: Sounding Sculptures
ALLAN KAPROW: Animation: Stephan Von Huene’s Sound Sculptures
STEPHAN VON HUENE: Photo Album
DAVID JACOBS: Notebook
REINHOLD PIEPER MARXHAUSEN: Variations on the Theme for Listening to Door Knobs
CHARLES MATTOX: The Evolution of My Audio-Kinetic Sculptures

PART II: HERITAGES & ATTITUDES

HARRY PARTCH: Monophonic Just Intonation (excerpted)
HARRY PARTCH: No Barriers
LOU HARRISON: Lou Harrison’s Music Primer (excerptcd)
GYORGY KEPES The New Landscape in Art and Science (excerpted)
R. MURRAY SCHAFER: The Graphics of Musical Thought

PART III: FUTURE DIRECTIONS

DAVID ROSENBOOM Vancouvcr Piece
WALTER WRIGHT: Videotape Kitchen Notes
DAVID ROTHENBERG: Visual Music – A New Art Form
JOHN CHOWNING: The Simulation of Moving Sound Sources (excerpted)
Corporeal Sound Sculpture
COREY FISCHER:Transitions
JOHN GRAYSON: A Sound Awareness Workshop

PART IV: PRACTICAL PROJECTS & POSSIBILITIES

WILLIAM COLVIG: A Western Gamelan
PAUL EARLS: Sounding Space: Drawing Room Music
IVOR DARREG: The Amplifying Clavichord
TONY PRICE: A Musical Carillon
A Concert of Factory Sirens and Steam Whistles
LUIS FRANGELLA: Rain Music II : A Large Scale Environmental Sound Sculpture
MAX DEAN: A Sound Activated Sound Sculpture
Sound Sewage
Selected Readings
A Request to Sound Sculptors