field recording from F7 Sound and Vision

Michael Oster
F7 Sound and Vision's Michael Oster has been recording the sounds around him since the 1970s, beginning on cassette and continuing all the way up to include 24 bit portable laptop based systems....

recording music, sound effects, broadcast, CDs.
Michael Oster - discography
Podcast - the Difficult Listening Channel
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Diary of a Recorded Sound

recording sound of dog panting

Ever wonder what happens during the life of a recorded sound?

Something triggers the movement of molecules which causes small changes air pressure (within a certain frequency range and amplitude range, we can hear those changes and call it sound).

Changes in air pressure impact the diaphragm of a microphone (a transducer) which alters a magnetic field set up inside the mic. The diaphragm moves in relation to those changes in air pressure.

Changes in the magnetic field result in the generation of small amounts of electricity.

In some microphones, the electricity is amplified before leaving.

The electricity is sent from the microphone to a preamplifier.

The preamplifier brings up the levels of the electricity to a point that they become useable and can be recorded.

From the preamplifier, the signal is sent to digital converters where the electricity is sampled and changed over to data which approximates the frequency and amplitude of the prior signal.

digital sound waveform

The data is then sent to a computer or digital recorder where just about anything is possible. The data can be manipulated and stored or converted to many different data formats such as WAV, mp3, mp2, AAC, images, or whatever.

For playback, the data is sent to another set of converters and is changed back to electricity (digital to analog conversion).

That electricity goes into an amplifier then to speakers or headphones.

Speakers and headphones (transducers) trigger the movement of molecules which cause small (and sometimes not so small) changes in air pressure (within a certain frequency range and amplitude range, we hear those changes and call it sound).

OK, I know a few "tweakheads" are going to say that I left out things like filters, effects, analog recorders, or other stuff. They're right, but I wanted to list out in pretty basic terms what happens when a sound is digitally recorded (as most are these days) and played back.

podcast "the Difficult Listening Channel"

Experience "the Difficult Listening Channel" podcast where the sounds in my head become the sounds in yours. more

Hear these sounds:

Night Insect - nightinsect01.mp3

Toad Close Up - toadxcu.mp3

Construction recorded from under an interstate overpass - constructionpounder.mp3

These are 160kbps stereo mp3s. Orginally recorded with a Sound Devices 702 / Rode NT-4 by Michael Oster.

Record a Fart
Put the microphone where? Here's a few points to consider before documenting that gas discharge... more

The Story Behind My CDs

Personality, character, style, emotion and more go in before a CD ever comes out. There's a method to this madness. more

Microphone Tip!
Before you trash your old microphone and buy a new one. try something simple and unleash the multiple personalities of the mic you already have... more

It's not the gear.
It's how you use it. Skill counts big in recording... more

SD 702 digital field recorder review.
DAT Killer!
Sound Devices delivers a truly professional field recorder with it's 7 Series units. I just picked up a 702. DAT IS DEAD! Get the details. more
Microphone wind protection
Windy Outside?
Use a $35 nylon mesh reptile enclosure as wind protection for your microphones and save hundreds of dollars! more

More information on field recording plus tips and tricks here... more

Recording the sounds of storms:
How I record the dynamic sounds of a thunderstorm without getting killed... more small banner
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Tape Destruction
Destroy cassette tapes and get some awesome, mutated new sounds. It's fun, easy and I show you how to do it effectively. Pictures and audio examples right now.

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Improve your production skills without spending anything on new gear.... more

cassette tape destruction
upgrade your skills free!
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Sony PCM-D50 digital recorder review
Useful Masking Noise CD Michael Oster 2013
Useful Masking Noise
A cross between a closeup waterfall hitting cool rocks, old analog television static, with a gentle touch of industrial fan and a faint hint of radio crackle. Think of it as being a fine wine for your ears. more
Electric PlacentaLand 2013 Michael Oster
Electric PlacentaLand
Electric PlacentaLand is loud and intense. Its sonic textures and colors change, evolve and don't let you go. It's a blending of sound deconstruction and aural rebirth more
Visit my BandCamp page
Many of my CDs are now available as mp3 and "Full Quality" digital downloads. more


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