sound effects WAV and AIFF

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
Michael Oster - latest news and credit information


podcast "the Difficult Listening Channel"

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

Million Dollar Upgrade - FREE!!
Improve your production skills without spending anything on new gear.... more

upgrade your skills free!

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.
more

cassette tape destruction
prepared ak47
the Prepared AK 47
"This is the AK47 assault rifle, the preferred weapon of our enemy. It makes a distinctive sound...." So I sampled it. more

Field Recording
(tips and tricks.....)


listen to the things around you



Listen to the things around you. Really listen. I mean it. Even the most insignificant sounds can make a difference. Whatever you hear, your microphones will pick up. Be careful of your own noises. Your clothing, breathing, your slightest movements. All of that will get picked up. With experience, you'll learn how to control your breathing and movement so that doesn't ruin your recordings. Are you wearing any jewelry? Don't. Keys in your pocket? That stuff makes noise too.


Stuff you don't hear can be a factor too. Our brains tend to filter out sounds that are "unimportant" to us. That's why you might be surprised to hear things like pool pumps, air conditioners, distant traffic, or other things. Some of that can be gotten rid of in post production with a high pass filter, but not all of it. And filters/eq's have their problems too. So listen carefully and you'll begin to hear the "unimportant" stuff and be able to work around it.


Try to keep the microphones still. Any change in position will alter the audio perspective (if you're weaving through crowds or locations on purpose, then this is not an issue). Beware of the microphone cable and stand (if used). Bumping them will make noise.


listen to the sounds around you


Minidisc, DAT, video, and cassette recorders have moving parts in them that make noise. Try to use your body as a baffle, if possible, between the recorder and the microphones.


Other "field recording" devices to consider: micro cassette (yes, that hideous format), mini digital voice recorders, MP4 recorders, iRiver, video cameras (have internal microphones - but lots of internal machine noise), iPod (with the voice recorder option), standard cassette..., and, of course, the professional setups that include laptops, DATs, CD recorders, solid state recorders, Masterlink, and more.


Each format will have it's own "sound" and recording limitations. Use these to your advantage. Understand that a street scene recorded with a microcassette will sound vastly different than the same thing recorded with a 24 bit laptop setup. But the microcassette recording will have a lo-fi"character" that makes it a very usable option down the road.

Microphone wind protection
Windy Outside?
Use a $35 nylon mesh reptile enclosure as wind protection for your microphones and save hundreds of dollars! more
Hear this...
320kbps mp3

Parking garage air handler
airhandler.mp3


Close up of a hotel refrigerator
hotelfridge.mp3

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




Diary of a Recorded Sound
What happens to make, record and playback sound? 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

Don't forget the Omni: Microphone


With microphones, cardioids tend to be the most commonly used probably because they have the advantage of rejecting sounds coming from behind them. But, like other directional microphones, they do have some disadvantages, such as proximity effect (an artificial low end boost that comes from setting up the microphone close to a sound source - the closer you get the more of a boost you get) and a less accurate frequency response. That's not to say that there's anything wrong with proximity effect because somtimes the artificial low frequency boost sounds good (like on voice or guitars). And a less accurate frequency response can add a desireable character to a microphone.


Omnidirectional microphones don't create a proximity effect when they're placed very close to a sound source. Also, they tend to have a "flatter" or more accurate frequency response which means that they'll reproduce more closely the sound that you're hearing. But, microphone placement of omnis is still critical to getting a good recording even in the field. I've found that I have to get closer to my sound subjects when I use omnidirectional microphones, which is not a big deal.



Back to the main field recording page.

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LaptopNoise.com
Turn the average laptop into a brutal noise machine. This site explores the computers, software, performances, noise and experimental music artists.

Your feedback is welcome!
e-mail: F7sound@gte.net

Sony PCM-D50 Review
Can I have "too many" digital audio field recorders? Can a woman have "too many" pairs of shoes? I didn't think so.... learn more
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
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
Electric PlacentaLand 2013 Michael Oster
prepared ak47
Return of the Prepared AK 47
The most famous (or infamous) assault rifle in the world gets a makeover! What if I sampled the sounds of an AK47, processed the hell out of them and made a CD? more
Visit my BandCamp page
Many of my CDs are now available as mp3 and "Full Quality" digital downloads. more








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