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The Beginning of Free Sound

free-soundI started collecting sounds in the early 1990’s. At first I used a mono Nagra recorder and an AKG 451 that belonged to my employer at the time. I wasn’t very organized about it, but if I needed a sound, I would go out and get it. Later, after I had changed jobs, I started using my new employer’s DAT machine and their Neumann RSM 191, which is a wonderful microphone– I wish I still had access to it today.

In 2000 I started to think about putting together my own sound effects library. I did some research of the available technology at the time and came a cross the Zaxcom Deva II. The Deva II is a 4 channel portable field recorder that records on a hard disk, rather than tape. This is more common now, but at the time, the only other option was a DAT, or a Digital Nagra, using reel to reel tape. Today, there are many more options, like Zacom’s Deva IV and V, Sound Devices 722 and 744, Fostex FR-2, Aaton Cantar, plus a myriad of MP3/Wave recorders. The Deva II was made for location film sound work and so has timecode in and out, along with 4 mic pre-amps, and 4 line in/outs. It records at 48kHz, 24 bits and it also has a pre-record buffer which will store up to 10 seconds of the input previous to when you hit record. I thought this would be a great feature for when I was out in the filed waiting for something to happen; I wouldn’t have to always be rolling, I could wait for the sound and then hit record!

Since the Deva II could record 4 channels I decided that I would try to create a surround effects library. The idea was to record a front pair and a rear pair. I decided to make the front pair a Mid-Side pair and the rear a pair of spaced omnis. The mid-side pair I could easily spread into the three front speakers, and the spaced omni pair would give me a nice diffuse surround field.

For microphones I contemplated both the Schoeps colette series and the Sennheiser MKH series. I settled on a pair of Sennheiser MKH 20 omnis, and an MKH 30 and 40 mid side pair. The Sennheisers are reportedly better in humid conditions, and also reject RF noise more, but it was also a matter of price. I am slowly collecting a set of Schoeps mics too, since I really love their Free Sound.


April 6, 2009 - Posted by | Web Design | , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] See more here:  The Beginning of Free Sound « Your Design Needs | All you need for … […]

    Pingback by Conceptguy » Blog Archive » The Beginning of Free Sound « Your Design Needs | All you need for … | April 6, 2009 | Reply

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