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The Business Of Sound Design: Sound Designer’s Tools Of The Trade

Posted by on Oct 28, 2014 in Business Of Sound Design, Diymb Blog | 0 comments

The Business Of Sound Design: Sound Designer’s Tools Of The Trade

  What hardware/software applications do I need? What do sound designers use? Anything that makes noise, allows us to record and manipulate sound. When I think of Sound design tools, I think of two classes. 1. The Recordist → Totes around field recorders, headphones, mics, stands etc. Their gear is made for recording outside of a typical recording studio. 2. Everyone else → Those who don’t record outside or who strictly work with synthesis Regardless of where the source comes from everything hits the computer anyway for editing and mastering. Let’s take a look at some of these tools. Field Recorders They are hard disk recorders that allow you record on the go. The most valuable feature(s) on a field recorder is it’s preamps and the number of microphone inputs it has. High Quality preamps, offer better recordings, especially when trying to isolate small sounds. The more mic inputs a recorder has the more creative you can be when capturing sound. Field recorders range in price $70 – $3,000, I’ve seen them as high as $5k. Also, some are equipped with internal mics which can be very useful. Check out my complete guide on field recorders. Microphones They are the sonic lenses to your world of audio. Generally, the better microphone you have the better sound you’ll be able to record… Assuming you have a good recording chain. You can check out my microphone buyers guide for a more in-depth look into the types of mics, function, bang for the buck etc. This will help when looking for a microphone. Specific Software Applications If you have a DAW, you have what you need, but there are some specific software applications that are vital to a sound designer. Your Computer This is where the magic happens. Your computer is loaded with software applications; Daws, audio editors, plug-ins, synths etc. These are the tools that you use to manipulate sound. I hope it’s safe to assume that everyone reading this post at the very least has a computer, audio interface of some sort and a microphone. If you have those basic necessities along with a DAW you’re in business....

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Software Applications For Sound Designers

Posted by on Oct 28, 2014 in Sound Design | 0 comments

  In this post, I’m in a dive into the specific applications used by sound designers that’ll help with sound organization editing restoration and mixing and mastering it. Keep in mind, not all of these tools are needed, but they do make the work a lot easier. Sound Organization Name Munger: This is an excellent program for batch editing file/folder names. Most of the time, when you import sound from an external card and it keeps the name of the recorder that you were using. For an example: Tascam 001 Tascam 002 Tascam 003 Tascam 004 etc That might not be a problem for 10 or 15 sounds, but when you have hundreds of sounds and you want to rename them, batch editing is the way to go. Audio Editing Software Your DAW is a very powerful audio editor, but there are times when you’ll want to use a dedicated 2 track editor. This is not a must, it’s a preference. Some people work better with tools with limitations. Audacity: This is a free multi track audio editor that works on Mac as well as Windows computers. It supports a AIFF, WAV, OGG and MP3 format’s. Loaded with fx and presets. The GUI is a little iffy looking, but it gets the job done Wavosaur: Another great free audio editor. It takes up less than 4 MB of hard drive space; non destructive editing and processing. Sadly, It’s only available on Windows. This was the free sound editor I used to get more through my first few game audio projects. SoundForge: This is Adobe’s 2 track editor. It’s equipped with a lot of stock editing tools; Eq, compression, normalize etc. The audio restoration is quite powerful and it reads third party plugins Sound & Audio Restoration Izotope Rx 4: Right now, there’s nothing better. It’s audio analysis and restoration is out of this world. The two track editors listed above all have the capability of audio repair, but not as good as RX. This should be enough to get you going. Please let me know if you have any questions....

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The Field Recorder Buyer’s Guide

Posted by on Oct 28, 2014 in Music Gear | 2 comments

The Field Recorder Buyer’s Guide

For field recording (sfx for video games and film) you you’ll need a field recorder, headphones, cables, microphones as well as memory cards and batteries. Some recorders can be AC powered, but batteries are a must have when going out in the field. I’ll walk you through what you need to know when looking for a field recorder. Focus on 3 things; Your budget, features and build quality.   1. Your Budget: How Much Can You Invest? What’s your budget? $100…$700? What you can afford will determine what type of sounds you’ll be able to record. Technically, you can record whatever you want, but you wont always get good results. Another thing to consider is what you’ll be recording Loud sounds? Power tools? Your animals? Nature sounds? Will you be recording in the field? Will you be recording sounds in your studio or around your home? Are you ok with the internal mics or do you want flexibility? Those are things to think about while going through this guide. 2. Features Recorders Must Have Preamp – If you can afford it, make sure you have a recorder with XLR inputs. This will allow you to use external microphones which will increase your audio recording quality. When it comes to the preamp, test the noise. Listen to how noisy the preamp is at all settings, the less noise, the easier time you’ll have when editing. Recording format – 96k/24 Wav and up. This will give you the most flexibility when editing and mangling the sound. Portability – Make sure the recorder feels comfortable as you’ll be lugging this thing around a lot. You also want to make sure it easy to setup. Nothing sucks more than hearing a good sound, the missing it because it takes 10 minutes to get everything up and running. 3. Build Quality Make sure the build quality is up to par with your standards. This is more important for some than others. Me personally, I’m okay with cheap feeling equipment because I’m very delicate with my gear.   Field Recorders I’d Suggest Getting (pick one) $100 – Zoom H1 pros: Cheap, easy to use, light weight. 96Khz/24 recording cons: No preamps/xlr inputs $200 – DR-40 Pros: 2 xlr inputs, 4 channel 96Khz/24 recording Cons: Preamp could be cleaner, but does get the job done. $500 – Fostex FR-LE pros: 2 xlr inputs, good preamps (pretty clean), light weight cons: flimsy construction, convoluted interface   Additional Recording Accessories Batteries – All 3 of these recorders can run on AA batteries. Make sure they’re rechargeable, this will allow you to get most from your money. Memory Cards – Yep, a must have for field recorders. Below I’ve broken down the types each recorder needs. H1 Zoom: mini sd card. Go with an 8-16gig DR40: SD card, go with a 16 gig or 32gig Fostex FR2-Le: – Compact Flash. 8-16 gig I own all three of these units and have used them on various projects. If you have any questions about them, feel free to ask....

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The Business Of Sound Design: Quick Overview, Understanding The Market

Posted by on Oct 27, 2014 in Business Of Sound Design, Diymb Blog | 0 comments

The Business Of Sound Design: Quick Overview, Understanding The Market

  What Is Sound Design? What Is A Sound Designer? In short, sound design is the process of creating and managing sound. As far as “what is a sound designer?” This is a question with many different answers. Ask someone born in the 50s and they might tell you a sound designer is someone who records sound for film and visual media. Ask another person and they might say “it’s the guy who programs synths”. To me, a sound designer is “anyone” who manipulates sound. I know that answer includes a broad range of professionals, but I don’t see any other way. Look at it like this. Mixing engineers: Constantly tweaking elements within music so it sits right. Composers: layer instruments and synth patches to sculpt unique sounds. Modern day producers: constantly finding ways to abuse samples Technology: Making it easy to abuse those samples. No matter how you look at it, everyone “designs sound” to some extent. With that being said there are different kinds of sound designers. There are those who focus on synthesis, foley recording as well as field recording Different in their own right, and all very profitable.   The Business Of Sound Design: How Does it Work? Short explanation: A client hires you, gives you an outline of what they need and you deliver. Like most businesses 🙂 More in-depth Explanation: We generally work with multiple clients throughout the year all on a project by project basis, there are rarely any royalties attached, and we work on flat rate fees. NDA’s are no joke The name of this game is “shhh” tell noone what you’re working on. It’s important that this level of professionalism is kept as most gigs aren’t publicly advertised. Many sound designers are staff, meaning they work for a company, but majority of us are ‘freelance’ which gives us the flexibility to work with multiple clients at once. Here are some pros and cons to both. As a freelance sound designer, you can work with any client you want. This equates to more projects, experience and best of all more money in your pocket. The downside is you’re responsible for making sure you have enough projects to live off of. Not always easy to do especially when starting out. When you work as a staff designer, you have paycheck you can count on. There are times I wish I had this stability. What does suck, however, is you can’t always work with other companies due to conflict of interest.   How Lucrative Is Sound Design? Think about it like this, there isn’t one company out there who operates in silence. Film/Tv – to enhance what you’re viewing. Fight scenes, car accidents, environments (settings) etc. Watch a movie with the sound off, you’ll notice a huge difference. Video games – Similar to tv and film, they need sound to compliment the visuals and actions we control. Toys – Yes, toys have sound. Lasers, VO, sfx etc. Businesses – Audio branding, we all know when a Windows or Mac is booting up. We know by it’s signature sound. There isn’t a field that doesn’t utilize audio, it’s a HUGE market.   My Conclusion Hopefully that sparked your interest a little. If you’re looking forward to this series,  please let me know by sharing and...

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Music Business Goals: Sound Design & Mentoring

Posted by on Oct 3, 2014 in Diymb Blog, Monthly Goals | 0 comments

Music Business Goals: Sound Design & Mentoring

This month I’ll be focusing on two things – Mentoring musicians and sound design.   Mentoring I love helping others make money with their music, that’s why this site was created. At times, It can be a handful especially when I have my own projects. That’s why I shut down my membership last year. Between mentoring and working with clients, it was to much to handle. I didn’t have the right system in place, too much to soon. Sound Design This month’s focus will revolve around sound design. I’ll touch on everything from gear and equipment needed to how to land projects within the field. I do have few posts on the subject already how to get your music placed in video games and various posts revolving around budget equipment, but I want to make this a detailed guide much like the Vlogging For Musicians series. What’s on your plate this...

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Do producers need managers to succeed? What About Bands Or Artists?

Posted by on Sep 23, 2014 in Diymb Blog, Vlog | 0 comments

Do producers need managers to succeed? What About Bands Or Artists?

  Do music producers, artists and bands need managers?  Some artists need a little push to make it to the next level while others need full artist development. It depends on where you are in your career. Before signing any contracts here are a few things to consider   If you have any questions regarding managers, agents or music supervisors please leave a comment below.  If you’re a little shy, that’s fine, just shoot me an email.  Please understand, I get over 100 emails a day so my response times vary...

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Budget Field Recording Equipment: What I Use To Create Sounds For Video Games

Posted by on Sep 19, 2014 in Diymb Blog, Sound Design | 0 comments

Budget Field Recording Equipment: What I Use To Create Sounds For Video Games

  Often times, I’m asked what equipment I use for field recording and sound fx. In short, I use a variety of gear, but what I use most is a cheap setup that allows me to be mobile and record anywhere with minimal set up time. Here’s the low budget field recording package I use for creating sounds for film and video games. Tascam DR40 Field Recorder I chose this recorder because of it’s features. At the time, I was looking for a step up from the H1 Zoom. I needed a recorder that would allow me to use external microphones and wouldn’t break my pockets. The DR-40 not only  fulfilled that need,  it over delivered with great recording features, good build and good audio quality. I recommend adding shotgun mics to your setup in the future. Make sure you go with the bundle deal as it’s the same price as the standalone recorder. The bundle offers a lot of accessories as well batteries memory card Stand Charger You can’t pass up on this deal $199 on amazon Sony MDR7506 Headphones I’m not a Sony fan, but they did get something right, these headphones. They’ve been an industry standard for years. I’m sure you’ve seen them in many recording studios you may even have a pair yourself. I’ve been using this model since 2003. What I like most about them is how crisp the sound is. They’re perfect for this type of work. Most of the time, you’ll find these for $99, sometimes you can get them for as low as $65 dollars. Rechargeable Batteries The DR40 does come with batteries in its package, but you’ll run through those very quickly. Purchase good rechargeable batteries and a battery charger this way you’re never stuck in a recording session. And, they’re less expensive in the long run. I have 1 battery charger and  21 charged AA’s ready to go at all times. The most affordable charger I’ve come accords is the EBL 808, it  holds/charges 8 batteries and it’s under $10, might want to get 2 of these. The pick up some rechargeable batteries and you’re in business. So, that’s a basic field recording setup with plenty of room for expansion which I will get into in a later post. Even if you never expand, it’s enough to get you in the field and record audio quality enough to make money from.  ...

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Music Business Goals: 1 on 1 Mentoring And Master Minds

Posted by on Sep 11, 2014 in Diymb Blog, Monthly Goals | 0 comments

Music Business Goals: 1 on 1 Mentoring And Master Minds

  1 on 1 Mentoring & Master Minds – this is what I’m focusing on this month. Music Business Mentor Preparing to mentor a new group of music creators. I’ve been consulting musicians a little over a year and while it’s fun, I want to do something with a longer lifespan attached to it. Consultations are fun, but I only do them a couple times a month. What I want to do is take a group and people and help them do what I’m doing. To kick this off, I opened my offer to the public, but only for a limited time → September 13th, 2014 🙂 Hopefully you’re in time to participate → Free Business mentoring for a year Music Licensing MasterMind My partner(s) and I were going pretty strong for awhile, but life and projects got in way. Which is good, but it’s definitely something that must continue. I started my master mind with 4 people, but later dwindled down to 2. One licensing professional and a marketing specialist. MasterMinds are awesome because it allows you bounce ideas off like-minded people. Nothing helps you grow more in this business than surrounding yourself around other successful individuals. Music Biz Monthly Focus This will be a topic that I focus on for the month. I think it’s a great way to create content and stay focused as well as help my subscribers in the readers of the site. Last month or a month and a half ago, I started with Vlogging For Musicians which is an introduction to video marketing. The goal was to show some of what I do with the video to generate leads and placements. I wasn’t sure how well it would be accepted, but a lot people appreciated it. The posts got a lot of shares via social media and email. More importantly, I received great feedback from readers who were genuinely appreciative because I broke down a complex subject into something simple, that’s what I do best. Most cut their first videos while going through the series, how great is that? You can follow the vlogging for musician series here If you have an idea for The Music Biz Monthly Focus, let me know. I’m open to ideas and what to do all I can to help...

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Marcos Maidana VS Floyd Mayweather Jr 2: Free 1 on 1 Mentoring Sessions For A Whole Year

Posted by on Sep 4, 2014 in Diymb Blog | 0 comments

Marcos Maidana VS Floyd Mayweather Jr 2: Free 1 on 1 Mentoring Sessions For A Whole Year

  Floyd Mayweather vs Marcos Maidana II. It’s coming, September 13, 2014. Who’s your money on? If you can predict the winner of this fight I will give you free one-on-one mentoring sessions with me for a full year. Music Licensing Pitching tracks Marketing Whatever you need I’ll do everything I can to help you learn and understand what you need to start making money from your music. httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wepXP4h14lo All the rules are in the video. Make sure you follow them, and good luck....

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Vlogging For Musicians: How To Build Your Fanbase And Find Music Placement Opportunities Using Video

Posted by on Aug 29, 2014 in Diymb Blog, Vlogging For Musicians | 6 comments

Vlogging For Musicians: How To Build Your Fanbase And Find Music Placement Opportunities Using Video

  Alright, I’ve gone into great detail about vlogging, video equipment and how to create different types of videos. Now, It’s time to show you how I go about marketing, generating traffic and finding placement opportunities and with my videos And, more importantly, how you can do the same with your own diy videos. Before I get into details I want you to understand that my techniques don’t equate to immediate success. These techniques will yield results for some faster than others. Let’s get into it shall we? It’s All About The Trends! That’s how I get the bulk of my work. If people are talking about it, I’m finding a way to profit from it. I rely on social media to feed me these leads and then I capitalize on them using the methods outlined in this post. Talking Head Videos What I look for are interesting topics to talk about. I pick things I feel will trend, are trending or have the ability generate heavy discussion. Let’s take this for an example Stitches Brick In Yo Face Riding Trends httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7f6WTDZ0rE I created this video because I knew it would get people talking and there was already a market for his sound. How did I know this? Easy, look at the guy for crying out loud. He has all the right ingredients for trolls and business. His appearance Where he’s from (Florida) Glorifies selling Drugs Very Confident Went Viral I wanted to connect with three specific types of people with this video. The trolls Business savvy individuals Potential Clients How did this pan out? Trolls: They did what they do best … Trash talk. Good comments/bad comments, doesn’t matter, it’s still engagement. Business Savvy People: Commented and engaged with the message in the video even if they didn’t agree with the advice. Potential Clients: Those who work in the industry offered me production gigs (some did). Why Did This Work? Because of how I positioned myself. The video did more than inform people about trends and why they are important. It basically yelled “I’m more than willing to knock off songs and look I’m already contracted to do so” When a new artist surfaces everyones all over social media trying to figure out as much as they can about them. Including those with the power to place music within tv/film. My video ranked in the top 5 for “Brick In Yo Face” for about a week or two. In that time, there were a lot of eyes on my video, feedback and more importantly emails from professionals within my industry. Those emails turned in placement opportunities. Some were right up my alley others weren’t. The ones that were  requested similar sounding instrumentals. Those that weren’t required a vocalist. So I outsourced those. Then, as with anything else, you get the “for free” requests, those didn’t work for me either so I passed on them. Instagram Trends #SavemyIG2014 Does everyone remember this hashtag? It was very popular in March 2014. Someone spread a rumor stating that Instagram would trash any accounts that didn’t retweet the graphic message. If you’re posting #savemyIG2014 I am going to assume you’re genuinely stupid. — SassyCountryQueen (@CountryQueen_51) March 6, 2014 All those dumbass people on Instagram posting #SaveMyIG2014 << pic.twitter.com/IXQvbMWwvi — Christian. (@OhhThatTwin) March 6, 2014 Hey everybody tweeting...

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