Sample Diggers - In The Field Vol 1
First off a library from Sample Diggers who are a small company that we feature on our Audio Market page. Sample Diggers create niche sample packs for producers, post production houses and DJs. The aim is to offer sample libraries that are affordable and easy to use. They tag all their samples by tempo and key, and organise them in a way that is designed to inspire ideas and creativity. Their product range is growing from live instrument loop packs, electronically produced packs and even Kontakt based sampler instruments. Most genres are covered and this will expand as our library grows in the future. Now they have branched out into sound effects with their first release In The Field Vol 1.
In the field Vol 1 is a collection of field recordings, found sounds and SFX. The sounds were captured from many locations around the world such as Mauritius, Greece, Spain, Turkey and the UK. It features a range of natural impact sounds that include smashes, crashes, drops, door bangs and creeks as well as sounds from nature such as bird song, oceans waves and long natural ambience recordings. The collection is clearly the result of always having a portable recorder around and grabbing opportunities as they present themselves. There are also plenty of recordings that were clearly planned.
You will also find animal samples, motors, traffic, household, water and a plethora of natural percussion sounds, that are designed to be used beyond normal sound effects work including music production, film and game audio.
There are 3 folders included in the pack. You get the raw recorded sounds that have only been tided,levelled and fades added. Then you also get some produced SFX created from raw sounds and out-takes that were not included. Finally as a bonus you also get 26 Sci FX. For me it is the produced sounds that are of the most interest, but don't dismiss the raw sounds there are interesting surprises in there and the diverse nature of this collection would make a good starter library for newcomers.
There were a few different microphones used to capture the recordings in the library. Coil microphones are used to record interference from laptops, televisions, WIFI routers and any other electrical devices that gave off an interesting sound. Hydrophone and contact mics were also used to collect water sounds and unusual scrapes on metal and wood.
There are over 1.3gb of samples included, all recorded at 24bit, 44.1khz. All the files are named, so they are easy to search in your favourite DAW or sampler. The price is £34.99.
Ambisonics Primer By John Leonard On A Sound Effect
Ambisonics has been around for decades but has been a niche area in the audio sector. However with the rise of appropriate immersive delivery formats like Auro 3D and Dolby Amos, Ambisonics is fast becoming a useful way of acquiring and storing multichannel audio in a way than can we used in any of the immersive formats. But what is Ambisonics?
Ambisonics is a method of recording and reproducing audio in full 360 degree surround – and while it’s not exactly a new invention, recent developments in software encoding have made it a lot more interesting. And with demand for surround source material skyrocketing with the advent of 3D audio for film and immersive platforms such as virtual reality, Ambisonics is an increasingly useful option.
But how does Ambisonics work in the real world, how do you get started – and how do you make the most it? In the latest blog post on A Sound Effect experienced Ambisonics recordist and sound designer John Leonard gives more details in this special hands-on primer.
John starts by covering the current state of surround sound recording before going back in time....
Without getting bogged down in too much detail, Ambisonics, developed in the early 1970s by Peter Fellget and Michael Gerzon is a way of recording and reproducing surround sound in both horizontal and vertical surround from a single point source. Yes, that’s right: eat your hearts out, DTS:X™, Dolby Atmos™ and Auro 3D™, Ambisonics has been capable of full surround including height and depth for around forty years, and it’s non-proprietary.
John moves onto the Soundfield mic, as well as covering the early days of ambisonics and the challenges we had like viable location recording machines with more than two tracks. I remember making a Soundfield recording for AMS many years ago where the only viable solution as to use two Fostex DAT recorders locked together to record the 4 channel B format signal. John continues by looking at how ambisonics started to evolve as new technology came along...
Initially, the decoding hardware was complex and expensive and the lack of truly portable multi-track recording equipment meant that you were pretty much tied to a mains supply and a rack full of gear, but the arrival of sophisticated portable computer interfaces – in my case, the Metric Halo 2882 which could be powered via the FireWire port of a Macintosh PowerBook – meant that it’s been possible to record using Soundfield microphones free from mains power for around fifteen years. Much of the material in my effects libraries has been recorded using this system, although for more portability, I also use Sound Devices 744 and 788 recorders, which have basic B-Format monitoring built-in.
Recently, however, there have been major developments in the use of Ambisonics, particularly with the arrival of immersive virtual reality systems such as the Oculus Rift and it’s now entirely possible using software, to enlarge the sweet spot, decode for binaural and even to deal with irregular speaker arrays in large venues
As a result of all this development we have seen a growth in ambisonics sound effects collections and you can find a good selection of them on the A Sound Effects web site.
Finally John guides us through the options available to us for recording and processing ambisonics audio including the Kickstarter funded Bramha mic which we featured and reviewed here as well as the free SurroundZone2 plug-in plug-in from TSL Products as well as a number of other solutions. So if you are interested in ambisonics then do check out this excellent primer from John Leonard on the A Sound Effect blog.