This series of videos presents a beginner's guide to field recording, particularly looking at the technical aspects.

The videos are listed below. If you wish, you can also find them on the Vimeo channelTechnical Field Recording
The Vimeo channel where the Technical Field Recording videos live. (Vimeo)

The Course

1. Quick Start

To kick the series off, this episode is going to be a very basic, quick-start beginners guide to field recording; just going over all the basic concepts very lightly. Future episodes will go into specific topics in more detail.

23 March 2020

2. Introduction

In this series of videos, I’m going to try to give you a nuts-and-bolts introduction to field recording. I’m going to start here with an introduction to the concepts of field recording, and the motivation for this course.

23 March 2020

3. Technology

Modern audio recording is all about computer-based technologies; which might a problem for people coming from a creative background. So in this section I’m going to give you a quick overview of these kinds of technologies, specifically the kinds of computer tech that are intruding more and more into field recording.

The WAV file dumping utility referred to in the video can be seen on the Wavdump page. BWF MetaEdit can be downloaded from the MediaArea siteBWF MetaEdit
The home page of BWF MetaEdit, a tool for displaying and editing BWF meta-data in WAV files. (MediaArea)

23 March 2020

4. Microphones

Of course the microphone is the business end of your system, so it’s worth understanding how they work. But with audio recording covering an amazing array of different activities, mics have evolved to be pretty diverse. Let’s try and break it down.

30 March 2020
Update 20 July 2020: added a section on miniature mics.

5. Equipment

To get going in field recording, you’re going to need some gear. This doesn’t need to be insanely expensive; the difference in quality between mid-price and top-of-the-line gear is steadily shrinking as technology improvements spread downwards.

The choice of equipment out there is bewildering, but this episode will at least get you off the ground by showing you the types of kit you might consider for field recording.

6 April 2020

More Reading:

6. Connections

if you’re setting up a field recording kit, there’s one thing you really need to be aware of, and that’s the different technologies used to connect mics to recorders.

The “consumer” and “pro” systems commonly used unfortunately aren't compatible; and the choice between them isn't straightforward. This episode tries to explain the issues.

13 April 2020

7. Technique

So I’ve talked a lot about equipment, technology, and all that stuff. Here I'm going to talk about how to actually get out and get Field Recording, with some general tips on preparation and technique.

This video gives a quick introduction to level setting; but this is a tricky subject, so I've written an additional page on setting levels.

20 April 2020

8. Stereo

Stereo field recordings will generally sound more interesting, and immersive, than mono. This episode describes how stereo works, and presents a variety of techniques for capturing stereo, along with numerous examples.

29 August 2020

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9. Mid-Side Demystified

Mid-side recording is a great way to capture stereo sound, with many advantages; but the fact that it needs some post-processing to actually get it to stereo can be a bit off-putting.

This episode talks about what mid-side is all about, and discusses the equipment you need, the field technique, and that pesky post-processing — which turns out to be not so hard after all.

5 September 2020

10. Post-Production

Once you’ve made a recording, and got it on to your PC, you can do some post-production to make it sound better. This isn’t essential, but even for very simple recordings, a little editing can make it work a lot better. So in this episode, I’m going to give you an intro to some basic things you can do, quite easily, to make your recordings more listenable.

4 May 2020

More Reading:

11. Digital Obsolescence

Media obsolescence is a problem we’ve probably all heard about from time to time, often with scare stories about how all the media we’re creating today are going to become unusable.

The good news is that as far as the future is concerned, the problem of data obsolescence is now largely solved — maybe not completely, but the tools are there, and if we know how to use them, we really don’t need to be worried about this.

27 April 2020


Coming Up...

Some ideas I have: