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    "Field-Recording"


    Obviously can be defined as "Recordings made in the field".

    Does this imply that it must be an outdoor recording? How about real sounds that have been recorded acoustically, but were recorded in a studio setting?

    Just asking.

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    most of the sounds i upload under the "field recording" tag are actually recorded in the somewhat controlled environment of my bedroom. i just use the term to describe unmodified "non-instrument" sounds, i.e. a recording of any type of natural ambient noise or a recording of any object not indended for use as an instrument which hasn't been modified prior to recording.
    i don't really think that studio recordings should fall under this, since you could just as easily call them "studio recordings".

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    The sounds that i recorded in the Anechoic chamber at the HKU were mostly labeled as field recordings. Mainly because of the content, stuff like lighters, paper rushling etc. Stuff where i'd have a limited amount of control over the timbre.

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    When used like this I actually think that "field-recording" says more about 'what' you record then 'where'...
    So no recordings of instruments but just 'things'.....

    ...All your sound are belong to us... www.twistedlemon.nl
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    I guess some anthropological recordings of music could also be described as fieldrecording but perhaps that is truly a different audience, i dont know smile (sounds more like archive.org version)

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    Hi all,

    new here... and a bit amused at the problem of defining sounds in general and 'field-recording' in particular.

    The way I see it (and I am a biologist myself) taxomony is necessary for collection management - of animals, plants, books, pictures or sounds. And in taxonomy you can't expect general agreement. In other words, there will always be different points of view on whether a note played at the violin is field-recording or not.

    Actually there *is* one way to reach general agreement: accept the criterion of person X (a dictatorship...sort of)

    The other approach to handle the problem of doing discrete categories( with subjects that vary continuously) is to be flexible in the use of the terms. Can we? I donĀ“t know, as I said above I'm new here wink But there is one thing I'm sure about: I won't lose my time trying to decide if a sea wave starts here or there, I rather want to use it to record sounds!!

    I decided years ago that taxonomy is NOT my bussiness, and therefore from now on I will gladly accept any 'dictatorial' (just kidding) suggestion on field-recordings or whatever. Even though I feel happier in flexible environments... and stay longer smile

    My two cents

    Dob

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    hey dob,

    I think "field recording" is rather specific... It refers to the place where the recording was done, rather than to the sound itself... Field recordings - as the name say - are done "in the filed", hence it's quite easy to taxonimise sounds being either field-recordings.... or not.

    Some people - Like Anton- say that field recordings are sounds where you have limited control over the sound itself. Birds whistling, paper rustling, the sound of a fire burning, etc etc...

    By no means I wanted to discourage you when I mailed you about the tag! I think some of your sounds are magnificant, although every time I haer them I think: "awww, I would love this sound to keep on going for 50 more seconds" grin

    - bram

    Warning: if you break the rules, see my avatar. Freesound Admin, Moderator, Ex-Freesound-Coder & Benevolent Dictator For Life.
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    Maybe the microphone has more to do with it, since in field recording it takes more of an instruments role rather than just being a tool in the chain of production. Choice of type and brand of microphone are going to determine greatly the end result, so for me field recordings are in part microphone-based recordings. Of course, all recordings are microphone-based, but the mic becomes the guitar so to speak, that is if the intention is to capture the natural environment as it is. Location-based as opposed to perhaps performative might be some differentiations, since field recordings may encompass both indoor and outdoor, and human intervention in environments. Perhaps better terms are Environmental recordings, R Murray Shafer and Francisco Lopez have written a bit on it, check out Audio Culture: Readings in Modern Music for ideas along those lines. I guess its a matter of what you do with the material after you've recorded it. Do you use it for sampling? Or create abstract pieces from the raw material, maybe you like it untouched or layer it to create artificial sonic environments? Field recording:...?: a base point of departure for a sonic project, to get ideas, explore sonic environments, collect sounds. Where u go from there is up to u grin

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    The term as I first heard it in ethnomusicology courses was applied to recordings "in the field" and clearly contrasted to a "studio recording." Equipment did have something to do with it, too, there being preferred recording instruments (tape recorders from Nagra and Uher and very few others, at the time) that were unlikely to be used in the studio, where heavier equipment prevailed.

    I still tend to think of a field recording as having some sort of association with a place and not recorded in a studio.

    But on reflection, all my acoustic recording could be field recordings. I don't have a sound studio in the usual sense of an acoustically isolated and prepared room.

    -- Paul

    |(*,+,#,happy(#,=,*,+)(=,#,+,*)(+,*,=,#)|
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    The sounds of nature and humanity...

    You can listen to field recordings on this newly updated web radio :
    TOUT TERRAIN
    http://live365.com/stations/fieldrec?play

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    This is just my philosophy on why I tag certain samples as "field-recording" and not others. Nobody else has to think this way, this is simply my justification for my behavior on the tagging.

    I do it for recordings where the idea was to create a recording of everything that could be heard by the mic and not just a particular sound or two, a "total sound environment", so to speak. The only editing I do is for time and I do no real processing at all, not even a volume boost.

    This is why a "natural" sample like http://freesound.iua.upf.edu/samplesViewSingle.php?id=13225 has the tag, but something like http://freesound.iua.upf.edu/samplesViewSingle.php?id=16999, which had lots of editing and is a particular instance of sound, does not.

    Just my two knuts.

    Inky
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    For me field recordings are the sessions you record out side of a controlled studio enviroment, even tho they may see some editing and processing in a studio later. I don't think Antons anechoic chamber applies....lol...sorry mang.

    Also the term comes directly from film so recording your guitar in your living room as opposed to your studio doesn't quite cut it as a field recording. smile

    Sonic Sound Designer :: Bioware :: Pandemic
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    I know this point has been said alot but i completely agree with sonic. When i hear the trem field recording, i think of ambiant recordings or recording of objects that are not in a controlled inviornment. I also thing of objects, sounds, not intruments or music...but hey, what do i know tongue

    "Sound is just experience without sight." Official Acclivity Fan Club - Founder and Member. Flac? Ogg? Aiff? Click Here For Help!
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    Hi I am new to this forum, so I hope I'm not just going over old stuff.
    It might be useful to think of field recording in terms of the locus of control. In the typical studio setting one controls the time at which the sound is generated and the time of recording, tries to ensure a good performance or a good signal etc. In other words there is an attempt to control as much as possible of the entire recording process. In field recordings control of a lot of the recording is given over to the environment. For example, the time of recording is controlled by the recordist, but not the time at which the source makes a sound. There is also typically only one performance, no retakes on demand. After the field recording is made there might be attempts to shift control back to the recordist through editing, processing etc.
    A field recording can take place in the studio - by recording the casual activities of the studio as a workplace, just as sometimes a little bit of the engineer or producers voice gets left on a recording (to give a bit of 'authenticity'). And a studio recording can be approximated outside of the recording studio. Take the live recording of a band. The technical quality of the recording can be just as good as in the studio. If you just record the one take of one concert that is getting close to being a field recording. But what if you record the band across a national tour and edit the best bits together? That seems to me more like a studio recording because the level of control over the finished recording is much the same as if one went into a studio and recorded the album.
    So perhaps the division between field and studio recording is mainly about how much control the recordist exercises over the recording rather than primarily being about the physical location.

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    Sounds like a pretty good distinction to me.

    But what if, for instance, you brought a frog into your studio and tried to record it chirping?

    Would that be a field recording by your definition? The frog might not chirp at all... although I would consider that a studio recording.

    Freesound Admin Official Acclivity Fan Club - Member Stuck with FLAC? Check the FAQ.
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    gsh

    So perhaps the division between field and studio recording is mainly about how much control the recordist exercises over the recording rather than primarily being about the physical location.

    Hi

    congratulations, impressive analysis! I think your reasoning is just perfect, the problem is that if we go into such depths with the terms we use everyday they lose any efficacy. For example, someone asks you: 'hey, what do you like most for holidays, mountain or beach?' Well, he/she often just wants to know if you prefer to bask under the sun or hike in the forests, not a detailed description of how far is the Atlantic Ocean from your vacation site, the height of the hills there, or whether you like to see monuments, fly to Italy or whatever smile

    It's evident to me that the distinction field vs studio recording is an artifice, because the number of possible recording situations and processes involved is huge (a mathematician would say that this is not a binary variable). A recording simply cannot be described with just one out of two alternatives.

    Then, why do we use a binary classification? Because we need to convey *some* information even if approximate: field or studio, outdoors or indoors, beach or mountain, fish or meat. We are not mathematicians, and language is about convenience, not accuracy! grin

    Saludos

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    Hi Dobroide - I agree with you about the language needing to be useful but i can't help myself with splitting hairs - I'm an academic type (neuroscience PhD). Perhaps as a rough heuristic field recording could be thought of as a recording of events that would have occurred even if the recordist wasn't there smile
    also relates to recording the frog in the studio - good example and i also wouldn't think of that as a field recording

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    [gsh wrote]Perhaps as a rough heuristic field recording could be thought of as a recording of events that would have occurred even if the recordist wasn't there

    That's why I think recorder/mic induced noises can legitimately be removed from field recordings.

    (I don't know how you use this quote thingy)

    Freesound Moderator "Close your eyes, and you're almost there!"
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    I agree acclivity - I suppose the argument for keeping the glitches in is like Brechtian distancing in theatre and cinema verite (is that the spelling?) - we should see that it is an artifice. I find that a little condescending - we know we are hearing (seeing) something artificial but we want to suspend disbelief and engage/get into the experience. It's a bit too puritianical for me not to support that desire for engagement.

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    gsh
    Hi Dobroide - I agree with you about the language needing to be useful but i can't help myself with splitting hairs - I'm an academic type (neuroscience PhD). Perhaps as a rough heuristic field recording could be thought of as a recording of events that would have occurred even if the recordist wasn't there smile
    also relates to recording the frog in the studio - good example and i also wouldn't think of that as a field recording

    grin Academic type here too (Biology PhD), but IMO 'life is complex, we should not make it complicated' (sentence not mine). The dichotomy filed/studio may seem poor at first sight, but it actually conforms to a Fuzzy Logic approach which has proved quite adequate for complex subjects like language. May sound very technical, but actually it's just a way of processing data by allowing partial set membership rather than crisp set membership or non-membership. More here:
    http://www.seattlerobotics.org/encoder/mar98/fuz/fl_part1.html#WHAT%20IS%20FUZZY%20LOGIC?)

    Dont take me wrong, I fully agree with your initial analysis, it's just that splitting hairs may result in serious mental paralysis when you record several dozen samples, upload them to Freesound, and have to provide an individual description for each!! grin

    Ps: acclivity, to use the quote thingy just press 'quote' by the post, instead of 'reply'

    saludos

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