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    gear fear


    Hi,
    I like to make little fake audio dramas, and I use freesounds for them. I don't do anything with them, just show a few friends and keep them in the music folder and basically grade myself on my editing because I'm a newbie. So my question is, I've been using freesounds a whole lot to get sounds for these, but I'd like to start making my own sounds, so that, if I wish, I could maybe make one that isn't so private, though I couldn't post them anywhere anyway because they're only audio. I have goldwave, audacity, and a cheapish $50 ish microphone. I also have a phone and a device that is for the blind which can do many things including record mp3. To make my own sounds, do i have to have a nice stereo recorder? I make music too but record that with audacity. How do some of you make synthetic realistic sounds? Do you use midi?
    Any tips would help me be less dependent.

    Thanks.

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    191 sounds
    74 posts


    Some nice sound recorder goes a long way. Some nice mics too.

    Recording with bad quality gear works against you in many ways. It is hard and sometimes impossible to record some specific sounds in a way that they sound right. Much more likely you end up getting "some hit-like noise" instead "door being closed" or "some hiss" instead of "cloth movement" etc. In other words, bad gear wastes your time if you're going for realistic sounds.

    The power of lofi gear is you have to be inventive and very creative, to make it work. That way you may get better at problemsolving even after you get proper gear. For some work it's even better to be forced to work with very stylized lofi sounds, because of the character you'll get in the end.

  • avatar
    319 sounds
    26 posts


    I suggest that you start with the phone and the other device you own right now. Just record anything that make sound. Pens, papers, cars, books. You name it. Do it with your cheap microphone. When you've recorded things, listen to them and give them some editing. For example compression, EQ, reverse, (yes, it will be fun!), echo and anything you could imagine. Another way you can boost your creativity is by getting some free VST-plugins and maybe synths.

    The thing is that you just record anything that makes sound and then edit it in any way you can imagine.

    Couple of links for some tips.

    First tips for editing the recorded files.

    http://www.musicradar.com/tuition/tech/18-expert-sound-design-tips-and-tricks-613516

    From here you can find tips how to make different sounds.

    http://www.epicsound.com/sfx/

  • avatar
    2071 sounds
    2254 posts


    BlakeNT wrote:
    Hi,
    I like to make little fake audio dramas, and I use freesounds for them. I don't do anything with them, just show a few friends and keep them in the music folder and basically grade myself on my editing because I'm a newbie. So my question is, I've been using freesounds a whole lot to get sounds for these, but I'd like to start making my own sounds, so that, if I wish, I could maybe make one that isn't so private, though I couldn't post them anywhere anyway because they're only audio. I have goldwave, audacity, and a cheapish $50 ish microphone. I also have a phone and a device that is for the blind which can do many things including record mp3. To make my own sounds, do i have to have a nice stereo recorder? I make music too but record that with audacity. How do some of you make synthetic realistic sounds? Do you use midi?
    Any tips would help me be less dependent.

    Thanks.

    Surprisingly, this is a very difficult question to answer because there are so many ways of going about creating sounds...
    Its like asking "what is the best way to create a picture?" - Of what? For what purpose? In what medium? There are so many things you can use: charcoal, pencil, pen, ink, watercolour, oil... Each with its own advantages, disadvantages, limitations and techniques...
    Or
    "What is the best way of making a school project?" - About what? At what level (primary school, university?), what are the requirements (length? will there be a presentation or just a written essay?)

    So, back to sounds...
    When I started all I had was a cheap webmic (~£5). I had lots of fun using effects and sometimes feedback loops. My first sounds here at Freesound were created that way.
    I also created lots of sounds using software synths and effects - since these sounds are created entirely inside your computer, recording gear and noise is not a problem.

    If you want to record, WHAT do you want to record?
    - recording outside will most likely require decent mics with windshields. - although some decent results might be possible with your phone (try). Avoid wind. Place the phone in a place that gives protection from wind, if possible. A small breeze is enough to ruin a recording.
    Also remember that when recording outside you will likely get plenty of (potentially unwanted) noise: people, cars, birds, airplanes... So, even with good mics, can be a challenge to get ust the sounds you want.
    - If recording indoors, you typically have a lot more control over the sounds you record (especially if you are making them) and the noise around you.
    Maybe you can try recording at night or at times of day when there is less noise? (neighbours, cars, etc
    Obviously, turn off the TV, radio, etc. Remember other things that make noise: fridges, clocks, etc. Close doors and windows to isolate sound as much as possible.
    A mic placed closer to the source will record less ambient noise and room reverb, and vice-versa.

    The best way to learn is to experiment.
    Try your different recording equipment. You can compare them, by recording the same sound. Experiment with levels, mic proximity. Also experiment with post-processing. Audacity has a decent noise-removal algorithm that can clean up recordings if the noise level is low enough. If the noise is too high or noise-reduction is used in excess, you get clear artifacts.

    You will learn to overcome, avoid or circumvent some of your gear's limitations. There is always the option to come to Freesound and get (or ask for) the sounds you cannot/make record yourself.

    For sounds created in software there is an enormous list of software synths, many of them free.
    Again, the choice depends on what you are trying to create: synths, drums, piano, FX...

    I want to believe.

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