Top 5 Books On Field Recording

Sound recording is not just about what you make in the studio but also about the possibilities outside the studio. Recording sound in a studio and out in the field has different types of challenges. From acoustics to background noises and more. Anything can happen once you are out exploring.

The field recording setup is not the same, the space is not the same, and the workflow is not the same. It keeps on changing with each project.

The best way to prepare for these uncertainties is by learning from the stories of people working in the fields. To help you understand and master field recording techniques, I have shortlisted the Top 5 Books on Field Recording.

Top 5 Books On Field Recording

Here’s a list of Top 5 Books on Field Recording:

  1. Earth Is A Jukebox – by Gordon Hempton
  2. Understanding Records: A Field Guide To Recording Practice – by Jay Hodgson
  3. The Beautiful Music All Around Us: Field Recordings and the American Experience – by Stephen Wade
  4. In the Field: The Art of Field Recording – by Cathy Lane & Angus Carlyle
  5. Metaphonics: The Field Works Listener's Guide – by Stuart Hyatt 

Earth Is A Jukebox

Earth Is A JukeBox – by Gordon Hempton is a digital guide to listening, recording and sound designing with nature.

Acoustic ecologist Gordon Hempton is one of the bestselling environmental recording artists in the world.

Why Do I Recommend This Book?

In this book, the author shares the art and science behind the field recordings. He shares information on how sound behaves in the natural environment and how this information can be applied to produce commercial-standard field recordings. 

This book is an introductory how-to guide to letting nature be your muse. Reading this book will help you learn how to listen, set up and record evocative sound effects out in the field. Seventeen chapters explain the principles of acoustic ecology. 

This book will help boost your creativity and will help you think outside the box.

Who Is This Book For?

Anyone interested in experimenting, field recording, and designing sounds with nature should read this book.

This book will also help you get creative and understand more than just studio workflow. Even if you spend most of your time inside a studio, reading this book will help you gain a new perspective.

You can buy the PDF here.

Understanding Records: A Field Guide To Recording Practice 

Understanding Records: A Field Guide To Recording Practice – by Jay Hodgson presents the musical language of recording practice in a way that any interested reader or student can understand.

Jay Hodgson is an associate professor of popular music studies and an author or editor of numerous books on mastering recording. 

Why Do I Recommend This Book?

In this book, the author draws his insight on hit records produced since 1945. He shares a progressive record-making sequence of the engineering techniques and core productions used in these records.

This book provides information on the technical concepts of recording practices clarifying how these techniques work, how they function musically, what they sound like and more.

Reading this book will help you attain a better understanding of the construction of musical recordings and will introduce you to a technical background of field recording.

Who Is This Book For?

A must-read for individuals interested in understanding the technical side of music production or field recording.

After reading this book, you will explore sounds and start using your own field samples in your music. 

 

The Beautiful Music All Around Us: Field Recordings and the American Experience

The Beautiful Music All Around Us: Field Recordings and the American Experience – by Stephen Wade features a thorough and creative exploration of the history of recordings made for the Library of Congress between the 1930s and 1942.

Stephen Wade is a musician, recording artist, and author and is well-known for his stage performances of Banjo Dancing and On the Way Home.

Why Do I Recommend This Book?

This book brings a close look into the lives of people whose performances were collected in the Library of Congress. These performances were recorded in people’s houses, churches, kitchens, garages, prisons, hotels, porches and school auditoriums. 

This book presents the stories of these recordings along with a CD that shares actual recordings from ordinary people. They captured everyday sounds of life such as words, children's laughs, tunes of traditional songs, neighbour’s comments, vehicle sounds and more. 

These recordings have influenced the sounds we often hear in songs every day without a thought about where they might have been created.

Who Is This Book For?

A must-read for anyone interested in field recordings, folklore, popular music, southern cultures, and race relations.

In the Field: The Art of Field Recording 

In the Field: The Art of Field Recording – by Cathy Lane & Angus Carlyle features a collection of interviews with contemporary sound artists who use field recording in their work. The information provided within this book reveals the fundamental issues that underlie the development of field recording.

Why Do I Recommend This Book?

In this book, the authors share a collection of brief interviews with a wide range of field recordists. They disclose the process of field recording from their very first time to what they are using today. 

The book provides information on their preferred approach and technique based on their experience and specific scenarios. This book features information on what motivates these sound artists, the field recording equipment they use, and various ways of recording in the field.

Reading this book will provide you with lots of creative ideas that will encourage you to go out and practice the art of field recording.

Who Is This Book For?

This is the book for anyone interested in sound art or field recording and who wants to know the workings of many sound artists.

Metaphonics: The Field Works Listener's Guide 

Metaphonics: The Field Works Listener's Guide – by Stuart Hyatt is a collection of essays that compels us to pay attention to the beauty of sound.

Stuart Hyatt is a Grammy-nominated artist and musician. He is the producer of Field Works and specialises in transforming field recordings into music.

Why Do I Recommend This Book?

This book provides a comprehensive track-by-track guide to the seven-album box set of Field Works.

Field Works is a collaborative series in which the author along with many experimental artists collaborate to transform field recordings into soothing music. The author has spent years collecting and arranging sounds, conveying the interpretation of place through sound.

This book includes an audio download card of the entire Field Works collection, featuring never-before-heard music from various recording artists. 

Reading this book will give you many creative ideas to try. It will encourage you to learn and master the art of field recording. 

You can also check out Stuart’s musical project Field Works on Spotify and Youtube.

Who Is This Book For?

A must-read to all field recording enthusiasts or anyone simply curious to know what wonders can be done with the sound of nature.

 

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Udeeksh Sood on

Udeeksh is an Audio Engineer and Co-Founder of learnmusicproduction.in. He loves to produce music, research music gear, play guitar, go on treks and road trips.