All posts in the category "Sound Collections"

Web applications and cloud computing to facilitate organization, sharing, and exchanging files in remote post production

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

This article will address the topic of Web-based applications that can be efficient tools to organize and manage team work, particularly in audio and sound related environments, but also for remote postproduction in general.

Throughout the course of a production, there are many aspects that are not directly related to the job at hand. For example: organization, data management, task allocation, backups, scheduling, and the exchanging of files are all very important tasks that rarely receive the attention they deserve. In recent years I have incorporated several new ways to improve communication and data management between collaborators of a sound project, as there are many new resources out there aimed at boosting productivity and communication in remote work environments. Although these tools will never replace human contact, they do enhance the fluidity of the process and augment certain elements of collaboration in new and interesting ways. I plan on continuing to integrate these tools to better exploit their full potential and I encourage their widespread adoption by other teammates and members of the audio community.

The overall objective is to simplify the process of project supervision and execution for all the steps between task & responsibility allocation up through the final delivery. This desire for simplification and improvement comes in response to existing organizational and efficacy related hindrances that we have encountered thus far. One way we have achieved improvements in these department is by centralizing information via shared cloud resources in order to minimize the need for direct exchanges of information, schedules, documents, and files between team members. These modifications to our workflow increase flexibility as a team in our collective ability to quickly respond to changing needs, demands, deadlines and budget considerations.

The challenge lies not only in discovering the tools that are available, but also in collectively trying them out, and finally choosing and agreeing on a selected list of the Web (and otherwise) applications that best suit both our needs and the needs of our customers. I am always open to trying out new solutions that can improve the flow of audiovisual production, though I do prefer applications that are polyvalent and versatile. Please feel free to post your recommendations for other efficient collaboration/organizational tools in the comments below. It is by experimenting with various prospects that we will eventually arrive at and agree upon specific solutions that best fit our respective workflows. As a kick off, here are a few that I am trying out right now.

Asana: a project and task manager

I had the opportunity to implement Asana during the last season of work. It proved to be a useful platform for assigning tasks to specific team members, and for following their progress and confirming accomplishment. It allows us, amongst many other things, to keep track of tasks and to-do lists as well as being a good communication platform for team members. Features like email reminders and project updates allow the team members to stay informed with completed and incompleted tasks of a particular project. Asana is free for 15 collaborators and less. A Smart Phone and Wifi Device App makes it portable and enables instant access to consult and to modify any parameter of a given projects.

Dropbox, a reliable storage solution with many possibilities

  • Automatic synchronization and simple sharing properties and presentation of who is co-sharing folders
  • Ability to share sessions between Pro Tools users

Very useful for sending, storing, synchronizing, and sharing files via the public link. I updated my account from the basic to the 100 Gig package. When I work on a project, I can now have a Protools session (along with related audio files) on Dropbox, which I can then share with my teammates. We can collaborate remotely on the same session (just not at the same time). There is a lot of potential in improving the editing workflow using Dropbox, and I look forward to integrating it more and more in the future.

WeTransfer: a simple file sharing application with a download link in an email

  • Email confirmation of receipt
  • File size limit to 2 Gig.

WeTransfer has been reliable, fast, direct. When the user sends the file, the application will then takes care of multiple steps all at once (faster, better, cheaper! Yes it is possible):

  • Direct uploading the file to WeTransfer
  • Sending the recipient a notification email with a note from the sender
  • the recipient accesses a direct download link
  • the application sends a confirmation when the file has been downloaded by the recipient to complete the exchange

Google Docs/Drive

  • sharing and editing multiple types of files and multi-user setup

When organizing a recording session with several sound recordists, we can set up a shared folder in Google Drive in which we put all important documents and data concerning a recording session, such as location, pictures, maps, sounds, videos, activity descriptions in reference to time, and equipment used, such as which microphones were in use and their perspectives or orientation. These comments are modifiable and accessible by anyone, anywhere, at any time, and are very useful in organizing and managing the metadata afterwards. We encountered a few times with file size limits of documents and spreadsheets in Google Drive which has forced us to split our documents in multiple sets.

Google Apps

There are many ways to share photos, calendars, contacts, sounds, files, and documents using Google Apps. Searching, translating, scheduling, chatting, sending, alerting and file sharing are amongst the list of features you benefit from Google Apps.

Vimeo: a Public and private Video Player

  • Easy to share videos

Skype conversations, with free long distance

  • Possibility for ADR and projections

In many occasions, Skype really is a way to share video conversation. I recall one conversation with a film director making a final cut on the picture edit while watching, on Skype, the mixing studio screen with final mix sound.

Soundcloud, an audio sharing platform that provides multiple interfaces

I use it to share sounds with others. Further, the sounds can be embedded on web sites
Visit my Soundcloud Profile to explore my shared sounds and Demos of my SFX sound collections!

Evernote: a catalog of notebooks, it can include all sorts of file types such as sounds and images

  • Library of all information
  • Possibility to share notebooks with Premium account
  • The web clipper is a good way to store all web based information

Evernote offers several ways to create notes. It is possible to write, record, photograph, send an email and even use the web clipper from a web browser. When using a portable device with a GPS chip, It also integrates many functions of localization. When connected to the Internet, it gives access to the entire library of notebooks, a valuable source of information at my fingertips.

Feedly: an RSS subscription notifier, to stay informed with selective news

Using RSS feeds allows me to stay informed without having to actively seek out new information on subjects I’m interested in. I get a notice everytime a site I follow has updated. Feedly also has a nice user interface that integrates well with Smart Phones and Devices.

Of course, there are many other solutions that can provide similar services out there, so help me add to my list, by contributing with your suggestions. It is important to collectively adopt these new powerful tools, as their strengths are only realized in a collaborative setting. It is essential to test them out and to include them in our workflow on a regular basis. I believe that there is room for improvement in nearly all aspects of a production, and by pushing for the integration and uptake of these new tools we will continually refine our working habits. But it is only once we endorse these new solutions that we can then benefit for every other sound adventure ahead.

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Sound effects and sound libraries: the more the better when searching for the right sound

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

Sound effects libraries

Sound design and sound effects editing to picture is the sonic interpretation of a scene. The diversity and the endless quest for the high quality sounds that each project demands is always a challenge. Filling all the sound needs of each project with high quality sound effects is a tremendously huge, unpredictable and long quest that a lot of people tend to ignore or even worse, take for granted, although that is where resides a great part of the richness of the result. Sound Libraries are really the source of all the sounds used by the sound designers.

Having worked many years for or in collaboration with larger scale sound post production facilities that own large commercial CD Sound effects libraries and rich original recordings libraries, I am well aware of the benefit of having a large, rich and complete sound library. Hundreds of thousands of sounds searchable and directly importable in a Pro Tools FX session. A prerequisite for an optimal sound design. As a freelance sound designer, now it happens more frequently that I provide all audio services of a project for which I have to personally hold the rights to use each sound effect in the sound design. I had to find appropriate solutions to meet my sonic needs.

Addressing that particular issue of freelance and remote sound editing, Pro Sound Effects offers The Hybrid Library for Freelancers & Independents. I bought it at a promotion price and It got delivered on my porch on a Orange Lacie Rugged 500 gig, filled with 350 Gig of sounds. It was a real pleasure to unfold, plug and listen to it the first time and scanning through the 59 419 unique sounds, regrouping many sound collections such as SONOPEDIA 2.0, BW Imaging Elements, Zombie Apocalypse, Foundation Library, SCSE Basic, 5.1, Animals I, Foley I, Rare Animals, Technology Water! It’s like a breath of fresh air, especially because most of these sounds are not internationally spread. The recordings specifications, sound qualities and microphones vary between the different libraries from good to very good. It has few 5.1 ambiences too. Hopefully, other providers will follow in similar or even better offerings…

Aside from that recent acquisition, I bought many Independent SFX libraries directly from the net. They are very interesting in adding flavor, originality, richness, precision, and diversity to a specific sound design. All these specialized sound libraries really contribute to improving my sound designs. I recently had the opportunity to try a lot of them together in a more sound design oriented TV Mini Series Cat 8. Ultimate Fire HD, Unseen Noises, Hologram room, Jet Turbines, Rockets, Contact Mic are front and center throughout the first episode. It’s on Netflix now! You can find direct links to many at Creative Field Recording.

A Danish initiative, proposes to consolidate and bring together collections of independent SFX libraries in a large catalog of collections of sounds. This facilitates the discovery of several other manufacturers of sound libraries. My MPSFX Sound effects collections are part of their growing catalog!

Sharing and exchanging personal recordings with others is a good way to mutually enrich our sound libraries. Many crowd sourcing projects have arisen on the net. I even exchange my sound collections with other sound library makers. I have been also involved in many recent multi-microphone and multi-recordist recording session. Sharing the content among all the participants. Please contact me if you are interested in collaborating.

I intend to release new sound collections in the coming months. As a sound collection maker, I guarantee that the price of my sound collections is not reflective of the large amount of time it took to record, edit, master and publish them. I still have to sell a lot of libraries in order to cover my expenses. I certainly need your encouragement and support in order to continue doing so! Please visit the MPSFX Sound Effects store to explore the sound collections. Here are links to the different collection pages: MPSFX_TRAINS01, MPSFX_WATER01, MPSFX_ENGINE01, MPSFX_CRYSTAL.

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I am very happy to finally introduce this sound collection, MPSFX_ENGINE01, made of a very particular vehicle: a three-wheeled motorcycle, the Campagna T-Rex 2006. These recordings are valuable as a construction kit for all sorts of vehicle related sound design, not just specifically for motorcycle sounds. They can easily be pitched or processed to fit all sorts of engine related sound design.

The star of this collection is a Kawasaki 1200 CC motor. The vehicle is a three weeler motorcycle built in Quebec from Campagna Motors named the T-Rex.

It has an incredible performance of 0-60 mph in 4.1 seconds! All the regular moves, such as pull away, pull up, and pass by at various speeds have been performed. We specifically focused on the sound of acceleration and deceleration with other kinds of movement that emphasize on the grinding and aggressive noises that this engine can produce. The driver surely knew how to pilot his vehicle!

There are two different package of the collection, one Lite version that contains the basic moves and one Max version that is more complete, and includes moves at faster speeds. The price is 35 $ for the Lite version and 50 $ for the Max version.

Please visit the collection page of MPSFX_ENGINE01 for more details about the recordings and access the SFX Store.

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Categories: Sound Collections

Portable and discrete sound recording kit

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

I often carry with me an ultra portable recording kit for weekends,  in the countryside, city walks and other public places.  In addition to being compact and discrete, it reproduces the environment, it’s acoustics and specificity.

This is a binaural recording system that I have personally fitted into a bag that I wear around the waist. It produces a smooth and natural stereo sound. It is particularly immersive. It is very realistic to headphones listeners.

It consist’s of a pair of DPA 4060 omnidirectional microphones mounted and self powered by Core Sound battery box(here) and a M-Audio’s MicroTrack I.  The mic preamps of the recorder are not the ideal, I have to say, but I usually don’t need to push them too much.  It’s a gain in portability and discretion.  All this comes in the bag. I can go almost anywhere.  It is worn around my waist because I’d rather have the mobility of my head at all times. The Rycote’s and the mics are on both sides of the bag.

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Monday, June 20th, 2011

Seventeen years of projects, recordings and sound design are behind the creation of this website and my online Sound effects Collections store, available to sound designers from all over!

Development of a sound designers community on the Internet
In recent years, a larger growing community of sound designers took up residence on the Internet.  Sites like Designing Sound or SoundWorks Collection succeeded in firmly establishing themselves and offering a variety of very accurate content.  Their use of social media such as Facebook and Twitter has contributed to spread and extend the phenomenon.  The number gives even more meaning to sharing!  Other user forums sites such as Social Sound Design and have become very popular platforms and facilitate discussions on any topic of interest regarding various postproduction sound professions.  Sound designers, mixers and other recognized professionals participate more and more actively.  Information is available to anyone who seeks it. I subscribe to this trend that seems beneficial and here to stay.  I would like to contribute progressively over time.

Bilingual website
The site is available in French and English. One way to promote exchanges between film cultures!

Exploring the site
The links on the right column lead to other sound design sites of high quality. They have inspired me and I warmly thank the authors.  The Films section covers my work as a film sound designer.  I wrote a text for the latest most significant work.

Sound Collections
The sound collections will be made available online gradually. The first two have the following labels:


Enjoy your visit!


SoundCloud account:

French RSS feed:

Subscription to the newsletter:[contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]

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Launch of my first sound collection! MPSFX_WATER01

Monday, June 20th, 2011

direct link to the online boutique of the Collection MPSFX_WATER01

This collection of water sounds focuses on different water surface sounds and water actions, such as lapping, waves, streams, brooks and rivers in different states and conditions.  These are the most interesting sounds from my personal sound library in the category WATER.  This category would be good for adding more precision and textures in doing sound design for films, video games, television, theater, webtv or other sound requirements.

At first, I approach the sounds of watercourses.  Ditch, brook, stream, lake, river, cavern, sea, lapping, reef, wave are on the menu.  Sometimes, there are different perspectives of the same subject.

The sound of water varies greatly depending on the morphology of the site, the type of watercourse, its flow, the weather conditions, the seasons and the sound recording itself.  The key for me as a sound editor and sound designer is to maximize the possibilities.

The sounds were mostly recorded during various trips, first to the United States, in August 1994 when I traveled alone, microphone in hand, from East to West and North to South through a large part of U.S. territory, then in the Quebec rural and natural areas (boreal forest) of North America with its streams, lakes and rivers and also the St-Lawrence River and Gaspé Peninsula.

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Categories: News, Sound Collections

Launch of a new sound collection MPSFX_TRAINS01

Monday, June 20th, 2011

Consulting my sound effects library to determine the choice of the starting collections helped me notice the large range of train sounds that I collected through the years. The sounds of trains have always been very inspiring for me.

iStock_000000758775XSmall01They are part of the large family of industrial sounds. Steam trains, electric trains and diesels are on the menu. Trains become a topic interesting to develop in sound design. They are excellent for locating a place, a neighbourhood, to drive a scene, to mark the passing of time, to distract, to make a transition effect or other particular sound effect.  They can also be a lot more than just trains.

The collection of train sounds is made of atmospheres or ambiences, usually quite long, including grinding, rumbling, vibrating, steam hissing, Dopplers, horns, pass-bys, whistling, swishing, singing, rhythmic beats, clanking and squealing.

Key Elements:

  • A steam train with most movements necessary:
  • A 24-hours Electric train ride, in Eastern Europe that I did in 1996.
  • Train movements, pass-bys, squeaks, Doppler, creaks, crackles, rattles and others are included:
  • Sounds in rail yards with locomotives and rail impacts and Diesel Engines complete the collection of sounds

Here is a preview via my SoundCloud account:
DEMO MPSFX_TRAINS01 by martin pinsonnault

A wide range of possibilities for sound design
The large palette of sonorities and the large spectral response of train sounds added to the processing possibilities of pitch, EQ, compressors and other sound programs and tools, then added to the sound of movement makes it a very powerful tool for sound editor and sound designers or any audio artist in films, video games and  other sound editing profession.  By using various plugins, sounds of trains can be transformed into multiple objects and sounds. The possibilities are limited only by the extent of our imagination!

Metadata and technical specifications

The Metadata, embedded in the wav file, includes a clear definition of each sound, using an exhaustive vocabulary of audio description, available in English and French for the moment.  It is compatible with most DAW’s and Audio Software available.  The Metadata has a huge potential for the treatment of any digital file such as photos, videos and sounds. This cataloguing tool becomes very enriching for any type of sound editor, sound designer, audio artist or web designer. Descriptions are more precise and exhaustive and searches can be more specific by combining words when searching. I also hope this site deepens the theme of Metadata in future years. I followed what many of you have written on the subject. I already have few ideas!

Stay connected via my RSS feed to follow the discussion.

Technical Specifications:

  • 2 Go of original stereo recording sounds
  • 113 minutes of train sound textures and variations
  • Ideal for sound editor, sound designer, audio artist or web designer
  • Complete and exhaustive Metadata
  • Compatible with most DAW’s and Audio Softwares
  • Recorded with a DAT at 48kHz/ 16 bits using line-in and  Schoeps MS microphones (MK4 & MK8)  coupled to the supply box VMS02IB
  • Adjusted, decoded and mastered  in Pro Tools at 48kHz/24 bits
  • 53 TRACKS OF SOUND EFFECTS delivered  as a .wav file at 48kHz/24 bits

P.S. I will address specifically the railway station sounds and crowds in future collections.

Click on the picture or the link to go directly to the collection page:

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Categories: News, Sound Collections