You might be a sound recordist if

22

6

You are recording yourself typing right now.

You've just destroyed an expensive piece of equipment during a session, but you're OK with that because it sounded cool.

You accidentally dropped a bottle of something and it broke, smashing everywhere, and the first thought through your head was "Man, I wish I had recorded that..."

These are just a few off the top of my head... Let's start an amazing list!!!

Shootfirst
(source: shootfirst.co.uk)

Colin Hart

Posted 2010-05-27T01:30:15.687

Reputation: 7 588

Iain, that is an amazing picture... – Colin Hart – 2010-05-29T15:27:29.457

I don't have a photo of it, but something very similar happened to me with a falcon once. The windscreen looked just like the lure the trainer used in the bird's act and to the bird thought it was food--just grabbed hold with its beak and would not let go. Got the whole thing on tape someplace. – Joe Griffin – 2010-05-31T02:45:06.760

Coming back to this a year later - it's hilarious that this picture is on this post, since I have now had a zeppelin eaten by a gator :-) – Colin Hart – 2011-09-03T07:12:15.853

Has it really been a year? Wow. I love SSD. I'm going to buy a t-shirt that says that. And then answer this thread again with that as one of the points ... – Utopia – 2011-09-04T04:37:37.503

Answers

22

Great answers so far.

-Your girlfriend knows the exact meaning of "the look" (which she often sees come from your face when traveling abroad) and she immediately says "you want to stop and record this don't you." You try to convince her that it is great for the soul to stop, sit quietly, and meditate on the sounds around you every once and awhile, while you whip out your pocket recorder and set levels. You record an ambience for five minutes and realize that if you go much longer, your relationship will be at risk.

-You feel shame if you use a sound from the Hollywood Edge PE or Sound Ideas 6000 in your design.

-When cooking, you go to pull a pair of tongs out of the kitchen gadget drawer. Instead of removing the near-burning food from the pan, you hold them up to your ears and imagine how you'd use them as a foley prop (as dinner gets ruined).

-You've used more condoms for SM57 hydrophone experiments than their intended use.

-You believe that it is important to record traffic in every city you visit. Because you honestly think that traffic in San Diego sounds different than traffic in Portland, and you want to tell the director that their ambiences are "completely authentic."

Justin P

Posted 2010-05-27T01:30:15.687

Reputation: 5 344

tongs, you mean...right? – Joe Griffin – 2010-05-27T22:09:29.227

3OMG, Justin: The Girlfriend stare and the SM57 condom reference FTW!

Joe: You mean you don't keep spare thongs in the kitchen drawers? And, hey, aren't thongs kind of drawers themselves? ;-) – NoiseJockey – 2010-05-28T01:01:35.187

Opps...yes tongs (you can tell where my mind was at). – Justin P – 2010-05-28T16:39:55.090

Oh boy, I hear that 6030 Big Woosh everywhere these days. – Utopia – 2011-09-02T19:15:56.317

16

... You make your kids play out in the cold to get them sick so you can record their flegmy throats.

... You wish there was an EQ knob on your mother in-law because when she's angry, that 2.5K zing in her voice is too harsh for you to listen to.

... You have a road case for your wallet and another for your pencil.

... You turn to your date in the movie theater while watching Titanic's most intimate scene and ask her "how did they mic Leo with a lapel when he's neck-high in water?"

... You run up and stop a wedding as the minister says "you may now kiss the bride" to adjust the SM57 to be pointed more directly at the minister while he's at the podium.

... You move someone you are having a casual conversation with to a different corner of the room so that there are better acoustics.

... You tell your wife to stop chewing so loudly because you can't stand mouth noise.

... You get in fights with teenagers at the movies to secure the middle of the theater because it's the "sweet spot"

... You ask for your money back because the theater's right speaker was down .5 dB in the high-end.

... Your license plate says "MS OR DIE"

... Your dogs' names are "Pink Noise" and "1K".

... Your bedroom and bathroom is lined with aurolex.

... You try to hit the undo button after you made a mistake while you're filling out a doctor's information form.

... You've measured your boss' yelling at you with an SPL meter.

... Your doorbell ring is the Wilhelm Scream.

Utopia

Posted 2010-05-27T01:30:15.687

Reputation: 14 155

The worst theater offender to me was during Source code... it was crashed down to mono playing out of the Left channel only ::facepalm:: – Stavrosound – 2011-09-02T19:17:47.280

15

... you make mental mix notes during real situations, for later reference

eg i walked past a building/construction site a few years ago - they were pouring concrete into a second story floor space & the whole thing collapsed. I distinctly remember the moment of peaceful silence after the collapsing sounds stopped, but before the shouting & sirens started... (thankfully no one died)

eg kissing a girl in a bar & listening to see if the background music goes away/alters...

eg walking along streets looking to people's feet & trying to decide how well mixed their foley is...

eg listening to distant impacts and trying to decide if anyone would let you cut sound FX so out of sync...

user49

Posted 2010-05-27T01:30:15.687

Reputation:

@tim - "how well their foley is mixed"... lmmfao!!! Now THAT's hardcore. – Syndicate Synthetique – 2011-05-02T00:48:14.503

@tim I think I'm gunna start making a pointy of doing this now ;) – Stavrosound – 2011-08-29T22:02:55.037

15

...you keep your ear to the ground to check for cool LFE.

...you are a good listener to everything except the content of what's being said. (That'd make you a production mixer, too, for the record.)

...you wear your cans just to keep your hat from falling off.

...your fists sound like whooshing bamboo during bar brawls.

...when you move slowly or carefully, you pitch your voice down by an octave.

...you're not happy to see her/him, that really is a boompole in your pocket.

...back in Soviet Russia, the sounds recorded you! </smirnoff>

NoiseJockey

Posted 2010-05-27T01:30:15.687

Reputation: 11 088

lol I still laugh when I read this. Thanks, Nathan! – Utopia – 2011-05-03T01:06:40.023

amazing. Especially the one about listening intently with no idea of what was actually said. I'm very guilty of that! – Colin Hart – 2010-05-29T15:27:07.553

14

... your friends and family call you before throwing stuff away because they know you'll be disappointed if it had noise-making potential and didn't let you know about it.

Matt Cavanaugh

Posted 2010-05-27T01:30:15.687

Reputation: 1 811

11

... you have a long-standing arrangement with all your beer drinking friends to save their bottles because you can never have too many shatter sounds.

... you have about 100 empty beer bottles in your garage just waiting for the moment their lives will come to a gloriously sweetened end.

... you have your friends trained to report all unique sounds they hear to you. eg. someone runs out of the public restroom to find you simply to say "Oh my god, you have to hear the motor on that paper towel dispenser!"

... you read the phrase "They dumped boiling water and oil on the French troops..." and your internal soundtrack fills in the Wilhelm scream.

Dave Matney

Posted 2010-05-27T01:30:15.687

Reputation: 4 087

1Number two is exactly me at the moment hah... well, not beer bottles, but a variety of bottle types. Sitting in a stash in the kitchen ;) – Stavrosound – 2011-08-29T22:02:26.463

1Ha! I have a box of 2 dozen factory-second coffee mugs in the basement awaiting the same fate. – Joe Griffin – 2011-09-02T17:58:59.680

1HAH! I collect burnt-out lightbulbs for that exact reason. I have yet to record one of them - but I must have 20 stashed in my studio somewhere... – Utopia – 2011-09-02T19:08:04.840

1Been starting to collect those light bulbs too. Shake em and the filaments make a cool sound! – Stavrosound – 2011-09-02T19:15:34.000

If you're really lucky, you can collect those tube lights, too. :) – Dave Matney – 2011-09-02T19:39:37.317

10

You end recognizing sounds at 1K. My studio phone's button beeps are 1K, always makes me smile.

You have famous sound effects as your ring tone/text alert on your phone. I love the strange looks I get from people when my phone (Wilhelm) screams when I get a text.

Physically injure yourself because you just had to get the sound right. I found it impossible to find the right object to get the sound of someone falling down some stairs.

ianjpalmer

Posted 2010-05-27T01:30:15.687

Reputation: 3 911

9

...you've ever frozen contact mics or hydrophones

...you plan an extra couple of hours into your road trip's drive time for amb recording

...your wife is ok with that.

...you'd bring the dog, except that you know she'll make noise

...you agonize for weeks over a mic purchase

...you build stuff to hide mics and recorders in

...you've spent weekends just driving out into the countryside looking for stuff to record

...the sound of thunder triggers a fast twitch mic setup response

...you imagine how that thing you're hearing right now would look in izotope

...you've ever hidden mics in your ears

...you've ever had a cop ask you to pick up your gear and leave

...your non-audio significant other can spot a 57 on TV a mile away

...you go antiquing to look for cool sounding props

...you imagine the sound of the destruction of the furniture left outside that guy's house up the street

...screw it, you go and get that furniture and break it.

...you never oil the hinges in your doors

Rene

Posted 2010-05-27T01:30:15.687

Reputation: 10 706

"Never oil the hinges.." Hahahaha! – Audiophile.2010 – 2012-03-20T20:18:12.227

ha! Great stuff - like the hydrophone thing - never frozen one before - good results?

Aside from not having a wife, I can relate to every single one of the rest of these :-) – Colin Hart – 2011-09-03T06:54:11.313

9

... you've ever been caught by normal human beings while recording sounds in odd ways

eg I got caught stomping & jumping on the roof of a car, late at night by a neighbour

(it was a donated car & I had mics inside, but how do you explain that easily?)

user49

Posted 2010-05-27T01:30:15.687

Reputation:

1eg... I was caught by a neighbor while swinging a 6 foot 2x4 with a giant ball of fire on the end of it in my back yard. Hey, I needed wooshes! (I should probably have a bigger back yard for this...) – Colin Hart – 2010-05-27T02:27:07.970

9

...you are in a serious moment talking with someone, you hear a weird sound in the background (like a crash or something). Your brain start thinking about the sound, and you think something like "oh my... I'd like to record that lovely noise!". When the lapse finishes, you realize that you stopped to listen the person in front of you and now you don't know what to say.

...you're working building something with a drill, and it gets burned and you see sparks. You think oh, great sound! Press the trigger again and hear the sparks again. You go for your recorder, press record... and there no sparks anymore. Now you realize that your drill is broken and you can't continue with the initial plan.

...you think about masking of different sounds in your environment, something like want to have faders for everything or a MUTE button to shut up your neighbors.

...you're with someone, an airplane passes by, and you say something like: hey, did you hear that nice doppler, dude!?

Miguel Isaza

Posted 2010-05-27T01:30:15.687

Reputation: 1 006

9

...you read this and giggle.

Andrew Spitz

Posted 2010-05-27T01:30:15.687

Reputation: 6 251

3...and record the giggle. – NoiseJockey – 2010-05-27T20:36:48.570

@NoiseJockey haha! Yes indeed. – Andrew Spitz – 2010-05-27T21:03:16.817

9

You make odd clicking sounds in rooms just to hear the reverb response. Cue more odd looks from normal people.

ianjpalmer

Posted 2010-05-27T01:30:15.687

Reputation: 3 911

I'm soooo guilty of this (and returning to get an impulse). I usually clap though. I could care less what anyone thinks.

@Colin, FS has some amazing sounding spaces in the halls and etc. Hit me up on FB and I'll give you a list of favorites. – Syndicate Synthetique – 2011-05-02T00:50:52.147

And later you return to get a recording for your convolution reverb plug-in. – None – 2010-05-29T10:17:59.813

I do this all the time! In fact, I found a few cool rooms just yesterday! – Colin Hart – 2010-05-29T15:26:13.457

1I do that all the time as well. I did that in the Disney Concert Hall and all these suits turned around and gave me a bad look. – Utopia – 2010-05-29T21:44:05.887

8

You close your eyes and just listen. No matter what you are doing.

user80

Posted 2010-05-27T01:30:15.687

Reputation:

3This is really bad when you're driving or riding your bike. – Dave Matney – 2011-09-02T19:07:37.020

7

After your first car accident all you could talk about was how cool it sounded and how you wish you could have recorded it (and your second and third accident for that matter).

E-Sound

Posted 2010-05-27T01:30:15.687

Reputation: 51

7

...you've ever set up more than two mics for one sound source.

...you've ever tried to explain the difference between room tone and ambience to someone.

...you've ever worn earplugs and headphones simultaneously.

Shaun Farley

Posted 2010-05-27T01:30:15.687

Reputation: 14 704

7

Instead of buying your 2 year-old the usual Triangle, Square, Circle puzzle to play with,

you give him the same toy but with XLR, BNC and TRS connectors.

Utopia

Posted 2010-05-27T01:30:15.687

Reputation: 14 155

great idea! I should do this. – AGZFX – 2011-09-26T05:56:05.263

1I am so gonna do that when i have kids... – Filipe Chagas – 2011-05-24T22:13:11.360

6

... you buy your shoes according to how much noise they make when you walk.

... you keep coins in your back pocket because those pockets move less than the front ones, and the coins make less noise back there. Even if you're not recording...

g.a.harry

Posted 2010-05-27T01:30:15.687

Reputation: 4 260

Check, and check – Filipe Chagas – 2011-05-01T18:20:27.530

5

You can put your headphones on with one hand

user49

Posted 2010-05-27T01:30:15.687

Reputation:

4

..you can't sleep because you think all night.. man, I should be up and record that owl.

Markus

Posted 2010-05-27T01:30:15.687

Reputation: 289

(true story, ask my wife about it..) – Markus – 2011-09-07T10:46:03.620

4

...you bring your D50 and a 1/8" minijack adapter to your unborn baby's ultrasound checkups to record the heartbeat in 24/96... more than once.

Guilty as charged. :)

theodorejordan

Posted 2010-05-27T01:30:15.687

Reputation: 961

4

... you walk down the street thinking man the world has really good surround sound!

... you find every formant region along your path and take a moment to hit it. Regardless if their anyone with you or not (same goes for cool reverb and echoes)

Amar

Posted 2010-05-27T01:30:15.687

Reputation: 144

4

You go to a party, everyone has cameras and you bring a portable audio recorder. Everyone needs party sounds! Don't they?

Si Charles

Posted 2010-05-27T01:30:15.687

Reputation: 973

4

you're on the subway and you'd wish people would be quiet so you could hear the train approaching without voices in the background

Chris

Posted 2010-05-27T01:30:15.687

Reputation: 2 594

That's my vacation in D.C. in a nutshell. – Joe Griffin – 2012-03-20T19:47:59.140

3

You have mastered the art of not breathing for as long as the red light is on.

AshleyBest

Posted 2010-05-27T01:30:15.687

Reputation: 21

3

... you laugh at the joke:

"There is so much comb filtering in here I can part my hair."

Utopia

Posted 2010-05-27T01:30:15.687

Reputation: 14 155

3

You custom-make your 2-beeps at 900Hz instead of the default 1k because you think it sounds better that way.

Joe Griffin

Posted 2010-05-27T01:30:15.687

Reputation: 1 439

1HAHAHAHA I changed my ADR beeps to be 500 not too long ago for this very reason. – Utopia – 2012-03-01T06:29:38.110

Ha! Fantastic! :-) – Joe Griffin – 2012-03-01T19:45:52.690

YES!!! That is perfect! – Audiophile.2010 – 2012-03-20T20:55:20.617

2

... because you habitually fill out the tip and total on a restaurant or bar bill written as timecode values instead of decimals.

Stavrosound

Posted 2010-05-27T01:30:15.687

Reputation: 6 616

1... And then when the waitress walks back and points out it's wrong to you, you take a look at it and say "Oh! Sorry! My mistake... I should have put a semicolon and not a colon... Darn that dropframe..." :) – Utopia – 2011-09-03T23:42:38.717

2

1) You've returned home and had to remove condoms, gaff tape, a couple mic clips, and a few patch cables to get to your keys.

2) You were puzzled by the shock of everyone around you as you pulled those items out of your pockets/bag.

3) You grit your teeth every time you hear high frequency feedback.

4) You've been questioned by campus authorities as to why you were hanging around a hallway dropping different pens for 2 hours.

5) You build a soundscape in your head every morning on the bus because the engine sounds cool.

gahoolecat

Posted 2010-05-27T01:30:15.687

Reputation: 85

I once used an old schoolbus's engine in place of a tank's engine in a film. Sounded awesome. And check on #3 for me. – Utopia – 2011-09-07T23:32:42.953

#4! Oh, man that's good! – Audiophile.2010 – 2012-03-20T21:35:41.617

2

...your sms message tone is the Wilhelm Scream.

Jinksi

Posted 2010-05-27T01:30:15.687

Reputation: 158

2

....your willing to spend hours just for a 2sec sfx eg. your willing to go through the pain of defrosting your freezer just so you can collect all the ice and record lots of ice stabs and grinding. Just done it, wasn't fun but hugely rewarding...

....you use a variation of "when someone opens a door on screen, I go out and record the sound of a door opening' analogy to explain what exactly it is you do as a job...

....your often seen loitering around with a phone to your ear while your actually doing some stealthy recording with your 'unusually bulky looking ipod'...

....you take advantage of your surroundings and feed blurays into your $$$ Genelec 5.1 system for 'research' purposes...

Dom Lawrence

Posted 2010-05-27T01:30:15.687

Reputation: 453

I generally stop at "everything you hear in a film that's not dialogue or music is sound design... including some of the music and dialogue." – Dave Matney – 2011-05-03T15:55:41.307

''....you use a variation of "when someone opens a door on screen, I go out and record the sound of a door opening' analogy to explain what exactly it is you do as a job...''

True, True, True... – GMatijas – 2010-06-01T01:06:54.830

2

your car crashes down a cliff AND you have a recorder on AND you have practically broken all your bones, the first thing you say is, "I hope that didn't clip!"

Aditya J. Yadav

Posted 2010-05-27T01:30:15.687

Reputation: 581

2

The DOP is freaking because the sun is setting and the light is disappearing and you say: "I don't care as long as it sounds good!"

Andre Feldmann

Posted 2010-05-27T01:30:15.687

Reputation: 762

2

You go to an Indian restaurant and the thing that impresses you the most is how effectively the tapestries and ceiling hangings are minimizing reverberation in the space.

James Bryant

Posted 2010-05-27T01:30:15.687

Reputation: 489

2

...you get mad if someone in a public space is making noises, cause you want to be able to hear the background. Like someone talking on the phone on a train... GAH

...you're standing in a fully packed, insanely hot train with an H4n pointed to the speaker just to get the call of the next station, and you're still standing there with your arm in the air after 30 minutes of speaker silence

...you're riding, and recording, a bike thinking your headphones will dampen the fall if you crash, but you won't crash cause that would ruin the recording

Olle Sjöström

Posted 2010-05-27T01:30:15.687

Reputation: 541

...Or you crash on purpose to get that perfect "body fall" sound! – Audiophile.2010 – 2012-03-20T20:58:47.400

1

... you have more than 6 answers in this thread.

Utopia

Posted 2010-05-27T01:30:15.687

Reputation: 14 155

1

You sit on the toilet and reflect about its shape and volume and wonder what is its resonance frequency?

Eric Baca

Posted 2010-05-27T01:30:15.687

Reputation: 141

1

Your car numberplate ends with the letters OMF and you know what it means.

It is sad to say that mine really does end in OMF, a friend has DAE.

user80

Posted 2010-05-27T01:30:15.687

Reputation:

1

You know how long it takes for an overhead jet to 'clear'

(something like 45-55 sec, or about 1:30-1:47 if they're flying low and there's no obstructions to baffle it)

Stavrosound

Posted 2010-05-27T01:30:15.687

Reputation: 6 616

1

A few nights ago at a big train station in London, this VERY loud alarm started pulsing, followed by an automated message.

instead of worrying/finding an exit....I got my recorder out :)

Fred Riding

Posted 2010-05-27T01:30:15.687

Reputation: 595

1

..you get cought by roommates being in wardrobe full of blankets, tearing apart books

..you wish you sometimes had self-built de-esser

Itseemstobeme

Posted 2010-05-27T01:30:15.687

Reputation: 11

1

You play a mental game with yourself guessing how many people, their size, if they have a dog, and their gender, based on sound information alone, have just passed behind you while sitting on a parkbench. (Also a good game at the beach.)

Karol Urban

Posted 2010-05-27T01:30:15.687

Reputation: 1 614

1

You're in a basement just outside Joplin, MO as the tornado hits and you're cursing yourself because it's THE ONE TIME you didn't bring your field recorder!

Burning Eye Creative

Posted 2010-05-27T01:30:15.687

Reputation: 111

0

... roomtone is the absolute highlight of your vacation hotel stay.

Stavrosound

Posted 2010-05-27T01:30:15.687

Reputation: 6 616

0

... you correct children playing with toy lightsabers that the sound they are making with their lips while they swing is not the proper pitch and the doppler effect could be better.

Utopia

Posted 2010-05-27T01:30:15.687

Reputation: 14 155

0

You ask your wife (girlfriend, sister, ... mom...) to teach you how to walk in high heels to deliver better foley tracks.

Utopia

Posted 2010-05-27T01:30:15.687

Reputation: 14 155

0

You ever, on purpose, stood on your cat's tail with a cadiod pointing at his head to finish up your night ambience

Taco Drijfhout

Posted 2010-05-27T01:30:15.687

Reputation: 203

That's mean man, the only "bad" thing I've done to my dog is get him excited to go for a walk and lock him in the room to get some whining and crying. – Stephen Saldanha – 2012-03-21T04:15:42.237

0

You wish people's voice was de-essed.

You cringe when you hear mic rumble.

You end up with 3 hours of recording when you only needed that bird.

You find out the road is nowhere to be found (and your car for that matter).

Cat

Posted 2010-05-27T01:30:15.687

Reputation: 640