POSTED ON 4th june 2018 BY nada el-hammoud for gcrs
Now, we know the title says ‘recording sound on a budget’ but if you’re as skint as we currently are, the word ‘budget’ already sounds too expensive to think about. No fear - your pockets might be empty, but there is no force greater in this world than a broke person’s creativity. Luckily for you, we have much practice in the art of Getting By With £2.24 In Your Bank Account, so look no further for your guide to recording sound as easily as possible.
You’ll notice the speech marks around the above word; that’s because you really don’t need professional recorders to capture great sound. If you do have a legit sound recorder, congratulations, you’re a step ahead of the rest of us - but if your savings haven’t quite reached that point yet, don’t worry! Recording sound on your phone is just as effective, just make sure the microphone (probably located near the charging port) is either facing upwards or facing the direction of the sound you want to record. Duh.
Always have your recorder with you, and always be ready to record
Most writers always keep a notebook and pen with them at all times in case they have a lightbulb moment or see something that’s worth writing down for later - in the same way, sound techs should always have a recorder handy. If you’re under the age of 25, chances are your phone has already become an extended part of your anatomy, so there’s no excuse for you to not be able to whip out your recording app the minute a good sound presents itself. Most professional recorders are carry-around-with-you sized, so if you have one of those, keeping your recorder with you at all times won’t be too much of hassle - just keep it in a pocket or your bag. If your recorder is quite large, you might want to invest in a carry-case or a large bag for it.
Practice practice practice
A little self-explanatory, but the more you record sound the better your recordings will sound. Just practice as much as possible. You might feel a little self-conscious, standing in the middle of a street holding up a recorder or a phone, but trust me - nobody cares. Passers-by are way more interested in the salon appointment they’re about to be late for than your sound recording adventures. And if people happen to be bored enough to watch what you’re doing, ignore them; they’ll probably see an interesting looking pigeon and move on in a few minutes. Even if you feel like there’s nothing interesting to record, just practice anyway. Find a sound, any sound, and record it from different angles, different distances, or using different techniques so you can find out what works best for you, and what works best for that type of sound.
Use! Every! Opportunity! To! Record!
Take advantage of your surroundings! Whether you live in a quiet coastal village or the capital city itself, there will be an abundance of sounds for you to record. Wherever you go, make sure your recorder is with you and ready at the press of a button. You might not even know what you’d use a particular sound for, but it’s good to have it anyway; the sound of bacon frying is almost indistinguishable from the sound of rainfall (true story - they use weird sound dupes like this in film and TV all the time), so you might just end up using an audio recording to create the sound of something crazily unrelated and totally out of the box.