I was curious as to what is a normal length for a ambience recording. Is there a certain length that the big sample company seems to adhere too. What are, for practical usage, decent minimal and perhaps even maximum durations.
Personally, if I'm recording 'Room Tones' where there are no changing or outstanding features i.e. the sound of a refrigerator in a kitchen, I'll generally only record about 10 seconds and loop that. If required, I'll mix in for example, a ticking clock, or the sound of a door opening / closing.
If I'm recording dynamic sounds, crowd reaction / sports etc, I normally leave the tape running and capture the whole event.
Depending on your projects requirements, you can loop several non-descript parts of the crowd, and mix in the dynamic sections, crowd cheers etc.
So, to answer your question, I personally would prefer to have as much material to work with as possible, so I wouldn't worry about file size, but more on the dynamics of the content and it's usability.
Cheers Mate, Paul.
I try to get 3 minutes of usable ambiance. A lot of the Sound Ideas CDs seem to use that length. For my work purposes, I try to get an absolute minimum of 30 seconds of a dynamic ambiance, though a static one, like a roomtone, I could use much less.
Often, when syncing to picture, there are plenty of happy accidents that occur in the ambiance track. There might be a car that passes, or a some noise that with a little editing, matches up to the picture pretty well. So the more material you have to work with the better.
Thanks Richard & Paul,
So basically for most ambiences (except roomtone) get as much as you can is the rule of thumb. Now ive got a couple more questions.
What level are you going for with
I usually aim for an rms between -24 and -12 (no overs practicaly speaking). But if you want to get a -12 roomtone (in a quite room) your gonna push your pre-amps a bit...
And another question, for outdoor ambiences do you note every event that takes place (cars, planes dogs, cats, crickets children, aliens...)?
Hi Anton !
Just so long as you get a decent level, I wouldn't worry so much. Take some time to have a play around in the environment, and record a few practise 'takes' with various mics, placements and levels. Be inventive. Try capturing reflections by close mic-ing against hard surfaces and corners, and pull the mic back during the take to see what effects you can achieve. A similar idea, is to place a mic in the centre of the room, and use boards to direct sound onto the mic, or to prevent it getting directly to the mic. You could also try using several mics, i.e. a close mic and an overhead onto separate tracks.
Try and treat the session as 'Practise', and not as the 'Definitive Session Takes'. Make a note of what equipment you've used against your tracks for playback.
Make as many notes as you can! Don't forget to take a stopwatch and time the event against 'Roll Time'. In fact, you've prompted me to design an 'Event Note Sheet' which I've been meaning to do for ages lol. I'll send you a copy when I've done it ! :roll:
Have Fun ! Cheers, Paul.