I can work on your project.

Find me! Call DAP at 214.350.7678 or email rene@dallasaudiopost.com. Also check out echocollectivefx.com for custom sfx, and tonebenders.net for my podcast.

Wednesday, February 16

Truck record-part 4:cataloging and databasing

In part 1 of my truck record retrospective I talked about the prep work required to get ready for a full on vehicle record. Part 2 covered the actual recording date, part 3 went into the editing process, and now we'll put the whole thing to bed by cataloging and databasing.


I usually set a certain number of hours aside each week to deal with the ongoing task of cataloging and databasing the various sounds that I record and collect day in and day out. In the case of the trucks recorded for Benavides Born this process didn't really start until after the film sound was edited, which meant that there was a few week lag between recording and databasing.

Sometimes this kind of a lag can be detrimental to the process, but for a straightforward soundset like this the process went pretty smoothly (though still pretty time-consuming).

As a side note here, even though I work in a facility with 5 total engineers I do all of the sound effects databasing myself if I can. By doing the databasing I get to hear, varispeed and otherwise become familiar with all of the sounds as they go into the library. I also get to pick the metadata and can input it in a way that is both relatively standardized and as thorough as I need it to be. Filtering all of the facility's recordings through my databasing process plugs me in to everything going on with regards to the library, which makes me a more creative and efficient sound designer.

In the case of the truck recordings my labeling system is pretty straighforward and thorough. In soundminer I list the word "auto" then include make, model, type of move and fill in the mic used. Then I tag the files with the appropriate photo.

On this specific vehicle the whole process produced about 2.5 gigs of data, 66 unique files, and about 20 photos that got tagged to various moves. Here's a screenshot of my general output:

Once all of the metadata is in place I use soundminer to embed it and the photos into the wav files themselves.

The final step is to move them to their final resting place on the main sfx server, scan the embedded files into the main sfx database, and redistribute the database to the facility.


After much planning, work and editing we now as a facility have immediate access to pretty full coverage of something that was needed for and recorded in context with one of the many projects that run through here. This process is incredibly important to keep up with during the course of a project so that your internal bank of sounds grows and becomes more unique with each passing project.

Failing to edit, catalog and database unique recordings like this is just not an option for me.

That was the whole process. Benavides Born was a true pleasure to work on, and I'm always grateful when I get to work on interesting projects with creative and interesting people. We have pretty cool jobs in the sound industry. :)


Colin Hunter said...

Great series Rene. Thanks for sharing in such detail!

Anonymous said...

What software are you using to catalog your sounds? Is that part of Pro Tools?

Rene said...

databasing happens inside of Soundminer, which becoming the defacto standard.

Go to soundminer.com to see what its all about, but I can't recommend it enough.

James Bryant said...

Thanks for such a methodical and insightful series of posts Rene! Cheers

Anonymous said...

I'm new to your blog, and I like it much.
I have a strange question. Are you credited for the job you did for Benavides Born? I couldn't find your name at the IMDb "Full cast" page.

Keep it up

Rene said...

haven't looked it up on IMDB honestly. I'll have to chase that down as we're doing a re-conform for them later on anyway. thx for the headsup!