The Ten [ Audio Recording ] Commandments

Posted on by Larry

[ This article was first published in the June, 2009, issue of
Larry’s Final Cut Pro Newsletter. Click here to subscribe. ]


During NAB, when I was interviewing people for my podcast, the Digital Production BuZZ, I had a chance to talk with Ric Viers. Ric is an acknowledged sound effects recording master, president of Blastwave FX, and the author of The Sound Effects Bible.

During the interview he gave me a copy of the book to look over. Recently, I found myself with some spare time and starting dipping into it.

Almost immediately, I discovered his chapter titled The Ten Recording Commandments which contain rules so helpful that I want to share them with you here.

Ric writes:

These ten commandments have proved irrefutable over the years. They are each equally important as individual rules, but even more powerful when used together. The use of these commandments will result in top-notch, professional recordings.

  1. Thou Shalt Have a Pre-Roll and Post-Roll of Two Seconds on Each Recording.
  2. Thou Shalt Record More Than You Need.
  3. Thou Shalt Slate Every Take with as Much Information as Possible.
  4. Thou Shalt Check Thy Levels Often.
  5. Thou Shalt Listen to Thy Work by Always Wearing Headphones.
  6. Thou Shalt Eliminate All Background Noise.
  7. Thou Shalt Not Interrupt a Take.
  8. Thou Shalt Point the Microphone at the Sound.
  9. Thou Shalt Check Thy Equipment Before Going Into the Field.
  10. Thou Shalt Remember the Copyright Laws to Keep Them Unbroken

Larry continues: If creating professional-grade sound effects is of interest to you, you need to check out this book. Its filled with solid, practical suggestions and lots of great examples taken by someone who has spent years in the field.

Even better, its fun to read.

The Sound Effects Bible, Ric Viers, Published by Michael Wiese Productions, 2009.
(ISBN 978-1-932907-48-3)


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