by Ely Rosenblum

Getting Start with Field Recording – Workshops in 2016

A vital part of doing Sonic Ethnography is actually getting comfortable working with and through the sound recording equipment. For many students looking to get into sound the technical details can be overwhelming. Short intensive training courses can be extremely helpful for those who have a recorder but simply are not comfortable using it, or want to further their knowledge and channel their creativity into the process.

Below is a list of field recording workshops geared toward enthusiasts, researchers and artists looking to refine their technical skill. Each has their own disciplinary focus, be it environmental sciences, electroacoustic composition or ethnography, which may help you decide what course is right for you.

Short Course – Field Recording and Soundscapes

With Sherry Ostapovitch

London, United Kingdom

Spring: January 19 – March 22 2016

Summer 2016: April 26 – June 28 2016

“This short course will explore the art of listening and will teach you how to practically incorporate the audio of our surroundings into creative compositions.

We’ll look for inspiration in the current and historical contexts of phonography and the soundscape and over the length of the course you’ll gain an understanding of ‘site’ including space, place, and location as well as other interconnections such as time and the socio-political.”

 Naturesound audio workshop 2016

With Bernie Krause

Urban Horticultural Center at University of Washington, USA

April 22-24 2016

“Naturesound.Org and the University of Washington will be teaching state-of-the-art techniques for recording the sounds of wildlife. Participants will learn through daily field recording sessions and lecture/discussions. Topics covered include: Selection and application of audio recorders and microphones, Recording theory, Metering, Recording techniques, Documentation for sound recording, Use of computer-based software to analyze recordings, Filtering and the use of sonograms”

Field Recording : Sound Recording Workshop 2016

With Greg Budney, Bill McQuay, Randolph Little, Ashik Rahaman

Tahoe National Forest at San Francisco State University’s Sierra Nevada Field Campus, USA

June 11-18 2016

“From birds and bats to amphibians and insects, come and learn contemporary techniques for recording the sounds of wildlife with experts from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Macaulay Library.

Learn state-of-the-art techniques for recording and analyzing the sounds of wildlife with experts from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Macaulay Library. The week-long workshop, designed to take you from novice to capable field recordist, covers the selection and application of audio recorders and microphones, recording theory, metering, field recording techniques, and documentation for sound recordings. Each day comprises several hours of field recording in the morning with lectures and discussions in the afternoon. The course includes an introduction to visualizing sounds and making basic measurements with Raven Pro software.”

Acoustic Ethnography

With Dr. Alexandrine Boudreault-Fournier (UVic) and Jennifer Schine

Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre, Bamfield, British Columbia, Canada,

Aug 15, 2016 – Sep 2, 2016

“The soundmarks of a place can be as specific as any landmark. We are immersed in sound all the time, and yet in the social sciences and arts, sound is an underexplored layer of information that can reveal much about environment and culture. Soundscapes are a complimentary counterpoint to the visual landscape, and provide rich source material for research methodologies and artistic practices.

Within the context of British Columbia’s coastal environment, this course will explore the acoustic and pscyoacoustic bases of sound with special reference to acoustic ethnography and soundscape methodologies. We invite students to sonically explore and document the unique coastal, marine and rainforest environments that surround BMSC. Students will develop perception of the soundscape and begin to understand sound and its behaviour in the interpersonal, social, environmental, anthropological, and artistic realms.”

Introduction to Wildlife Sound Recording

With Chris Watson and Jez riley French

Norfolk, United Kingdom

November 4-6 2016

December 2-4 2016

While they are presently fully booked, it is worth keeping an eye on the website in case someone cancels last minute.

“This two-day course aims to teach you the skills necessary to produce superb field recordings and give you hands-on experience with some of the latest equipment. The course is suitable for wildlife film-makers, sound recordists, radio producers, audio artists, musicians and video game designers, both professional and amateur. It is taught by Chris Watson, one of the world’s top wildlife sound specialists who regularly works for the BBC, and assisted by audio specialist Jez riley French.”


Have I missed one? Email me at to add it to the list!