Community update July 2019

Hi everyone!

Summer is here and here we are with some news about latest Freesound developments. This time we have released changes in Freesound which have a very big impact on the performance of the site and also some important improvements of user-facing features. Here is a summary of the changes:

  • Improved geotag editing for sounds (and for sound description). Now the map is bigger and in sync with the latitude/longitude/zoom fields.
  • Added missing email types in email notifications preferences panel. Now you’ll have better control about the email notifications you want to receive from Freesound.
  • Reduce use of ReCaptcha in private messages for users we know are not spammers
  • Updated Stripe donations API to comply with new European regulations
  • Dramatic speed optimizations in some Freesound pages (including frontpage, and browse sounds page) and other general speed optimizations that affect the whole site.
  • Many other minor bug fixes and optimizations.

To give you an idea about the speed improvements that we have released in the last couple of weeks, check out this plot which shows CPU usage of one of our servers:

Yellow color indicates the percentage of the time the server is “doing nothing”. In general, the more yellow the better, as it means that the server has enough time to work on all of the tasks it is assigned. As you can see, in the middle of the month there is a sudden change and all the pink area is drastically reduced to leave more space for yellow. This is due to both hardware and software updates which result in a general improvement of Freesound response time. Freesound’s servers are happy now 🙂

We hope you have a great summer and enjoy the new super fast Freesound!


– The Freesound Team

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Freesound goes Eurorack Hardware with CTAG Strämpler

[Guest blog post by Robert Manzke alias rma31]

Hi, my name is Robert, some 6 years back I have founded the academic working group “Creative Technologies AG” (CTAG) at Kiel University of Applied Sciences in Germany.
In the domain of Audio, we engage students and form international collaborations.
Our focus is music technology and production, sound synthesis and design and adjacent areas such as electronics, computer graphics, algorithms, related hard- and software, maker technologies, human machine interaction, immersive art and media and so forth…

Also, I got my first Freesound t-shirt on June 2nd 2009 and have always been a great fan of the Freesound idea, to create a social and open platform for sounds and its use in science and education.

Since the existence of CTAG, there have been several student teams involved with the Freesound API to interact with the sound data base. Most notable results include the Beaglebone single board computer based sampler “Beagle Boom” and, very recently, the Eurorack sample streaming module “CTAG Strämpler”:

Strämpler harware UI
CTAG Strämpler.

CTAG Strämpler (half streamer, half sampler therefore “Strämpler”, which is close to the German word “Strampler” meaning romper suit) is an electronic sound synthesis module designed for Eurorack modular synthesizers.
Most importantly, it has internet access with connectivity to the Freesound API, making the Freesound sound data base accessible through hardware. One can download sounds to the module’s SD-card and play them back as two separate voices.
Typical parameters such as pitch and amplitude can be influenced, just like one would do with a sampler. It includes a comprehensive control voltage (CV) matrix, where external CV signals can modulate various sound parameters. Some basic effects such as a stereo delay and low/highpass filters are implemented as well.

The firmware and the DIY hardware design are entirely open source and available on Github. CTAG is currently looking for collaborators to further develop the Strämpler. One highly desired feature would be the ability to sample your own sounds within your Eurorack setup with Strämpler and share them instantly on Freesound, actively contributing to the sound data base. More details can be found on hackaday and the projects web-page.

CTAG Strämpler demonstration video.
CTAG Strämpler latest PCB revisions in the works.

Both above mentioned projects were related to hard/software projects by students as part of their regular curriculum. Doing such practical projects allows us to teach students immediate application of web-programming (Freesound API), time-critical real-time audio programming and application of digital signal processing, soft/hardware UI design and implementation, hardware near programming and design, debugging of complex systems etc. Students greatly deepen their abilities during these practical projects and are highly engaged. They also learn how to reach out and inform the world about their work (social media, github, Freesound, open source concepts, etc.).

Apart from the Freesound related project, there have been numerous other projects at CTAG, mostly with a strong penchant towards the open source community; our purpose is to give back knowledge to the society as being associated with a public university in Germany. Students also benefit of a continuously growing pool of partnerships with other academic institutions (Erasmus+ exchange) and private companies. CTAG is also a strong advocate for startups in the music-tech domain and we are proud to have helped Instruments of Things to become alive.

We always look for opportunities to collaborate and wish to further support Freesound with our applied research, just get in touch with us 🙂 …

— Robert Manzke


Robert Manzke developed his passion for electronic music starting age 5 (the record was Vangelis Heaven and Hell, his first synth was a Korg Poly 61).
It lead him to successfully study electrical engineering and digital signal processing. He obtained a Ph.D. in computational imaging sciences at King’s College London in 2004 and worked for Philips Research USA in the field of medical imaging afterwards.
He left that field in 2012 and joined Kiel University of Applied Sciences as Professor for Ubiquitous Computing. Since then he focuses on his passion of music technology within the Creative Technologies working group (CTAG).

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Community update May 2019

Hi everyone!

It’s been some time since the last community update, but we’ve kept you busy with other kinds of very interesting blog posts so you’ll hopefully have not noticed 🙂 Anyway, here is a summary of the latest updates that we released to Freesound:

  • Many improvements in the audio processing back end. This will allow us to process sound more often and carrying out more advanced audio analysis to enable new search features.
  • Show a warning when entering tags that contain letters other than a-z and numbers. This restriction was already in place but no proper feedback was shown to users.
  • Fixed a number of bugs in forums which resulted in wrong forum post counts when searching in the forums.
  • Improvements in spam checks.
  • New components implemented for the upcoming Beast Whoosh interface. Nothing public yet.
  • Many minor bug fixes and optimizations.

As usual, for a more techy and detailed list of code changes, you can check our source code repository. That’s it for now, enjoy Freesound!


– The Freesound Team

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Out of the ordinary Freesound usage

Hi Freesounder!

The Music Technology Group is the research institute based in Barcelona, Spain, that has created, maintains and keeps supporting Freesound for now over 10 years. MTG is turning 25 this year and we will be presenting Freesound as one of the most important projects to come out of the MTG since its inception.

To highlight the diversity of uses of Freesound we would like to ask you if you or someone you know ever used Freesound in any “out of the ordinary” situations. We have asked this kind of question before and heard about people using Freesound to explain to teachers how children with autism experience sound, how dogs can be desensitized to thunder, to provide a soothing song-bird ambience at a child’s burial, how a scream recorded by a student in his bedroom made it to a Hollywood blockbuster, … and many more of these amazing stories.

To help us discover some more of these out of the ordinary uses, please tell us your story in this forum thread 🙂

With love,

The Freesound Team

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Sustainability Report 2018

Dear Freesounders,

Remember when we discussed about the future sustainability of Freesound almost two years back? We mentioned back then that we would keep you updated about the status of the sustainability of Freesound, including general information about the donations we receive and how we spend them. To that end, here is our first Freesound Sustainability Report which describes the main contributions to Freesound sustainability during 2018. We plan to publish a similar report on a yearly basis. The report is split in a number of sections discussing different aspects that contribute to the sustainability of Freesound, and a final section with a summary and some conclusions. Be advised, this is a rather long post, but we hope you’ll find it interesting 🙂

Sound uploads

When we talk about sustainability, we tend to think of it only in terms of financial sustainability. However, a very important aspect of the sustainability of Freesound is the continuous uploading of new sounds by the user community. These sounds bring real value to Freesound and make it a useful resource for many users around the world. Specially good-quality sounds. The fact that Freesound is a valuable resource for many users is what is making the donations’ campaign a success, and what ultimately enables other types of contributions to the sustainability such as those from the university and from research grants (see below). We’d like to highlight that the 36,000 sounds uploaded during 2018 are one of most important contributions in terms of sustainability. Similarly, other user actions like rating and commenting sounds, writing forum posts and doing sound moderation, are very important and also contribute to the sustainability of the platform. For a summary of Freesound user activity during 2018, please check the 2018 in numbers blog post that we recently published.

User donations

It has been over a year since we started the campaign for donations that we announced in the blog and forums. Since then, the number of donations we receive has been significantly increased, and we now receive 20 times more donations than what we used to receive before the campaign. This is a great success and we are very proud of the reaction of both the core Freesound community and also the less-involved Freesound users. In 2018, we received a total of 45,000€ in user donations. We spent the donations in the following development tasks:

  • Improvements in the Freesound platform through student internships and the work of a software developer. For a detailed list of developments check the Community Update blog posts of January, February, March, May, June, August, September and December.
  • Design of the new Freesound front-end
  • First phase of implementation of the new front-end by a front-end developer
  • Software licenses and cost of services for the help desk (Zendesk), email services (Amazon), maps services (Mapbox), and monitoring (Site 24×7).

Contribution from UPF

For those who don’t know, Freesound is an initiative of the Music Technology Group, a research group of the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) in Barcelona, Spain. In 2018 (and also in past years), UPF contributed to Freesound by providing the necessary IT infrastructure and basic maintenance (15 servers, 4 TB monthly data bandwidth, IT support staff). The expected cost of such infrastructure if Freesound was hosted in external services such as Amazon Web services or similar, would be over 20,000€/year for only hosting costs. This price would be about 5,000€/year by using a cheaper dedicated hosting provider, but we would also have to pay additional IT support costs in this case.


thanks for reading until here, you can now take a deep breath and do a short meditation while listening to the sound below…

…good, let’s continue reading

Contribution from research grants

As being part of a university, research is an important element of the Freesound philosophy. During 2018, the AudioCommons research grant (in which Freesound plays a central role) was still ongoing. This allowed us to dedicate significant human resources (partial time of 3 researchers and 2 PhD students) for research and development around Freesound. Furthermore, a Google Faculty Research Award was awarded to us to particularly focus on the development of a big dataset made with Freesound content (see this blog post). Contributions from research grants resulted in:

  • Development of the Freesound Datasets research platform and FSD dataset.
  • Further development and maintenance of Essentia, the audio analysis library that powers Freesound sound analysis
  • Research on improving the existing algorithms used for analyzing Freesound content and addition of new 3rd party algorithms including perceptual timbral models.
  • Research on methods for automatically classifying audio events.
  • Research on clustering methods to be potentially applied to Fresound search results.
  • Support the development and general system administration in Freesound.

Commercial usage of the Freesound API

Freesound has an API endpoint which allows third parties to develop applications that incorporate Freesound content. Usage of this API is free for non-commercial purposes. Nevertheless, the commercial use of the API requires a commercial license. In this way we make sure that commercial applications using Freesound also bring something back to the community. Note that this is independent of the license of the sounds themselves, which need to be respected regardless of the API usage agreement. In 2018 our license agreements generated an income of 2,500€. We spent this money in the same development efforts described in the User donations section above.

Summary and perspectives for 2019

As you can see, 2018 has been a great year for Freesound in terms of sustainability. Most importantly, we have consolidated contributions from user donations which have allowed us to significantly increase development efforts for the platform. We also got important contributions from UPF and from research grants which allowed us to focus on very relevant research lines whose results will eventually be used to improve Freesound. In the coming year we’ll probably see lesser contributions from research grants, but we expect similar contribution from UPF and increased user donations (due to users repeating yearly donations and new users deciding to donate). Also we expect a similar number of sounds to be uploaded, or perhaps a bit more if the bulk description tools get more popularized. Overall we expect to spend similar efforts in the development of the Freesound platform as we did in 2018, an important part of which will be the implementation and release of the new Freesound front-end.

We’d like to finish this post by saying thank you to everyone who contributed to Freesound during 2018, in particular to those who donated and those who uploaded and moderated sounds. We’ll let you know how things go next year in 2019’s sustainability report 🙂



frederic, on behalf of the Freesound Team

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2018 in numbers

Dear all,

Following the tradition of the last years, here are some statistics about the use of Freesound during 2018 🙂 . The statistics are presented following the same structure as in 2016′s and 2017′s post, with a special focus on analyzing sound ratings at the very end.  But let’s start from the beginning: the number of new sounds uploaded during 2018 is (drum roll)…

36,006 new sounds!

which corresponds to…

697 hours of audio!

Awesome isn’t it? That is about 500 less sounds than last year, but almost 40 more hours of audio! On average, uploaded sounds in 2018 are 6 seconds longer than in 2017, and in 2017 sounds were already 5 seconds longer than in 2016. Why is this happening? No idea, but we’ll see if the tendency continues next year…

Now let’s look at the distribution of licenses of these 36k uploaded sounds:

It’s indeed quite similar to last year’s distribution, but Creative Commons 0 (CC0) has gained an extra 3% in detriment of Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial (CC-BY-NC). Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) stays at 25%. It’s good to see how many sounds are being shared in the public domain.

As we predicted in 2017 in numbers post, this year Freesound has passed the mark of 400k uploaded sounds (although it happened at the very end of the year!). That’s bringing us closer to the half a million mark but there’s still long road ahead for that. Here you can see the evolution of the total number of sounds hosted in Freesound since the beginning of time (see the last dot right above 400k):

In fact, if you wanted to embark on the task of listening to all sounds uploaded to Freesound it would now take 242 days and 16 hours! Don’t try and do it yourself, instead let’s take this opportunity to thank our amazing team of moderators who do indeed listen to countless sounds and make all this possible: qubodup, InspectorJ, parabolix, Erdie, Headphaze, tim.kahn, philsapphire, AlienXXX and balloonhead.

Let’s now look at the tagcloud of the sounds uploaded during this year:

Again field-recording is the king, and many of the other typical frequently-used tags are also visible here: ambience (sharing the glory with ambient), synth, loop, electronic, etc. Not many big changes in that area, at least changes that can be easily spotted. Maybe for a future freesound in numbers blog post we’ll have a deeper look at this tag cloud.

Here is the ranking of uploaders by number of sounds and by duration of uploaded sounds. Yeah, this is what you were waiting for:

Username # uploaded sounds Username uploaded time (hours)
#1 kyles 3284 #1 kyles 113
#2 craigsmith 1233 #2 awaka 31
#3 frederic.font 514 #3 csengeri 25
#4 @realdavidfloat 509 #4 klankbeeld 23
#5 awaka 351 #5 craigsmith 20
#6 deleted_user_2731495 297 #6 kevp888 16
#7 Greek555 287 #7 gis_sweden 14
#8 gis_sweden 279 #8 Roses1401 10
#9 penetrermind 263 #9 tim.kahn 7
#10 AudioPapkin 262 #10 inchadney 7
#11 Jaszunio15 251 #11 Greek555 6
#12 Anthousai 230 #12 janrou 5
#13 javapimp 220 #13 felix.blume 5
#14 toiletrolltube 217 #14 wjoojoo 5
#15 kevp888 210 #15 soundX360 5
#16 arnaud coutancier 210 #16 Martin.Sadoux 5
#17 proyectosonidosias 197 #17 himura.kazuto 4
#18 Mattix 194 #18 Glen_Hoban 4
#19 Soundholder 190 #19 PleasureKing 4
#20 DirtyArchives 184 #20 Diegolar 4

This time we have the same winner in both rankings, user kyles with 3284 uploaded sounds corresponding to 113 hours of audio. A thing that the 3 users in the top ranking of # uploaded sounds have in common is that they all used the new bulk describe feature that was introduced last June 🙂 . For those who don’t know, uploading full sound collections now is easier with this tool. Just like craigsmith did with the USC optical sound effects library, and kyles is doing with his own recorded professional collection. In any case, it’s simply marvelous that there are so many contributions from so many users. On behalf of the Freesound user community and everyone that uses Freesound, huge thanks to all uploaders! You know our twitter timeline is full of people really grateful to all of you right?

Let’s continue with some quick numbers about downloads. The number of sound downloads (including packs) during 2018 was…

19,010,374 downloads!

So yes, that’s beating records again, with 2.5M more downloads than last year:

We’ll see what happens next year, but it doesn’t look like these numbers are going to get any lower. Freesound accumulates now more than 129M downloads! And how could you maximize the number of downloads of your sounds? Look at the cloud of query terms to see what people is searching for:

Again, not many changes with respect to the last year. wind, music, explosion and whoosh are again in the first positions, although a sudden interest for piano and car seems to have appeared. Remember that there are around 150k queries per day, so there’s really room for everyone here!

Finally, we’d like to finish this post with some more general statistics. In 2018, you’ve exchanged 19k messages, 1.4k forum posts and made 44k sound comments. These numbers are very similar to those of 2017. Regarding sound ratings, this year there have been 158k sound ratings, which confirms a tendency of increasing ratings from 2016 and 2017. Here we show the histogram of the number of ratings per sound:

This histogram should be read like “50% of the sounds in Freesound have never been rated”, “5% have been rated 3 times”, and so on. Even though the average number of ratings per sound (dashed line) is of 3.5, this is just because a few sounds have been rated many times. This is similar to what happens with the number of downloads and that we reported last year in the 2017 in numbers post. However, in this case the number of ratings is much lower than the number of downloads 🙁 .  In old Freesound times we used to show a popup asking for a rating right after downloading and this resulted in many more sounds being rated. We’ll have to think whether or not something like this could be re-added to Freesound, specially now that we’re re-thinking and updating the whole Freesound interface… Another interesting aspect about ratings is to look at the histogram of the average rating value per sound:

What this figure shows is that sounds are typically rated very high (average of 4 stars), so users normally rate a sound only when they like it, but do not use low ratings to penalize sounds they dislike. Interesting food for thought, should we forget about 5-star rating system a move into a binary like/dislike option?

Aaaand that’s it for this year’s post. We hope you found it interesting. Thanks for reading and enjoy a 2019 full of sounds!

 

frederic, on behalf of the Freesound Team

 

EDIT: after writing the post Alastair suggested me the idea of  making a summary of the Freesound year in audio. Good news is that I already developed a tool some time ago that would make just that automatically 🙂 I set myself to run the tool and record the output… and here it is the Freesound 2018 in Sounds:

Freesound 2018 in Sounds comes in two different flavours, check the description of each sound for more information 🙂

 

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Community update December 2018

Hi again dear Freesounders,

Welcome back to our (not really) monthly blog post about things happening in the Freesound dev world! You’ll have noticed that lately we’ve been a bit less active writing in the blog. This is because some of us have been on a leave (well, me!) and others have been concentrating more on some research work which is also an essential part of Freesound – even though its impacts are not immediately seen in the website. Also we’ve been doing some work on the new interface which, in fact, is always happening silently in the background. Nevertheless here are some small updates we deployed to Freesound lately:

  • Usability improvements in advanced search
  • Removed the <> from URLs in emails we sent which caused some email clients to not show the links properly
  • Improved live “username existing” check when registering new users
  • Improvements in admin pages for managing sound flags which should allow us to manage these more easily
  • Improved support for old Freesound v1 links (so that these still work properly)
  • Other minor bug fixes and optimizations

That’s it for now, thanks for reading and stay tuned for the next post… Oh, and have and nice holiday break those of you who have it 🙂 Get ready for the next year because we have many great plans for Freesound!

The Freesound Team

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Preserving the USC Optical Sound Effects Library

[Guest blog post by Craig Smith]

Last August, I uploaded 1,233 vintage optical sound effects from various Hollywood productions ranging from the 1930s to 1950s.  This is part of a large project I’ve been working on for nearly three years.  This collection contains many sounds that give us clues about how sound effects were created during the “golden era”.

Here are few examples:

  • Extras on a courtroom set being coached to created dramatic crowd sounds:

  • Western bar fight recorded in sync with camera as production sound, but used as a sound effect many many times since then:

  • A mic in placed in the audience of The Jack Benny Show picks up laughter and applause that can be used for any audience scene:

  • An edited sequence of many sounds from an RKO film that was then used as an effect in low budget films and serials:

  • Leftover wild track of Ginger Rogers laughing for the 1938 RKO musical “Carefree”:

Here is the story of where these sounds came from:

In early 2016, I was working on an experimental western using B-roll found footage from the 1940 film Arizona. This involved my creating a new soundtrack that would sound like it also was from 1940.  My intent was to create a layered track using newer commercial sound effects, then “age” it with digital processing.

But it sounded entirely wrong.  No matter how much noise and distortion I added, it sounded too close and present, and did not “stick” to the image.  It seemed something was wrong with the the sounds I was selecting.  I had to rethink my methods.  After studying the few vintage sound effects I could find, I realized what the problem was.

Until the mid 1950s, there were two ways to record sounds: on a phonograph disk, or on a 35mm optical film track.  Since you can’t edit a record, film sound was nearly always recorded onto film.  The recorders looked like motion picture camera without lenses. The signal from the microphone was used to modulate a light beam which was then was exposed on the edge of the film. The film was then developed at the lab, and copies of it were made for the sound editors. These sounds were hand edited into several “tracks” that would be used for the final mix.

The quality of these original recordings was actually quite good.  The reason these old effects sound different from our new ones is that they were recorded using a different philosophy of where the mic should be, and how much sound should be recorded at once.  For one thing, sound designers were limited in the number of tracks they could create for a mix.  It’s common now to have hundreds of tracks playing back from a computer.  But back then, every track had to be threaded onto a large machine called “dubber”.  Most films probably didn’t use more than a dozen tracks. If you had 12 tracks, you needed 12 dubbers.

Therefore, the recordings were more inclusive.  If we build a western street scene now, we generally add every sonic element individually.  Back then, they would stage the whole scene with people walking, chattering, horse footsteps, wagons, etc.  Then record it with one microphone.  All of it was staged in a way that would support the image, and fit in with whatever sync sound that had been captured during photography.

As for indoor effects, they were usually recorded in large, somewhat reverberant rooms, as opposed to the small, dry, quiet foley stages that are common now.  Once again, perspective was created while recording. The microphone was moved away from the source to create the desired balance between direct and reflected sound.

After realizing that I was using the wrong sounds, I got to work trying to find the right ones.  I contacted several film archives, expecting them to have vast collections of studio sound effects.  To my surprise, they didn’t.  It turns out the studios didn’t really value their sound effects, and the rolls of optical film sound generally were taken by the sound editors as they moved from job to job.  Editors shared and traded sounds with their friends, much like what we do with freesound.org.

The last place I tried was the USC Hugh M. Hefner Moving Image Archive. I went to the USC film school in the 1970s, and remembered there were a lot of old noisy effects in the Sound Department.  Archivist Dino Everett told me that yes, they did still have those effects, but they were about to throw them out.  Did I want them?  Yes!

Not knowing what I was getting into, I went to USC and picked up 12 bankers boxes of 1/4” tapes.  These tapes were first generation full-track recordings made in the early 1970s. USC Sound TAs would thread up small bits of 35mm optical film, then transfer each one to tape. Most of the tapes are in good condition, but unfortunately, most of the metadata (what the effects were and where they came from) is missing.  While asking around to see if anyone might have a copy of the metadata, I found out that the Gold Library portion of the collection (the effects I have uploaded to freesound.org) had originally been transferred by Ben Burtt.  Ben did this as a summer job while he was a USC Sound TA.  Soon after graduating, Ben was hired by George Lukas to design sounds for the first Star Wars film.

I contacted Ben and discovered that he still had his hand-written notes from when he did all those transfers!  (Moral: Never throw anything away.)  Ben generously made me a copy of these notes, and I was ready to start.

Except, of course, I had no idea how much time it would take to transfer, edit, and label all these effects.  I do have a full-time job, and a family, so it hasn’t been easy.  The tapes were transferred from a Nagra IV-L recorder into Pro Tools at 96 kHz, 32-bit floating point.  They were then separated into individual files, and individual effects were level adjusted to -24 dB LKFS.

Typing in all that metadata was the biggest hurdle.  After much effort, I got a couple of grants that allowed me to hire an assistant and buy supplies.  And Soundly gave a very generous in-kind grant of cloud space, and their software, which was used to create and manage the metadata. (Checkout Soundly’s software if you haven’t. Besides being a great way to organize your sounds, it connects to and searches Freesound.

In August, after all the help I received, I was able to upload the 1,233 sounds of the Gold Library to Freesound (tip: I used the new bulk description feature which really saved me a lot of time). Since then, I have been receiving comments almost every day.  This makes me so happy!  The next installment, the Red Library, will hopefully go up next summer. My aim in all this is to make sure these sound effects don’t disappear again.  So keep using them, and keep sharing them.

I couldn’t have done this my self. I want to thank Dino Everett, Ben Burtt, Leanna Kaiser, Randy Haberkamp, Andrew Kim, Peder Jørgensen, Christian Schaanning, Frederic Font, and Lynn Becker.

—Craig Smith

 


Craig Smith has been recording and manipulating sound since 1964. After graduating from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, he worked as a sound editor and production mixer in Hollywood, specializing in noisy action-adventure films that are blamed for the downfall of society. He left that world in 1986 to teach sound in the School of Film/Video at California Institute of the Arts, where he is now Academic Sound Coordinator.

Craig’s own work experiments with implied narrative and accidental sound design – putting together sounds & images that have nothing to do with each other to create unexpected stories.

Craig is a member of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, and the Audio Engineering Society.

 

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Community update September 2018

Hi again…

…and welcome back to our community update post! This month we don’t have any major user-ready features to show, but there are a number of things we’ve been doing in the background which will allow nice new stuff in the future. Here is a list of things:

  • New analysis of sounds with Audio Commons audio analysis tools. For the last 3 years we’ve been coordinating a project called Audio Commons (see original post in this blog here), focused on developing audio analysis tools and promoting CC audio. We have now analysed Freesound with some tools developed in the project. The analysis results are already available and usable through the Freesound API, but still are experimental and work in progress. This analysis will allow us in a near future to deploy new features, specially in the search page. For example, would you like to be able to filter search results by things like “only sounds including 1 sound event”, or “sounds isolated from background noise” or “only bright sounds”? Well, we have many ideas in mind but these are some of the features we’re planning to research and deploy to Freesound in the near future.
  • Improve tracking of email addresses that bounce. This is important because it will allow us to stop sending emails to addresses that no longer exist and reduce problems with blocked emails.
  • Other minor bug fixes, security upgrades and optimizations.

Also we’d like to take this opportunity to give a quick update about the new interface design that we announced almost 1 year ago. We never gave an estimated release date because we knew these things sometimes tend to require more time than planned, and we did good 🙂 It has happened that even though the design phase has been finished for a number of months now (and we’re really happy with it!), the implementation has been very slow and we’re are not yet ready to give any estimate other than “at some point during 2019”. But yeah, it is coming! Aaaaand as a prize for your patient waiting here you have a little teaser so you can have an idea of the main design lines:

That’s it for now, enjoy Freesound!

The Freesound Team

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Community update August 2018

Hi everyone,

Summer’s been hot in Barcelona but we’ve been working hard (well, we did some holidays as well!) and we have some new things deployed to Freesound 🙂 These are the new main things:

  • “Streets” layer in maps: some of you reported that the new maps we introduced a couple of months ago missed the streets layer with street names, etc., and told us that this made your geotagging workflow much harder. Well, we’ve added now a streets layer that we hope will be useful to all of you 🙂

  • Fav icon: believe it or not, we did not have a proper fav icon until now… Thanks superanton for your contribution!

As usual, we have also been working and released a number of other fixes and improvements:

  • Improved spam reports which will help dealing with spam faster (for admins)
  • Small improvements in moderation interface
  • Better monitoring of  our email sending
  • Improvements in invalidation of HTML caches
  • Other minor bug fixes and optimizations

Do you remember a couple of months ago we released the Bulk upload feature? Well, we’re starting to harvest its fruits as you can see by checking this amazing collection of ~1200 sounds uploaded by craigsmith 🙂 Thanks for these great contributions Craig!

That’s it for now, enjoy Freesound!

 

The Freesound Team

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