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ambience : atmosphere : background consists of the sounds of a given location or space. It is the opposite of “silence”. This term is often confused with presence.

Every location has distinct and subtle sounds created by its environment. These sound sources can include wildlife, wind, music, rain, running water, thunder, rustling leaves, distant traffic, aircraft and machinery noise, the sound of distant human movement and speech, creaks from thermal contraction, air conditioning and plumbing noises, fan and motor noises, and harmonics of mains power.


roomtone is the “silence” recorded at a location or space when no dialogue is spoken. This term is often confused with ambience.

Every location has a distinct presence created by the position of the microphone in relation to the space boundaries. A microphone placed in two different locations of the same room will produce two different presences. This is because of the unique spatial relationship between the microphone and boundaries such as walls, ceiling, floor and other objects in the room.

Presence is recorded during the production stage of filmmaking. It is used to help create the film sound track, where presence may be intercut with dialogue to smooth out any sound edit points. The sound track “going dead” would be perceived by the audience not as silence, but as a failure of the sound system.
* For this reason presence is normally recorded—like dialogue—in mono, with the microphone in the same position and orientation as the original dialogue recording.


soundscape is the component of the acoustic environment that can be perceived by humans. There is a varied history of the use of soundscape depending on discipline – ranging from urban design to wildlife ecology. The entire acoustic environnment of our lives, The World Soundscape Project (WSP) was established as an educational and research group by R. Murray Schafer at Simon Fraser University during the late 1960s and early 1970s.


field recording is the term used for an audio recording produced outside a recording studio, and the term applies to recordings of both natural and human-produced sounds. Field recording of natural sounds, also called phonography (a term chosen to illustrate its similarities to photography), was originally developed as a documentary adjunct to research work in the field. With the introduction of high-quality, portable recording equipment, it has subsequently become an evocative artform in itself.


foley Jack Foley (1891-1967) Inventer of the Process. Relating to or Concerned with the Addition of Recorded Sound Effects After the Shooting of a Film. All Sorts of Handmade Noises to Accentuate or Accompany the Object of Viewing, a Text Reading or a Music Creation.

metadata encode audio files with more information than could be contained in just the filename. That identifying information is called “metadata”. It is used to name, describe, catalog and indicate ownership or copyright for a digital audio file, and its presence makes it much easier to locate a specific audio file within a group – by using a search engine that reads the metadata. * each SOUND on the SOUNDCHICK SFX LIBRARY is coded with metadata with the Soundminer software.


mono is intended to be heard as if it were a single channel of sound perceived as coming from one position (unlike stereo, which uses two channels to convey the impression of sound coming from different places from left, middle, and right)


m-s (mid/side) A two channel microphone system consisting of two different types of microphone, one being a cardioid pattern, and the second, a figure eight pattern. The resultant recording provide numerous options for archiving and mixing. An M-S decoder is required to transform a M-S recording into a conventional left/right stereo sound.


x-y Two directional microphones at the same place, and typically placed at 90° or more to each other.

ambisonics is the technique of sound transmission (capture and reproduction) in full sphere surround. In other words, it is meant to be a technique for reproducing a faithful three-dimensional sound image. It supports the horizontal plane (as in traditional surround techniques) but also the vertical planes (above and below). Ambisonic recordings use hardware and software to gather a full 360 degree representation of sound. It was invented in the 70s.

surround is a technique for enriching the sound reproduction quality of an audio source with additional audio channels from speakers that surround the listener (surround channels), providing sound from a 360° radius in the horizontal plane (2D) as opposed to “screen channels” (centre, [front] left, and [front] right) originating only from the listener’s forward arc.

binaural recording is a method of recording sound that uses two microphones, arranged with the intent to create a 3-D stereo sound sensation for the listener of actually being in the room with the performers or instruments.

recording technique :


indie is a shortform of “independence” or “independent”; it may refer for us as a INDEPENDENT SOUND EFFECT LIBRARY created by individual developers & small teams of developers released like *SOUNDCHICK SFX & AMBIENCE LIBRARY.



All terms & descriptions were inspired by the following: Wikipedia, Larousse, Le Grand Robert & Collins, Wild Sanctuary by Bernie Krause, The Tuning of the World : The Soundscape 1977 book by R. Murray Schafer, Creative Field Recording, Articulated Sounds.