Author Archives: Jane

Jane Smithsonian Institution Remix Competition

The Smithsonian Institution has begun posting collections of sounds from their archives, and they are unlike anything else you’ll hear on the web, like recordings of frogs and insects from the Encyclopedia of Life to astrophysical observatory sounds.

Now the Smithsonian is calling on you to sample, chop and remix selected recordings from their entire collection of sounds, including recordings of frogs and insects from Encyclopedia of Life, Astrophysical Observatory sounds, Smithsonian Jazz masterworks, and Smithsonian Folkways.

The rules are simple. Submissions may be any length, but must incorporate at least two Smithsonian tracks.

The winners will be selected by Smithsonian’s panel of judges: John Edward Hasse, Curator of American Music at the National Museum of American History, DJ Molly Ruland from OneLoveMassive, and sound effects expert, Shaun Farley.

Instructions and prizes are detailed below. Deadline for submission is November 8. Find official info here.

Happy creating!

Instructions:
1. Browse through the Smithsonian Remix collections
2. Download the tracks that capture your imagination
3. Remix those sounds with your own original sounds*
4. Upload your finished creation to SoundCloud
5. In the description of your sound, please clearly attribute any source material that you used**
6. Join the Smithsonian Remix group
7. Click the “Add to group” button on your sound and submit it to the Smithsonian Remix group
8. Listen, like, comment on and share your fellow contestants’ sounds

*Please make sure you have all the proper copyright permissions for any source material you use and comply with SoundCloud Terms of Use.
**All Smithsonian Remix sounds have been made available under an “Attribution – NonCommercial” Creative Commons license. You can find more details about this license here.

Prizes:
First Place (1):
A 5-year SoundCloud Pro Unlimited subscription
Two VIP tickets to Smithsonian Remix Live November 15
Voices of the Satellites CD from Smithsonian Folkways
One year membership to Smithsonian Associates

Runners Up (3):
Two VIP tickets to Smithsonian Remix Live November 15
A 1-year SoundCloud Pro Unlimited subscription

In addition, the first prize winning submission may be featured on SMITHSONIANAT8.com, and samples of approved submissions may be spun live at the SMITHSONIAN at 8 event November 15, 2013.

If a prize becomes unavailable for any reason, the Smithsonian reserves the right to substitute a prize of like or equal value. Winners may not request prize substitution. One prize per person.

Jane Creating Sound for Video: Creating as a composer and filmmaker

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SoundClouder Jonathan Ochmann is a freelance filmmaker and composer from western Germany. Jack of all trades, Jonathan writes screenplays, has directed short films and is a visual effects artist. He also dabbles in composing music for video.

Jonathan uses SoundCloud to showcase his experience in both composing and directing. When he connects with a filmmaker interested in his work, Jonathan also offers help with visual work advice. “That way, I’m pretty much always ending up doing work on both ends and not getting enough sleep.”

Being able to juggle both work as a sound and video creator comes down to finding creators who are even more successful and hardworking as inspiration to improve his work. “I’m always looking for people who work harder than myself, who are smarter and more creative and most importantly more critical of my own work than I could ever be due to the inevitable lack of objective distance I have to it. Obviously it becomes increasingly harder to find these people when you keep pushing yourself and try to work 15 hours every day but when you do it’s really rewarding. Very few things are as much fun as working with people who have similar work ethics but hopefully completely different backgrounds and interests that expand your creative and personal horizons.”

Stumbling across a vast network of creators was Jonathan’s biggest surprise when he signed up for SoundCloud to have a place to store his compositions.

“After I saw that beautiful waveform player on a science blog, I totally judged it by its cover, which led me to sign up with the sole intention of hosting some compositions that I had written, not knowing that there was a whole community of creators and listeners behind that initial appeal of the user interface,” he said. “And it turned out that a lot of filmmakers and game developers were already using SoundCloud to look for new material and I was approached by a number of different people who asked if they could either use my existing music for their work or if I would be interested in composing original music for projects,” Jonathan said.

In light of this, Jonathan points to personal connections that he’s made with people on SoundCloud as the best part of his SoundCloud experience.

“When you live in a digital realm almost 24/7 like I do and are almost exclusively interested in super geeky stuff, it can be a little hard to find people in your physical surroundings to bounce ideas off of, or just have a good chat without boring them to death. And I guess that extension of one’s reach is a quality of the Internet in general, but for me specifically, SoundCloud has provided a platform and an interface to connect with a bunch of really talented people.”

This wraps up our series of hearing from creators who have experimented with video. Have you ever composed or created music for video? Let us know in the comments. We’ll be sharing more stories from the community so stay tuned.

Jane Creating Sound for Video: Scoring a Documentary

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“Creating music for a film makes me think of how much I’ve grown thanks to SoundCloud,” says Montpellier, France-based SoundClouder Julie Cocq.

As a student and composer, Julie has been interested in collaborating with filmmakers for a long time — so she made it known on her profile.

Evan Bartlett from Illinois contacted her to see if she would be interested in scoring his documentary film, Discovering the Beating Path. Releasing later this year, Discovering the Beating Path is an inspiring story of cancer survivors, Evan and his friend Elijah Accola, who embark on a 47 day journey across the American west from Illinois to show that there is life after cancer.

“To me, music brings so much to movies. It’s something that emphasizes emotions, that gives a peculiar ambiance, something that you’ll remember afterwards. To me, movie and music are practically indissociable. When I make a song, my mind is always wandering, filled with pictures,” says Julie. Hear one of her inspiring compositions from the soundtrack called “Ours”.

By building this awareness and meeting people through SoundCloud also led to this opportunity. Julie and Evan initially got in touch through SoundClouder Zach Schimpf whom Julie had collaborated with on SoundCloud many times. “Meeting new people and being a part of the SoundCloud community led me here.”

Beyond this relationship, interacting with the community and receiving feedback has given her confidence as a musician. “It’s so encouraging to read all the kind words and advices from the community members. That reassurance is very much appreciated, and it’s awesome to know that people love what you’re doing and love to do.”

Stay tuned on the blog, Tumblr and Twitter this week to hear from more creators involved in creating for film and video.