Tag Archives: overheard

David Overheard By SoundCloud: Dan Patterson

Every so often we stumble upon SoundClouders who are creating interesting ways to engage with other members of the Community . Overheard by SoundCloud is a new blog series for which we’ll ask these SoundClouders a couple of questions and hope that their answers will inspire others as well. Today’s interview is with NYC-based journalist and reporter Dan Patterson.

Hey Dan, thanks for taking the time to answer a couple of questions for Overheard. First, please tell us how you first heard about SoundCloud and what made you join in the first place?

I discovered SoundCloud while on a hunt for an audio CDN. As a long-time radio producer and podcaster since 2004, over the years I’ve accumulated a ton of audio content and long have had a need for a ‘YouTube for sound’ solution. It would appear that SoundCloud could be the answer.

Sound can be so personal, powerful and meaningful. Why do you think sound is still relatively underrepresented compared to video, text and photos on the web?

Audio is under-represented on the social web because it’s a more intimate and less glamorous medium. Because sound requires – inherently – an invocation of the imagination audio media is incredibly personal. Video, while more immediate, marginalizes and dismisses the power of the mind’s eye. Creating an audio story is incredibly difficult but leverages creativity in ways video simply cannot. Because of these unique properties, audio can – and will always – remain a powerful method of communication.

From a technical standpoint, audio has many advantages: Audio has a low consumption footprint thus increasing the volume of audio I can consume. Audio allows one to multi-task with audio (eg, a parent can consume news and concurrently drive the kids to school, I clean my tiny Brooklyn studio while mentally arguing with pundits on TWiT, etc). Audio is easier on my bandwidth bill, and audio is easier and lower in cost to produce than video. The list goes on.

You’re sharing TONS of amazing audio content on your SoundCloud. What are your personal top three recordings you made and what’s the story behind it?

This is a difficult question to answer as I have no singular favorite. I love conducting interviews with politicians and tech thought leaders, so many of my UN and presidential campaign interviews were very interesting to conduct.

In 2008, while working for a smaller news organization on a trip to Darfur, I worked with a group of broadcast journalists to report on the humanitarian crisis. We traveled from Juba north deep in to South Sudan and the Darfur border. One stop included meeting with a group of recently-freed South Sudanese slaves. We conducted a number of interviews and reported live back to the States via satellite phones. That audio, while not “fun” to produce, is still quite striking.

Report: Purchasing Slaves in South Sudan – 03.16.2008 by danpatterson

Personally, any of the Creepy Sleepy pod prods are close to my heart. These were produced from 2004 – 2006 with a gang of friends in the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota. We had no money and the social web was in it’s infancy, so we had a small audience. But we did have some beat-up old gear and tons of ideas. We didn’t hit the funny bone on every attempt, but when we did the content was tops and still remains funny and poignant (though completely NSFW).

Creepy Sleepy – Payola Underwriting Grant by danpatterson

Why should journalists and news organizations consider using sound more?

Sound allows a reporter to capture not just the technical details of an event, but also the mood, vibe, and peripheral environment of an event. These components – while seemingly only of aesthetic value – help the audience contextualize the news.

How long until the zombie apocalypse? What’s your list of top suggestions for us to get prepared?

The zombie apocalypse is inevitable. Tactical preparation, while essential, is secondary to the human need to unify against a common enemy. In politics and the inevitable zombie apocalypse, the human race will succeed only with unification.

You heard it here first, SoundClouder! Thanks for taking the time to speak with us, Dan!

Follow Dan on SoundCloud, Twitter and Tumblr.

David Overheard By SoundCloud: Oliver Sadie

Every so often we stumble upon SoundClouders who are creating interesting ways to engage with other members of the Community. Overheard by SoundCloud is a new blog series for which we’ll ask these SoundClouders a couple of questions and hope that their answers will inspire others as well. Today’s kick-off post is with London-based composer Oliver von Landsberg-Sadie.

Hey Oliver, what made you join SoundCloud in the first place? How has SoundCloud been treating you since?

I discovered SoundCloud through a 3rd party app about a year ago, using NanoStudio on my iPhone to compose some ambient piano electronica. That genre, plus the contemporary classical genre in which I produce piano and orchestral music, are fairly niche relative to the wider world of rock, pop and dance music, so I generally never expect a large potential audience. But a few things occurred to me about the nature of SoundCloud that spurred me on, to create more and to hear more music.

Firstly, it is online and anytime, so it immediately breaks the geographical and time constraints faced by live musicians – suddenly the 100 people in my town who like my specific genres, plus the 1,000 in the rest of Britain, plus the 10,000 in the rest of Europe etc., are all a potential audience at any time in any location, and for zero cost to me or them. But you could argue that other online music social networks offer the same thing, right? I think not. The thing is, the other major sites make the user work really hard to hear what they want and to be in touch with the musician. SoundCloud gives you music in a brilliantly simple and elegant way. I can hear my choice of music with far fewer clicks and far less visual clutter. It is a compelling and addictive activity to listen to new music on SoundCloud.

Secondly, it is highly interactive. The timed comments are a killer feature. I can have a direct conversation with my audience and they are free to drop their thoughts all over my music. Generally the comments are encouraging and give me confidence to sharpen my skills. So it is a compelling and addictive activity to also make new music on SoundCloud.

So SoundCloud as a giant playlist, and SoundCloud as a giant potential audience, have both given me an amazing experience. But SoundCloud as a company has also thrown in something special – a single tweet in recognition of a project becomes a tremendous boost for that project’s chances of success.

With “Ask SoundCloud“, you’ve come up with really nice ways to engage with your Community on SoundCloud. What has sparked these ideas? Why do you do it? What do you get out of it?

Haha, thanks. I guess I engage in two ways, by direct collaboration with fellow ‘Clouders and by crowd-sourcing for ideas.

SoundCloud makes direct collaboration a doddle with private tracks and I’ve had a lot of fun with that format so far, with more works in progress as we speak.

The crowd-sourced projects were born of necessity. For the first one, I was really stuck for a name, so I asked SoundClouders and got over 100 name suggestions, which I narrowed down to a shortlist and picked a favourite. Woot!

The second project was a little more ambitious. Many of my tracks start off as a piano improvisation, which I then use as the basis for an orchestral or electroacoustic composition. For one improv, I was stumped, and thought, hey, this community is chock full of creative minds – let them suggest the instruments, timing, style, whatever, using timed comments. The ideas that listeners put down blew me away, they were incredibly inspired. I was as faithful as I could be to the commentors’ intentions and shared the work in progress for feedback as I went along. And when Zefora popped up with 18 layers of an original choral vocal track, composed against the latest WIP, the track was complete. I love it.

SoundCloud Sinfonietta: You Composed This (please read description) by Oliver Sadie

What I get out of the community response is a musical result that I could not possibly have achieved on my own. It’s like I’m playing in the world’s biggest band.

Who are your favorite SoundClouders?

Oh dear, I hope I don’t lose some friends with this question haha. Please browse the list of people I’m following for a truly diverse list of musicians I like.

Number 1 recommendation, without hesitation, is bluffmunkey. Besides making amazing music, not only did Geoff set me on the right track with DAWs, VSTs, recording kit and personal technical tuition, but he also runs his own community with music partner citizenkained over at Robot Seven where he invites people to submit their works in progress for technical feedback (which he provides freely and prolifically).

For a joint second recommendation, I love what zefora and cyramorgan have done by freely sharing their gifted voices for the SoundCloud community to use, cross-genre! We definitely need more of that.

If I can be cheeky and squeeze in a joint third recommendation, the chilled sounds of dgreening and myristica keep me sane while I plug away at my geeky day job.

Why do you think composers like yourself should get involved in the Community?

I think anyone who is passionate about making music and about honing their craft, and who also has something beautiful to bring to the party, is really missing something rather special by not getting involved.

The Community-led culture of SoundCloud is not only the planet’s richest resource of musical ideas and breeding ground for up and coming talented musicians, but it’s also making my own dreams come true.

What’s been your favorite SoundCloud moment so far?

Man, tough question, I’ve had many good moments. I’ll give you three and ask your readers to choose the best.

1. Honestly, I could not contain my excitement when SoundCloud tweeted that my track naming question was a neat idea. I still wonder what my colleagues at work thought of the limb-throwing, air-punching, 160bpm dance I did for about 10 seconds.

2. When my debut album Finding Stars went live on iTunes and Amazon, it was a life goal achieved. All 17 tracks were born on SoundCloud and remain free to download here.

3. One idea that came up in the SoundCloud Sinfonietta project was from Yanzii, who suggested “a silent cello here”. It is such a great idea that I’ve put it in all my tracks now. Go, listen carefully.

What’s next?! :)

See prior response :P but in all seriousness, the next idea will probably also pop up when I least expect it. When I’m bent over my piano at 2am thinking how on earth I can solve a particular problem, I’ll pop the question to SoundClouders and see what happens. Five million+ musicians can’t be wrong.

Thanks for taking the time to speak with us, Oliver! Keep up the great work.

(Photo credits: Oliver Sadie’s Facebook)