Resources for Field Recording & Sound Collecting

Learn more about the Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology (MSAE) virtual soundwalks program with these resources and references. Originally compiled for MSAE’s Virtual Soundwalks 2020 videos made for the Chicago Park District’s ”Your Night Out At Home“ series, the links below are categorized into seven fields of audio technology and sound-based practices.

Acoustic Ecology

The Handbook for Acoustic Ecology is a primary reference for soundscape studies. Published in 1978, edited by Barry Truax when he was with the World Soundscape Project,  led by R. Murray Schafer at Simon Fraser University. Schafer’s The Tuning of the World, published 1977, brought global attention the WSP’s work and inspired deeper study into all aspects of the acoustic environment to this day.

Contact Barry Truax ( to request a guest password to the complete WSP Database at Simon Fraser University.

Acoustic Communication, 2nd Edition  by Barry Truax, published in 2000, is a highly recommended book that advances the World Soundscape Project’s research into the contemporary digital era. On this foundation it addresses the impact of electroacoustic technology upon listening and community, concluding how technologies that impact creative practices and market for production and consumption by audiences for music, new forms of sound-based art, and design of acoustic space. The first edition of Acoustic Communication  is available as a free download [PDF] on Monoskop.

Deep Listening

Deep Listening: A Composer’s Sound Practice by Pauline Oliveros.

Sonic Meditations by Pauline Oliveros. Smith Publications, 1971.


Journal of Ecoacoustics

Field Recording

Wild Soundscapes: Discovering the Voice of the Natural World, Revised Edition by Bernie Krause. Yale University Press, 2016. Sound examples at

In the Field: The Art of Field Recording, anthology edited by Cathy Lane and Angus Carlyle. Uniformbooks, 2013.

Film Sound

Sound Theory/Sound Practice ed. by Rick Altman.

Audio-Vision: Sound On Screen by Michel Chion (1994 Columbia University Press, ISBN:0231078994 (pbk) 239 pages). Chion is a musique concrà¨te composer, filmmaker, and French cinema scholar leading study of the soundtrack. He names and explains essential and revealing concepts that operating in relationships between sound and the moving image. Chion’s book begins to fulfill Rick Altman’s proposal for a new terminology of film sound, expanding the limitations of a music-based vocabulary. Chion studied with Pierre Schaeffer (1910 — 1995). Award-winning sound designer Walter Murch wrote its foreword. Monoskop archived copy [PDF].


Microphone Choice and ”Coloring” of Recorded Sounds from the Songs of Insects site.

Shure’s page on Pickup Patterns and their Microphone Techniques for Recording [PDF] booklet discussing mics, mic placement, and recording techniques.

Singing Insects Monitoring Program

‘Into the Breaks’ blog of Norman W. Long

Nature Inquiries blog

Sagawau Environmental Learning Center

SIMP: Singing Insects Monitoring Program

Sound composition

On Sonic Art by Trevor Wishart (PDF version, also available.)

Audible Design : A Plain and Easy Introduction to Sound Composition by Trevor Wishart.


Soundwalking by Hildegard Westerkamp.

How do Soundwalks Engage Urban Communities in Soundscape Awareness

Norman Long’s Radio Aporee Soundwalk Recording of Washington Park in Chicago

Listening to Two Neighborhoods Elizabeth Burke-Dain

What is a soundwalk?Video by the Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology (MSAE)

A Soundwalk Is…Website of Hildegard Westerkamp

MSAE’s Virtual Soundwalks 2020 on YouTube

More Resources and References

A comprehensive list of online introductory references and resources, Acoustically Fascinating and Often Free: The World of Acoustic Ecology, Field Recording, Soundscape, & Soundwalking (PDF), on the Interpreters and Scientists Working On Our Parks (iSWOOP) site, compiled by Eric Leonardson. This includes the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology’s expanding online library.