Field recordist Pablo Valverde recently released his first sound effects collection: Barcelona Ambiences (60 sounds, 3.34 gigabytes, $40.00).
The package features atmospheres gathered from the cosmopolitan Spanish city. There’s a good cross-section of clips, ranging from:
- Metro stations.
- Room tones.
- A beach.
There’s much more. You can hear a sample of Valverde’s field recordings in the audio demo preview:
As a fan of urban recording, I was intrigued by the new sound library. I asked Pablo Valverde if he would be interested in an interview about the process of creating the Barcelona Ambience collection. He graciously agreed.
Interview with Pablo Valverde
Creative Field Recording: How did you first begin field recording?
Pablo Valverde: I think it was at the beginning of 2015, when I purchased my first handy recorder. I had already done some ambience recordings on set, but with shotguns and with the usual stress you have on set, so it wasn’t the ideal way to record. Also, that kit was too big for stealth recordings, so I needed something smaller.
CFR: Can you share with readers why you created the Barcelona Ambiences sound library?
PV: I decided to record this sound library because I was going to visit the city for five days. So, why don’t I bring my handy recorder with me and record as much as I can? That was the first reason. The second one was that Barcelona hadn’t been covered yet for anybody. Or if someone has already done it, he/she hasn’t shared it on Internet. In fact, this is the second part of the trip I did. The first one was Basque Country, which will also have its own sound library. I’m currently finishing the mastering. I guess it will be available next month.
CFR: How did you approach the task of capturing the sound of Barcelona?
PV: Since I was there as a tourist and with a friend, I recorded many touristic places. Every time I had the chance to record, I did so. Just the last day I was alone, so I went to some specific places I wanted to record.
One of the best things I did was writing all the recordings down in a Google Sheet that I had prepared beforehand. Just a short description and the location, so later on, while I edited all the files, I could save a lot of time.
CFR: What were some unexpected, pleasant surprises when recording the library?
PV: After this trip, I left my country and moved to London. And after a few months living in UK, I have realised that many things we have in Spain don’t exist in UK. Something as normal as a terrace, it doesn’t exist in UK. Or if it exists, it’s different and, therefore, it sounds different. For example, all the Spanish terraces have either plastic or metallic chairs, creating a special sound that it’s impossible to find in UK. So I have found that sound in my Barcelona’s recordings.
CFR: What were some challenges recording the library, and how you overcame them?
PV: All these recordings are part of a trip I did with a friend of mine. I have to say she was really kind and patient with me, since I was recording every ten minutes. But we had a small problem. At that time, she had a really bad cough. It didn’t go away. So I had the same cough in every recording. In the editing, I had to remove all the coughs; otherwise it would look like it was a distinctive sound of Barcelona…
Another problem I did find was music. Shopping centres have music everywhere, so it was tough to find one without music. Also, while you are walking around Les Rambles, you can overhear the music that comes from all the clothing stores and fast food that there are over there. So it was necessary to find an appropriate position to start recording.
CFR: What do you feel is a highlight, or is special about the sound library?
I’m specially proud of all the files recorded at the beach. By listening to them, I think you feel like you are in a Spanish beach. And that was exactly my goal.
Thank you to Pablo Valverde for sharing his thoughts and experience field recording with us.
Visit the Barcelona Ambiences Web shop page.
View all Pablo Valverde’s sound library collections.
To stay in touch, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and receive free updates by email newsletter or RSS feed.