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Creating the Midlands SFX bundle

The Midlands Farm Sounds Library is a collection of Sound FX I recorded in the beautiful Kwa-Zulu Natal area of South Africa over the December period of 2016.

It consists of a variety of different farmyard sounds ranging from Farm Objects like Wheelbarrows, Door Squeaks, Oil drum and Metal Hits to Animal Sounds from Cows, Horses,Chicken and Hadeda.

The bundle was a very fun project for me as I learned a lot in terms of producing quality content SFXs with limited resources in a sonically difficult environment.

The idea of making a whole library came very spontaneously when I decided to take my recording equipment along on my Christmas vacation and I thought to myself "I can actually record a lot of material here that can be edited into a whole collection!" The trip was meant to be a relaxing Getaway from the city to try and recharge my "creative batteries" but I decided that it would make sense to go out on a few expeditions since I had brought my I ended up recording as much as I could.

The environment around the farm Inversanda which I was staying on boasted 200+ cows, a couple of chicken, dogs and cats and around 2 dozen polo ponies. The area of the Midlands is very green and riddled with hills and when you climb one of them and peer into the distance you immediately feel like you are inside a J.R Tolkien epic - an absolutely stunning landscape!

The weather was hot with scattered summer rain showers which made recording a lot harder but added an edge to the challenge - BUT I did get some beautiful rain ambience as a result!

The Gear I used consisted of my stereo-pair of NT5s, my portable Tascam Dr-40 recorder and a Sennheiser MKH-60 shotgun mic. The setup was optimal for what I needed to record and although I didn't record at 48khz+ which a lot of Sound Designers prefer (given you have a microphone that records frequencies higher than 20kHz) I managed to get some cool sounds.

When I returned to Cape Town I sat down for a couple of days to sift through the material and curate my recordings for the best sounds which I then processed with some EQ, Compression and also had a lot of fun warping some sounds which ended up in the section inside the bundle named "Sound Design"

I also managed to make a Cow sound like a Sheep and a Hinge Squeak evolved into a Drone sound.

The post process consisted of getting a batch META data editing program that could also allow me to batch rename files with ease, something that is essential when you are dealing with a lot of Sounds.

It is also useful when you are checking the start and tail bits of the audio clips if there is "empty" space. I used Basehead 4x Ultra for this process and found it to be perfect for what I needed to do.


Lastly I finalized some info documents and created the cover photo along with some thumbnails for more METADATA things. I reached out to a sound effects website called who were keen to upload and host my library.

Some lessons/ highlights from this project:

- I learned a lot about recording outdoors

- Sound Designing Drone Sounds

- I was surrounded and licked by several cows

- How METADATA really works and batch renaming

I recommend every sound guy to go out and go through this process - it is incredibly fun and rewarding!

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