I spoke with Rubén on his experiences creating Burkina Faso Sounds, his new African library:
There aren’t a lot of independent sound libraries recorded in Africa out there. How did yours come about?
This library is the result of all the sounds I brought home from my trip to Burkina Faso to shoot a video for Oxfam Intermón, a Spanish NGO.
From the very first moment the production company I work with told me that the project was confirmed, I knew I was going to be able to record enough sounds to compose a small library – and here it is!
I have always admired those great trips with people like Chris Watson or Tim Prebble going into the wild to record that bird song or that magic ambience so far from city noises. On this trip I have been able to taste just bits of an experience like that – and it has been enough to want more.
What types of ambiences did you go for with this one?
There are 99 recordings included, and they are composed of AMBS, FX, SONGS and WALLAS – so there’s a large range of sounds in this library.
You can find things like ambiences from markets, traffic, forests, a very interesting rice field full of frogs and crickets, women making food, kids playing at school and more.
The songs are mainly formed by women singing traditional songs while they work in the fields.
What equipment did you use to record it?
The whole library is recorded with a M/S rig of Schoeps CMIT 5U + MK8 into a Sound Devices 744t.Besides this, some ambiences were recorded simultaneously with a matched pair of DPA´s 4060 spaced omnis through a SD 442 hung in a DIY solution (still to be improved) I arranged for the trip. The two stereo pairs together give a nice wide but complete stereo image.
You can get the library in both RAW M/S and decoded M/S. I know it is not very common to find libraries in M/S format but I wanted to give you possibilities.
Before I got my M/S mic rig I was trying to get some samples of similar arrangements and it was an impossible task.
What was traveling and recording in Burkina Faso like?
The trip was amazing. Burkina Faso is one of the poorest countries in the world and they have almost nothing. But when you arrive in a village they give you everything they have. That really makes you think. The school classes are full of around 80 kids each and they are so quiet and so anxious to learn, every kid wants to go to school so bad.
During the trip, we visited some cooperatives for women. Here, the women grow and process mangoes half of the year and cashews the other half to the local consumers and to export abroad.
In the library you can find the sound of the cashew factory where around 50 women were peeling and crushing cashews ONE BY ONE with old big nut crushers with almost perfect metronome timing!
When I entered the factory wearing my headphones I felt totally overwhelmed. Cashews will never seem expensive for me anymore!
When you’re not traveling Africa recording sound libraries, what else do you do?
I guess I do pretty much the same that the rest of the field recordists in here. I’ve founded a company called Labarba where I work mainly in advertising and small productions doing location sound, post and sound design.
I hope this first library turns into a large series of libraries from around the globe.
At the moment this is the first release and I have started a blog called Furry Sounds where I’ll be uploading sounds and stuff. So this is the starting point!
Check out the preview below, and grab his all-new African library for $32 here.
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