2022! A new year! And, we are going to start with the first interview of the year with Samuel Monceau. Samuel does field recording and then sound design with those recordings. He is the founder of NEXTALE Field Recording. With this company, he wants to protect our planet and to help future generations. They are committed to pay 16% of their monthly income to charities working for ecology and/or education. This is what Samuel shared with me.
Threshold: Getting Started
J: How do you prepare yourself before starting any project?
S: First, I try to define a clear goal and a time frame. Both are important because it helps me to choose the best way of action to achieve what I want while being effective.
In the case of field recording, it means researching the fauna of the area, and planning for the weather. Checking for airlines pathways is also necessary to avoid incessant plane noises. But I think it really applies to every domain.
Then, I make a plan with important steps. I like to draw a flowchart; it makes it easier for me to visualize and organize (might just be my thing though). And, for each step I prepare the gear I’ll need. I also have another list to plan the field trip (I love lists).
Attack: Things to discuss
J: What’s the biggest challenge you have encountered, professionally speaking, and how did you get around it?
S: I guess the biggest challenge I still encounter is to design ambiances or SFXs to make them sound the same as I heard them on the field. There is always a thin line to walk on while using plugins like EQ or noise removal and it is difficult to not fall on one side or the other. When the changes are being too obvious, it is usually too much.
Release: Talking about the good stuff
J: What’s the next step in your career? Any project you are working on?
S: Right now, I’m focusing on the soundbank I created, NEXTALE Field Recording. It is mostly field recording oriented (duh), but I try to diversify with some samples, drones, and other sound effects.
I also found a way to support ecology and education around the world through my work, and that is something I’m really proud of!
NEXTALE launched last February, just as the pandemic started, so it hasn’t been easy since then, but I do my best to keep updating it every month!
J: What plug-ins and technology you can’t live without and why?
S: When it comes to plugins, I can warmly recommend iZotope RX9, it does an amazing job at repairing audio recordings and removing unwanted noises. I also couldn’t do without the Fabfilter plugins, especially the EQ Pro-Q3. It’s just so convenient and sounds great. For drone making and other weird sound design, I love Steinberg’s granular & spectral synth Padshop 2 and Native Instrument’s Massive (and Massive X).
J: What are the biggest life lessons learned in your personal and professional career?
S: Patience and perseverance are the biggest qualities in life! Everything takes time and failing is (a huge) part of the process, so don’t give up! And don’t forget to take some time off to take care of yourself; you deserve it.
I hope you enjoyed this interview as much as I did as I believe it’s a great way to start this year.
See you in a couple of weeks for the next interview!