A multi-disciplinary designer’s journey in field recording, sound design, and music.

Nathan profiled on CreativeFieldRecording.com

Posted: October 7th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: field recording, gear, news


Paul Virostek of Creative Field Recording, focuses more on approach and technique than equipment, which I think is entirely appropriate. It’s all too easy to get caught in the vortex of gear over doing creative and innovative things with it.

However, it’s always interesting to know what people do use, and why, and what informed their decisions in doing so. To that end, Paul is in the midst of “A Month of Field Recording,” and yours truly was the latest to be profiled, among such field recordist luminaries as Frank Bry, Watson Wu, and many others.

I’m deeply humbled to have been asked to contribute to this series, and thank Paul for the opportunity. What’s more, I also need to thank the online recordist and sound design community, without whom I’d basically know nothing.  More than half of those being profiled by Paul this month are people who have exhibited nothing but excitement and patience in fielding my questions to them about gear, practice, and theory.


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New Album Released: DISSOLVER

Posted: September 14th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: music, news, sound design, synthesis
My first full-length album is available today.

My first full-length album is available today.

I’m thrilled to announce that the first album I’ve released under my own name, Dissolver, has been released. It is available now as a digital download on Bandcamp (with PDF booklet with additional artwork and liner notes, exclusively available on Bandcamp). You can also buy it as a digital album on iTunesAmazon, and Google Play.

I produced all the music and artwork, and it was mastered by Rafael Anton Irisarri at Black Knoll Studio. You can read more about this release at this blog’s sister site, music.noisejockey.net.

Work is already afoot on another releases, so stay tuned here, BandcampTwitterSoundcloud, and Instagram. Until then, please enjoy the noise, and reach out with what you think of Dissolver.

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Announcing music.noisejockey.net…and a new LP!

Posted: August 31st, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: music, news

Today, I’ve got two exciting announcements to share!

First, there is a new subdomain and site that tracks my musical output: music.noisejockey.net. This blog will remain focused on sound design, audio technique, and field recording, whether the final output or usage is musical or not.

Second, I’m releasing my first full-length LP, titled Dissolver, on September 14. It will be available as a digital download on Bandcamp, Amazon, iTunes, and Google Play. Read the full announcement, and listen to a four-minute album teaser.

Watch this space and my Twitter feed for more!

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Aeolian Day 2015: May 31, Oakland, CA

Posted: May 6th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: field recording, news

I’ll be the field recordist for the second Aeolian Day, put on by Thingamajigs, at Jack London Square, Oakland, California! The event is Sunday, May 31, 11am-4pm, and coincides with the weekly farmer’s market there. You can help the local art scene – which has been locally challenged by gentrification and rising Bay Area rents – and fill your face with awesome Bay Area eats!

Come check out a whole day of wind-driven art, and the sounds that they make! And if you see the guy with the boom pole, please do say hi…just, please, not while I’m rolling… :-D

Thingamajigs will be doing fun stuff with the audio and video, too, so keep an eye on their website for more!

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A New Identity for 2015

Posted: January 17th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: music, news, synthesis

This blog is nearly six years old, and it’s time for a facelift!

You might notice that there is a new logo in the header of the website, and a few new fonts. Thanks to the design machinations of GergWerk, Noise Jockey now has a new visual identity and design system. Many thanks to Gerg and his hard werk…especially given that his client, your humble author, is a picky designer himself.

Expect a few visual tweaks over the next few weeks as the new identity works its way more fully into the website and other channels, like my Twitter and Soundcloud accounts.

In honor of the first visual change here since launch, I figured I’d post a little ditty that referred back to my first post, back in 2009: A short piece done on the Casio Magic Sound Dial SA-40 toy keyboard. It was multi-tracked, miked with Ye Olde Shure SM57, and run through a Red Panda Particle pedal as well as a few plug-in effects.

Here’s to new beginnings!

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Aaaaand We’re Back.

Posted: March 18th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: news

With blackjack. And hookers. #futurama

The last post on this website was May, 2013. Almost a year ago.

Well, time to break the silence. It’s been a very busy and intense year, filled with both tribulations and triumphs, which is why Noise Jockey’s been on a sabbatical. But enough lollygagging. It’s time to get back to business.

Why now, after all this time? Maybe it’s the fact that some studio upgrades have me looking at audio anew. Maybe it’s because this week is the Game Developer Conference here in San Francisco, and my new office is only a couple of blocks away. Maybe it’s because I finally saw All Is Lost and played The Last of Us, both stunning artistic statements with some of the best sound work I’ve heard in a long, long time. Maybe it’s because I’ve been consuming gigabytes of new tunes that are changing how I look at music composition, genre, and sonic palettes. Maybe it’s just because all of you in the online sound community are good people and I’ve missed you all.

The audio fires are back in my belly. There are a bevy of new audio posts that are cued up and ready to roll. Good times ahead. I look forward to re-engaging with old readers, and starting conversations with new ones. So: I (re)welcome you back to Noise Jockey.

More very, very soon. Stay tuned.


Join me at AES, October 28!

Posted: October 16th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: news

Thanks to the just-darned-lovely and ubermensch Shaun Farley, I’ll be on a panel at the 133rd AES Convention in San Francisco this October 28, 2012 at 4:15pm. We’ll be talking about breaking into sound design with folks from EA, Skywalker Sound, and much more, with some extremely talented panelists…certainly moreso than me. (I mean, Ann freakin’ Kroeber?!? Sweet.) Hopefully I can contribute my own story into the conversation, coming to sound design from the design angle and the more visual side of things.

If you’re around, I’d just love to say howdy before or after the session. I’ll also be walking the show floor that day, so if you see me, say hi!

[Editorial note: Yes, this site has been quiet recently. Yes, things are great. Just busy. More soon, though!]

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Merry (8-Bit) Christmas!

Posted: December 22nd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: field recording, news

Who knew pine trees grew on sandy Caribbean atolls?

This sound was recorded on Christmas Eve in 2008, on a tiny speck of sand and palm trees in the Caribbean called Glover’s Reef, at the edge of an atoll dozens of miles off the coast of Belize. Someone had hauled a pine tree to the island and decorated it. While palm trees swayed in the wind and the surf broke all around (which you can hear in the background), a small Christmas card sound chip strapped to the tree – so small I couldn’t find it in the dark – played ultra-low-quality Christmas carols all night long.

[I have featured other interesting recordings from Belize before.]

Hope your holiday season, no matter what your persuasion, is filled with love and peace…and a decent signal-to-noise ratio. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

[Zoom H2 recorder, 90° capsule spread]


Site Maintenance: Old Sounds are New Again

Posted: October 3rd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: news

It’s been entirely my fault that, for some reason, all the pre-SoundCloud audio samples here on Noise Jockey were not showing up (July 2009-August 2009). Now they’re fixed and all hosted at SoundCloud. So, come with me, will you, and walk down memory lane while we…

Thrills! Chills! Stuff! Things! Excessive Punctuation!!!!!

Yours ever so truly,
-The Management

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Say Hello to Sonic Terrain

Posted: September 8th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: field recording, nature recording, news

I’m thrilled to announce the existence of Sonic Terrain, the world’s first portal dedicated entirely to field recording in all its myriad forms. I’m a co-founder and editor alongside Miguel Isaza (of Designing Sound), and we’ve enlisted the help of Colin Hart and Michael Raphael, surely with more editors and contributors to come. We all think this will be a great place for those who record outside of the studio environment to share and learn from one another. From music to science, from entertainment to fine art, we’ll be covering it all, through both aggregated and wholly original content.

Sonic Terrain has just launched today, but there’s a lot more in store. Oh, yes, do we have plans. Please visit, comment, and drop me a line at nathan [_at_] sonic-terrain [_dot_] net if you’ve got something you’d like to contribute. We’ll see you there!

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