When collecting field recordings, always, always begin each audio file with a little blurb mentioning the date, the location, who’s present, and what language is being researched. It’ll cost you about 10 seconds of each recording and you’ll sound like a bit of a tool repeating yourself, but you’ll save yourself hours of work years later when you (finally) get around to archiving your recordings and you need to find all this information from other sources, like airline booking confirmation emails.

Oh, and transcribe your recordings while they’re fresh in your head, lest you find yourself devoting countless hours of unpaid work to do so when you have a brazillion1 other things to do.


  1. I’m alluding to a George W. Bush joke here:
    One of the president’s advisers rushes into the oval office and tells the president that there’s been a terrorist attack in Rio and that 2 Brazilians have been killed.
    “Oh my God!” Screams the president, to the astonishment of the advisor, who didn’t think the death of a mere 2 people would have fazed the president so much. “How many are in a brazillion?”