HomeTravelThe couple traveling in a world of sounds

The couple traveling in a world of sounds

(CNN) — Seven years in the past, American Libby Green was traveling along with her mother in Italy and France, capping off their journey with a go to to the southern French Mediterranean resort metropolis of Nice earlier than flying again to the US.

Meanwhile, German-born Marcel Gnauk and a good friend had been additionally in Nice, attending the Crossover Festival, a celebration of eclectic music.

Walking on the town’s beachfront Promenade des Anglais, Marcel noticed Libby wielding a Hasselblad, a conventional medium-format movie digicam, and could not resist approaching her.

“I love old cameras, Hasselblad, that’s amazing,” he remembers telling her.

The pair chatted concerning the digicam and journey, and he invited her to go to the music competition that night. The subsequent day, Libby flew again to the US, however they saved in contact.

Less than a month later Libby traveled to Italy, and she or he and Marcel, who was working in Switzerland, met up once more.

“That’s when I think we knew, okay, this is something special, something serious,” says Libby.

In 2022, Libby and Marcel recorded sounds in Bangkok’s historic railway station.

Libby & Marcel

Marcel then visited Libby in Los Angeles, the place she was working in the movie trade after finding out cinematography, and so they traveled collectively for a few weeks round California.

By that time they knew they needed to be collectively and journey the world.

So, Marcel returned to Switzerland, Libby stayed in LA, working for one more 5 months to economize.

They purchased a campervan, and in January 2015 Marcel met Libby at Zurich Airport.

“In less than a year we had quit our jobs, and sold everything we owned basically,” says Libby. They then spent 4 months traveling round Europe. A campervan journey in Japan adopted, then time in Bali, Taiwan, Cambodia and Malaysia.

In the years since their ardour has grown, not only for one another, however for a world of sounds, recorded with their high-end microphones, and shared on their social media.

The couple turned a sensible problem of recording sound for a journey video they had been making in Cambodia into a full time enterprise that sustains their digital nomadic life. But it took a while earlier than they found their calling.

‘Everything grew to become alive’

In the early years of their relationship, sharing their journey experiences on-line grew to become half of their routine.

Libby is expert utilizing a digicam. But they struggled to seek out a focus.

“There was Libby and Marcel trying to be food bloggers,” remembers Libby.

“It was a disaster,” provides Marcel. “But it was a good learning experience,” notes Libby.

Then, in Cambodian capital Phnom Penh, Libby filmed some pigeons chickening out that she needed to make use of in a movie. But she could not seize the sound of their wing beats.

They regarded on the web, looking sound libraries, however could not discover something applicable. So, Marcel took a $100 audio recorder, and went looking for the lacking sound to file.

He did not discover any pigeons — however he did handle to alter the course of the couple’s future.

Marcel turned the recorder on in a small building zone the place girls had been shoveling gravel, listening by means of a low-cost set of headphones.

He was awed not simply by the sounds of building, however there have been monks chanting, and bikes passing by behind, honking their horns.

“It was just like the sound was falling into my head from all sides,” says Marcel. “Everything became alive, and from that day until now I have never stopped recording.”

A ardour for sound

In the six years since that first recording, Libby and Marcel have captured audio in greater than 25 nations, largely in Asia, Europe and North America, spending months at a time in every nation.

They have developed a extra refined recording setup to embody stereo, Ambisonic and binaural methods — however nonetheless compact sufficient to suit their traveling way of life.

This has meant investing in high-end microphones and recorders to meet their ongoing ardour of sharing genuine soundscapes from every location.

“We are documenting the world through sounds,” says Libby. “We are also trying to be a source of inspiration for others to look at sounds in a different way.”

It might be an costly ardour. Typically, excessive constancy recording gear stretches into the hundreds of {dollars} for particular person microphones and audio recorders. For instance, one of their stereo recording kits encompassing German made microphones prices round $8,000.

But for Libby and Marcel it isn’t nearly gear. Their intention is to actually expertise a place by means of sound.

For occasion, they took two days to go to Iceland’s now well-known black sand seaside at Solheimasandur. They made the two-hour hike there and again carrying their gear, spending as much as 10 hours every day recording in the wind and hail.

A favourite reminiscence was recording across the iconic wreckage of a US Navy Douglas plane that power landed on the seaside in 1973.

“It was just amazing, how it sounds, how the metal is cracking in the wind,” says Marcel.

In 2020, the couple took their mobile recording studio to the coast of Iceland.

In 2020, the couple took their cell recording studio to the coast of Iceland.

Libby & Marcel

Two hundred meters from the deserted plane, waves crashed on the black sand seaside.

“The terror of the water. This is something you have to experience,” provides Marcel. “If you just go there and take a picture and then you leave, you are missing out on so much.”

Free To Use Sounds

Libby and Marcel share these experiences by means of Instagram (@freetousesounds) and their YouTube channel (Free To Use Sounds — Traveling for Sounds). Through their postings they provide not simply their ardour and experiences recording sounds, but in addition particulars of the gear and methods they use.
Libby shoots and edits their YouTube movies, and manages their web site (www.freetousesounds.com). Marcel does most of the sound recording and enhancing, in addition to the social media postings.

Through their web site they provide 500 royalty-free sound libraries. Of these, 145 are free to obtain.

A ardour turns into a enterprise

Marcel says their “a-ha” second got here when he was sitting in entrance of a laptop in 2017.

Libby had added a donation button to their web site, and a Hollywood post-production artistic had donated a couple of bucks.

“I’m like, ‘Oh! We just made three dollars!'” remembers Marcel of their first donation.

It was then that he realized others shared a ardour for sound — and had been keen to pay for it.

“We wanted to be a source that’s affordable for all types of people to download the sounds,” says Libby.

From this starting Libby and Marcel have developed a suite of premium sound libraries for buy in addition to free to obtain sounds.

And they’re nonetheless excited to journey to new locations and file new sounds.

“It does not feel like work because we are just loving what we are doing,” says Marcel.

“I know we are still going to be traveling, still recording sounds in five years,” provides Libby.

The challenges of a nomadic life

As for the drawbacks of the nomadic way of life? Libby and Marcel haven’t any dwelling base and are consistently traveling. They’ve fought by means of robust occasions, nearly working out of cash.

“When you have a home base you have more of a concrete routine,” says Libby. “For us it is always changing, so sometimes that takes more effort, more money.”

Marcel in Hong Kong, in 2020.

Marcel in Hong Kong, in 2020.

Libby & Marcel

“And we have so much backlog of sounds,” provides Marcel, referring to their unedited recordings. “It is more exciting to record, to be in the present than sitting back with studio headphones.”

But the couple prefers to work on their very own, with out exterior help.

“We don’t have anyone else besides us, it is just the two of us,” says Libby. “Maybe it’s trust issues, but for us, we know what we can do”.

Where to subsequent

Libby and Marcel lately left South Korea to proceed their travels in Malaysia. Their subsequent huge plan is to journey the Pan American freeway from Alaska to Ushuaia, in the direction of the southern tip of South America.

“I think going to Antarctica to record sounds would be a dream. ‘Whoosh, a glacier breaks off,'” says a smiling Marcel.

But whether or not it’s a transcontinental street journey, or the frozen wastes of the Earth’s southernmost continent, Libby and Marcel’s ardour for one another and the sounds they file will at all times be with them.

And, as Marcel says, “It takes us 45 minutes to pack our stuff and be at the next airport.”

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