With Chris Watson and Jez riley French

Interest in the sound recording of wildlife and environments has grown rapidly in the last few years. Described in various ways: location, field, natural, wild etc., these recordings can be put to a multitude of uses including film, television, radio, art installations, web and CD releases, video game soundtracks, as part of musical compositions and so on.

In the production of wildlife films, the importance of the sound track and the role of the sound recordist is often over-looked. The successful recording of wildlife sound, and creation of the film’s sound track is a crucial and major part of the creative process. With new digital equipment available for recording and editing sound it requires skill and experience to do the job justice.

This two-day course aims to teach you the skills necessary to produce superb field recordings and give you hands-on experience with some of the latest equipment. The course is suitable for wildlife film-makers, sound recordists, radio producers, audio artists, musicians and video game designers, both professional and amateur. It is taught by Chris Watson, one of the world’s top wildlife sound specialists who regularly works for the BBC, and assisted by audio specialist Jez riley French.
The location is Whitwell Hall Country Centre in the centre of Norfolk, UK. Accommodation is shared rooms (or there are nearby bed and breakfasts/hotels if you prefer), and there will be excellent home-cooked food.
“What a fabulous course! Packed full of interesting and useful information, presented in an engaging and enjoyable way, it was far better than I had ever dared hope (and my expectations were very high!) I hope to see you all again soon.”
“Thank you all for being so generous sharing your knowledge, experience and insights. I learned so much and had an amazing time.”
“Thanks for an amazing and inspiring course. Thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. Just purchased a sound recorder and will be going out this weekend to use it!”
“Just wanted to say a huge thank you for a brilliant sound recording course jammed full of information, inspiration and learning opportunities. The organisation of the weekend was superb and the timetable wonderfully full. Lots of happy memories of the experience and looking forward to putting
new knowledge into practice…”


Aim to arrive by 6pm, directions will be sent when you have booked your place.
7.00pm – evening meal served
8.30pm – introductory chat – admin, who we are, who you are, and what we will be doing over the next two days.
9.30pm – break
10pm – Chris will play some recorded programmes (optional attendance)

8am – breakfast
9am – an introduction to natural sound and learning to listen. Practical approaches to recording in different circumstances or with different aims. Chris’s introduction to his approaches to recording
11am – coffee break
11.30am – introduction to hardware, microphones, recorders, accessories etc
1pm – lunch
2pm – prep for practical, looking at basics of kit
2.30pm – practical at Whitwell
(tea/cake available from 4.30pm)
6pm – briefings on practical work in the night and next morning
6.30pm – free time
7pm – evening meal served
8.00pm – Jez’s introduction to his approach to recording including the use of hydrophones and contact microphones
9.00pm – post-production, introduction to Reaper and other programs
10.00pm – break and night practical work

8am – breakfast followed by kitting up for practical work
9am – further practical work
1pm – lunch followed by time for students to listen to their own recordings and choose clips to share
2.30pm – critical analysis of recordings
4pm – course ends


Chris Watson
Chris WatsonSound Recording Tutor
Chris is a composer who specialises in recording the sounds of wildlife and the natural world. His freelance career in film, radio and TV has taken him to some of the worlds’ remotest places. Watson worked on David Attenborough’s Life and Frozen Planet productions for the BBC, which both went on to receive BAFTA Awards in the Best Factual Sound (click photo to read more).
Jez riley French
Jez riley FrenchSound Recording Tutor
Jez is a composer, artist & audio specialist whose output involves elements of intuitive composition, field recording (using conventional & extended methods) photographic images (including their use in photographic scores) and improvisation. He has performed, exhibited and had his work published widely across the world and also lectures in both field recording and the act & art of listening (click photo to read more).
Piers Warren
Piers WarrenPrincipal of Wildeye
Piers is well known throughout the wildlife film-making industry as the founder of Wildlife Film News and former producer of wildlife-film.com, which he created in the 1990s. With a strong background in biology, education and conservation, he has had a lifelong passion for wildlife films and has a wide knowledge of natural history. He cut his teeth in the industry as a sound engineer and multi-media producer, running a studio for many years before creating Wildeye (click photo to read more).

Booking Information

Costs: £365 per person
This includes tuition, accommodation, and meals.

16-18 October 2015

To apply for a place please complete the form below, you will then be forwarded to a page which explains how to pay the deposit/fee to secure your booking:

Your name
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How will you be travelling and where from?
Briefly, what you do now, and why you want to do this course?
What equipment (if appropriate) will you be bringing with you?
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