Asbjoern Andersen

German sound designer David Kamp has just released ALARMS under his Shapingwaves label, and it offers a wide-ranging collection of designed alarm sounds. It comes with more than 2 hours of sounds, and I decided to have a talk with David Kamp to get the story behind the library:

Hi David, please introduce yourself and your new SFX library:

I am David Kamp, sound designer/composer mostly for animated films, dabbled in installations, interactive audio and games/apps. Shapingwaves is my shop, offering designed and recorded sounds for other sound designers, game devs and whoever else is interested. ALARMS is the latest release, covering all the types of alarm sounds that i considered useful in most projects.

What’s included in Alarms?

Alarms contains alarm sounds in all styles: From small devices like digital watches, to huge air raid sirens, car alarms, smoke alarms, various medical machines and other general alarm sounds. Need the the sound of a bomb timer? You’re covered.

Some of the sounds included in ALARMS

The library features designed alarm sounds – what exactly does that mean, and what are some of the benefits of this approach?

I thought instead of purchasing / finding all the devices and sources of alarm sounds, it would make much more sense to design all sounds from scratch.

I thought instead of purchasing / finding all the devices and sources of alarm sounds, it would make much more sense to design all sounds from scratch.

That way I had precise control over the synthesis method, the rate of the beeps, the pitch, the envelope, the timbre etc. Also all sounds would be free of any ambience and can be placed in any ambience/scene however needed. I also figured this isolated approach would make sense for use in games.
In addition to the core sounds collection I included a construction kit to allow the sound designer to create the exact rate of “beeps” and combine various alarm elements to create a custom one. For gaming it will make sense to use the short building blocks as looping elements.

Shapingwaves - Sounds On Sale Right Now:
David is currently offering a lot of his Shapingwaves libraries on Sale here at A Sound Effect
– check them out here

How did you figure out how each alarm should sound to be convincing?

I just went with my gut feeling after researching the types of alarm sounds that exist. I used various sound shaping equipment like tube processors and some obscure eurorack modules to give character to the sounds. Subtle distortion on some types of sounds yielded great results.

What’s been some of the most challenging sounds to get right in the library?

The bigger sirens were kind of tough, but once I understood the principle I was able to create convincing ones.

You’ve got a very interesting – and wide-ranging – collection of sound libraries. What’s your process for coming up with new ideas for SFX libraries?

Thank you. Well, I just look what I’d be interested in pursuing and have a long list of possible ideas waiting to be realised. Since I have my active sound design projects outside of Shapingwaves it always takes a while to find the time to get a new release out. Especially all the naming, editing and metadata takes a lot of time.

Thanks to David Kamp for this overview! You can grab the new library at the introductory price below for a limited time:

  • Sci-Fi Sound Effects Alarms Play Track 412+ sounds included, 122 mins total $39

    This sound effect library delivers a comprehensive collection of designed alarm sounds covering all types of alarm: small and large, high tech and vintage sounding, distorted and clean, complex and simple, fast and slow, continuous sirens, harsh buzzers and subtle beeps.

    The sounds can be used for a wide range of alart and alarm sounds, including: car alarms, smoke detectors, timers and clocks, air raid sirens, medical equipment, police and emergency sirens, fire alarms, home security devices, digital watches, gadgets and communication devices.


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