Asbjoern Andersen

Max Lachmann from Pole Position Production has previously shared several interesting stories on how to capture excellent vehicle sounds here on the blog – both when it comes to recording and implementation.

But what’s the story behind the Pole Position company, and just how did they end up creating one of the world’s absolute top vehicle sound collections? I decided to have a talk with Max to find out:


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Hi Max, what’s the story behind Pole? What made you start Pole in the first place – and who’s the team behind it?

Pole was originally started in 2000 as a music production company by me and Bernard Löhr, and eventually Mats Lundgren. Bernard is a legendary mixing engineer, who has been working with both Swedish and and international artists, and also manages ex-ABBA Benny Anderssons Mono Music Studio in Stockholm. Besides having the best ears, he is also a car lunatic and race driver, and this is actually how I got to know him in the first place, before I started out as a trainee at the Polar Studios with Bernard being my mentor. Mats joined Pole a few years later. He was a pop star back in the days, and we teamed up as song writers and producers. Without any real success I must admit. But Mats is one of the most musical persons I know, he plays pretty much any instrument, and has done scores for games such as Mad Max and Just Cause 2. Not many people are familiar with that Pole do music too, since what we made a name for ourselves in the business is our vehicle recordings.

One of your core specialties is vehicle recordings – how did that come about?

We had a strong interest in motorsports and racing within Pole (hence the name). I literally grew up at race tracks following my dad around Europe, and Bernard was, and is, an active race driver who used to compete in the Swedish GT series with his Porsche GT3RS.

I literally grew up at race tracks following my dad around Europe

One of his competitors on the race track at that time was a Swedish developer of racing games, and he asked us if we were interested in doing sounds for his game. And that is how it all started.

What’s been some of the wildest recording experiences you’ve had so far?

There’s been so many, and each with it’s own circumstances to deal with. You really don’t wish for a wild experience as a recordist, because that means it’s less controlled. So I try to prepare and do anything I can to avoid that. Still, it happens that airlines lose your bag, weather is terrible, you need to communicate with a driver in a language you don’t know, go crazy fast in cars with a driver you don’t trust or the vehicle breaks down.

But one of the recordings I am most proud of is the one we did of a Messerschmitt 109.

Mats did a really weird recording too, recording an old summer house being burnt down for an art project

There’s not many around that flies anymore, even fewer with an authentic engine. We have also recorded race cars during very difficult circumstances, adjusting to FIA regulations and still having to deliver at a good quality. Mats did a really weird recording too, recording an old summer house being burnt down for an art project. We got DPA to sponsor us with a couple of microphones to place inside the house as it burnt down, which provided us with some rare fire sounds.

However, the best thing with going around recording is the good company and the nice and dedicated people you meet everywhere. And the satisfaction of delivering a really nice recording to your client.

World-class vehicle sound effects (and more!):

Max Lachmann and the team at Pole Position Production are behind some of the very best vehicle sound effect libraries in the world – here’s a small selection:


  • Who doesn't love the sounds of speed? In this library, you'll hear the fast, harsh sounds of a drift car skidding on tarmac. The library contains skidding with engine running, skidding with engine switching off, skidding on wet tarmac, roll bys on wet and dry tarmac, spinning in circles, rolling with flat tire and much more. Both onboard and exterior perspectives are covered, and several microphones were positioned at each wheel, inside the car, and along the skidding path.

    Some additional material is included, such as a supercharged Chevy -57 burnout, handbrake skids from a Skoda, and more.

    Add to cart
  • Environments Snow and Ice Textures Play Track 548+ sounds included, 295 mins total $199

    A must-have collection for winter sounds, this library consists of many years' recordings of snow and ice, skiing, textures, ambiences, foley and so on. It contains lots of skiing, jumping, rails, freezing cold winds, ski resort ambiences, lifts, walking in snow and on ice, texture details such as snow spray, tires driving, skidding and spinning on ice and snow, drilling in ice and much more.

    Add to cart
  • This library consists of two different sessions where we dropped cars from a crane onto other cars and onto the ground. The first session contains lots of windows being smashed and sounds of car body debris from two hanging cars scratching against each other. During this session, microphones were positioned inside the vehicles as they were dropped from the crane as well. The left side of the onboard recorder comes and goes, but we decided to leave it in the library since it has some very nice bits in it.

    Add to cart
  • This warfare SFX library was recorded during a three-day military exercise, using several Combat Vehicle 90s performing live firing exercises with 40mm cannons and 7.62 machine guns. The recording consists of several multichannel setups from various distances, perspectives and environments such as forest and huge fields.

    The library contains huge tails in different environments, shooting at close and far distances with various occlusion, onboard firing, sonic booms, ricochets, bullet cracks, projectile tails and much more. It also has some onboard and exterior vehicle movements and maneuvers. For sounds of military operations, you can't go wrong with this collection.

    Add to cart

View all Pole Position Production libraries here


You’ve got a huge amount of libraries – what are some of your favorite ones?

We have some really nice muscle cars from the 70s that I’m really happy with. The last couple of years we have made an effort to cover material for both games and film, and these libraries show that. We also have a great Porsche 911 SC from 1981 which sounds awesome, and brings back childhood memories.


You’ve also recorded a Formula 1 library, which is incredibly rare (if not unique). What’s the story behind that library, and what did it take to capture the sounds of F1?

We have gotten quite a few questions about F1 recordings over the years, and always had to give the same answer. And we have also had a few openings to record F1s for actual F1 teams, needing the sound for their simulators, but it has always come to a halt for various reasons.

I have always said that I will quit when I have recorded an F1, but I had to reconsider that…

Finally we decided to rent an older F1 car and to get the job done. So we rented a 2007 Williams FW-29 fitted with a Cosworth V8, the car that Rosberg used to drive, and we gaffer taped a Zaxcom on the outside of the chassi, and Bernard took it for a swing on a track in Estonia. And here’s the result – an actual Formula 1 SFX library. I have always said that I will quit when I have recorded an F1, but I had to reconsider that. Nowadays I say I will quit when I have recorded a space shuttle…


What are some of the improvements you’ve made to your SFX library creation process over the years?

The biggest improvement is the amount of material and perspectives we record today. We started out with games in mind, getting onboard material only, but today we focus just as much on exterior material hoping to reach the film industry as well. We are also trying to improve the way we package our libraries. Instead of just eight or ten long files of an onboard take, a session today with all the exteriors can be 20-40 tracks. We still try to keep them in sync if possible, but we divide the material into different folders named after the maneuver that is in the files. And finally we are trying to find a good standard for our metadata.

More great reads by Max Lachmann:

Here are some of the excellent stories and guides Max has written for the A Sound Effect blog:

The Essential Primer to Recording Car Sound Effects – in-depth tips, advice and insights on how to capture excellent car sound effect recordings.

Game audio: Behind the spectacular vehicle sounds for Mad Max – the story behind the standout vehicle sound effects for Mad Max – including implementation insights.

Recording and Designing the Winter Sound Effects for SNOW – the story on how Max and the team captured a very special collection of winter sound effects.


What’s coming next from you guys?

We have so many recordings that we haven’t had the time to edit and make libraries from yet. First, there’s alot of vehicles of course. World War II tanks and planes, a Hummer H1, a dirtbike, snowmobiles, some trucks and much more. But we have also some other libraries in the works. We are working on an extremely rare military library, with attack vehicles performing an exercise firing cannons and machine guns. It has some amazing tails, bullet bys and projectile sounds. And I am also working on getting access to a space shuttle by the way…

A big thanks to Max Lachmann for the story and insights behind Pole. Check out their selection here on A Sound Effect, and meet the team on Facebook here, and on Twitter here.

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A Sound Effect gives you easy access to an absolutely huge sound effects catalog from a myriad of independent sound creators, all covered by one license agreement - a few highlights:
  • Badlands Sound went to the future to recorded 42 room tones of various spaces like computer rooms, engine rooms, bathrooms, and much more all in 24bit / 96k. We also recorded electrical buzzes and distorted sci-fi winds. More than 2 hours of futuristic room tones and ambiences included in total.

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  • BEAMS is a comprehensive toolkit for beam sound design. Sounds are separated into activation oneshot, activation/deactivation mechanism, and active loop categories. Each category contains subcategories for small, medium, and large beams. You can design anything from the smallest spy-watch laser cutter to a planet destroying column of chaos. As a bonus, you’ll also get a diverse collection of burning ignition sounds as source for beam environmental destruction.

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  • Footsteps Ultimate Footsteps Play Track 1176-3056+ sounds included, 237-610 mins total From: $160

    Need footstep sound effects? Get 5 Shoes, 25+ surfaces, 15+ variations – created by Foley Supervisor Joshua Reinhardt and professional Foley walker Lara Dale.

    Deep heavy metal, crunchy snow, old boat wood, crisp grass, gritty dirt, clean tile – this library has it all. Not only does this library contain walking but it's got pretty much every performance you can think of, from scuffs to jumps and lands and scrapes. With this library you can cut Foley for pretty much any film or game that comes your way.


    • 17 different Performances – From slow walk to RUN, 5 scrapes, bodyfall/land, stomps and more
    • Every file is labeled with a description of the shoe, surface and performance type.
    • Every folder has a picture of the shoe and surface plus a description of the distance of the mic from the Foley walker.
    • Combine wood creak sweeteners with Ultimate Interiors wood for scary creaky wood or add grit to a clean interior to give character.
    • Same recording studio mics and preamps used in over 50 major motion pictures
    • Same boots that were used for Sylvester Stallone in The Expendable
    • Mix and match shoes, surfaces and sweeteners to make your own custom characters
    • Can be used as a stereo or separated and mixed/matched as a mono depending which mic works best for your project


    Foot wear type:
    Boots, Dress Shoes, Flats, Heels, Sneakers.

    Extremely Slow Walk, Medium Slow Walk, Walk, Jog, Run, Stairs Slow, Stairs Fast, Stomp, Land, Scuff, Scrape 1, Scrape 2, Scrape 3, Scrape 4, Scrape 5.

    Surface Types:
    Asphalt, Carpet 1, Carpet 2, Concrete, Hardwood, Hardwood house, Hardwood deep, Hardwood parquet, Hardwood boat wood, Hardwood Dock, Lino, Marble, Tile, Dirt, Grass, Metal grate, Diamond plate Metal, Metal Slab, Wood Creak 1 old, Wood Creak 2, Gravel, Rocks, SNOW!!, Puddle, Water shallow, Water Deep.

Explore the full, unique collection here

Latest sound effects libraries:
  • House 01 – A virtual grab bag of normal. A complete house as a document. Doors, windows, more doors. Lots of perspectives and various strengths and positions of just about everything.

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  • The All Metal sound effects library features 765 sounds of metal clashing, clanging and resonating as metal pieces are rummaged through, dropped, and tossed. Create with the various distinct sonic properties of metal objects — from squeaky gates, rattley wires, ringing wrenches, warbling sheet metal, clattering swords and more.

    Each sound was pristinely recorded at 192kHz with lots of variations for more creative freedom. Uncover the sonic treasures that await as you pitch and process the squeals, squeaks and moans of the metallic debris for limitless sound design opportunities. Strengthen your projects with the distinct buzzing, scraping and reverberation of metal impacts for both literal use and creative implementation as layers for intense sound design.

    Each sound file is embedded with diligent metadata to help you find the exact sound effect you need with fast, pinpoint search. Advanced metadata fields ensure compatibility across any database search platform such as Search by PSE, Soundminer, BaseHead, Netmix, Workspace (Pro Tools), Find Tool (Media Composer), Media Bay (Nuendo), Reaper, Adobe Premiere, and beyond.

    Key Features:

    • 765 sound effects (2GB)
    • 24 bit/96k, 24 bit/192k broadcast .wav files
    • Descriptive embedded metadata
    • 100% Royalty-Free


    • Saro Sahihi
  • Chicago Ambisonics is a library of B-format city ambiences with “virtual microphone” software.

    Included software allows users to tweak perspective in real time for greater control and creativity. The Ambisonics format offers versatile use of the library, as the recordings can be decoded to mono, stereo, 5.1, 7.1 and beyond. The creative possibilities are endless!

    Featuring 35 high-quality urban ambiences (over 3 hours total), Chicago Ambisonics includes SurroundZone2 software by TSL Products that allows you to point “virtual microphones” any direction with a wide range of polar patterns. Unparalleled flexibility lets users match backgrounds with the specific setting of any scene.

    With more productions filming in Chicago than ever before, a Chicago sound effects library is an asset for any sound editor. Chicago Ambisonics features 24-bit/96 kHz city atmospheres captured all over Chicago including recordings from from Magnificent Mile, Chinatown, the L Train, West Loop, Kennedy Expressway, O’Hare International Airport, Lake View, & Wrigley Field.

    This library is also perfect for use in 3D Audio applications including VR experiences and 360º video – prepare your sound effects library for the future of immersive media! Pre-rendered stereo versions of all of the recordings are included as well.

    Key Features:

    • 35 pristine recordings in B-Format (FuMa) & Stereo (14GB)
    • Over 3 hours of immersive Chicago ambiences
    • Average recording length of 6 minutes
    • Diverse Chicago atmospheres: Including streets, parks, & subways
    • 24-bit/96kHz broadcast .wav files
    • SurroundZone2 software by TSL Products: Gives you full control over “virtual microphone” position and polar patterns
    • 100% Royalty-Free


    • Your DAW must support Quad (4-channel) tracks in order to use SurroundZone2 plug-in.
  • RAW CELLO FX features manipulated and mangled cello sound effects designed to provide the full character of the instrument and harmonic richness in order to create a completely unique set of organic samples between music and noise, intimate and vivid bold sounds expanding new possibilities out of this instrument.

    Different techniques and less-than-conventional microphone placement have been used to create gorgeous harmonics and a wide array of interesting sounds. We “played” with fingers and hands, different bows against the strings, objects and kitchen utensils, bowing, scraping or hitting single and multiple strings or parts of the wood body. 

    The collection features designed hits, bow, crescendo, screech, woosh, swell, bonus fx folder and is ready for trailer and soundtrack projects.



  • This is a collection of old and modern doors.

    The collection includes wood doors , glass doors and metal doors recorded in an old theater , a cottage and an appartment.
    There are 124 files of slamming doors, doors opening and closing, creaking doors, doors handles and locks.

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