Asbjoern Andersen


The following is a guest blog post by sound designer Mark Camperell, Founder & Creative Director at Empty Sea Audio and its sister company, The Library by Empty Sea:
 
Behold, the sound effects library. The only library I know of where you won’t be told to “SHHHHHHH.” What a glorious notion!

For sound designers in search of source material, there are so many options to choose from.

On one side, you have the big boys like The Hollywood Edge, Blastwave FX, Sound Dogs and Sound Ideas. And on the other side there are small, independent producers like Rabbit Ears Audio, A Hiss and A Roar, Unidentified Sound Object and Echo Collective. And there are all the others in between.

If you’ve made the decision to join the ranks of the sound designers out there that are releasing independent sound libraries, you’ve probably got a lot of a questions on your mind.

I aim to address some of these questions and hopefully provide some guidance for folks looking to explore the entrepreneurial world of independent sound effects libraries.

Hopefully, I encourage you to get out there and do it!
 

What to do, what to do?

The first hurdle to clear when releasing a collection of sounds is deciding what to record or create. This can be quite daunting because really, the sky is the limit.

There are two schools of thought in regards to the what: Create something that people need a lot of, or create something that is extremely unique and hard to find/duplicate.

Starting out, try something that you have relatively easy access to. You could have an uncle that’s a marine officer and can get you onto base to record some maneuvers. Or you could have a friend that has a fully restored, hot-rodded ’57 Chevy that sounds killer!

Chances are, you know someone that can get you around something that sounds cool. When you’re starting out, you don’t necessarily want to have to shell out a bunch of dough just to get access to something awesome. If you settle on something that isn’t exactly unique, then make it something that is created in a unique or different way.

Most importantly of all though, make it something that you would want to buy and use yourself!

If you’re going the designed route, make sure you’re starting with source material that you have ownership of.

Notice, I keep saying create. Sound libraries don’t always have to be raw sounds recorded in the field. They can be designed or synthesized also. If you’re going the designed route, make sure you’re starting with source material that you have ownership of.

When it comes to sound libraries that you sell, you should ONLY design with sounds that you record yourself. This protects from any legal woes down the line.

 

Now the how

This is a delicate topic. Ask ten different sound designers which mic to use for a particular application and you’re liable get ten different answers.

I’ve always been of the school of thought that if you capture an interesting sound or performance, the quality of the gear shouldn’t matter as much as some would like you to think. Some folks get all caught up on the specs of the gear that they’re using.

Focus your energy on capturing interesting sounds in a way that makes the most sense.

Don’t worry about your gear. Focus your energy on capturing interesting sounds in a way that makes the most sense.

I’ve got a whole folder of stuff that I recorded with my smartphone’s built-in microphone, the contents of which regularly make it into projects I’m working on. Not the most ideal, but if it’s a cool sound, it’s a cool sound and I’ll find a way to use it. Okay, getting off the soapbox…

Some collections will beg for multiple perspectives.

Car collections for instance might have 6+ channels of material being captured at once. A collection of switches and buttons might only need 1 or 2 channels. 6 channels would be overkill. Be smart and efficient with regards to your gear choices.

 

Popular on A Sound Effect right now - article continues below:

 

Latest releases:  
  • Foley Vintage Telephones Play Track 244 sounds included $39 $25

    Vintage Telephones SFX library contains 244 sounds extracted from 10 historic, rotary dial devices designed between the 1880s and 1980s. Inside, you’ll find three common ringing patterns (used in the USA, Australia, and Europe) for each telephone type, handset pickups/set downs, number dials 1-0, hook toggles, as well as single ringings with natural long ring decays to design your own ring timings according to your project needs.

    In addition to the standard telephone sounds, we captured some experimental ones, which were generated by feeding the devices with random low frequencies, thus producing some really weird mechanical rattles, buzzes, glitches, and unusual bell ringings.

    THE FOLLOWING 10 TELEPHONES WERE RECORDED

    • 3 Box Phone [1882]
    • Antique Wooden Phone [1930]
    • Siemens W48 Wandapparat [1934]
    • Ericsson DBH15 [1947]
    • Siemens W48 [1948]
    • Siemens Fg Stat 23a [1956]
    • Siemens H70 [1968]
    • Siemens FeTap 611-2 [1970]
    • Siemens H70 [1975]
    • Siemens Masterset 111 [1980]
    36 %
    OFF
    Ends 1545692400
    Add to cart
  • Dive into a new world of trailer sounds.

    TH Studio Production presents you our new sample library, the 'Trailer Elements 3' Sound FX Toolkit Library.

    Fresh new sound design sounds for trailers , video games and movies. Inspired by the sound of the latest Hollywood trailers, the library delivers 3 GB Content of (712 sounds), custom-made for trailers. It also features a version for Kontakt 5.6.6 (with 38 Kontakt instruments), as well as a WAV version.

    Elements include:

    Boom • Bass • Braams • Braams pulse • Clocks pulse • Downers • Guitars • Dark Hits • Hits • Short Hits • Kicks • Low pulse, Mid Pulse • Pads • Pianos • Pings, Rises • Synth Pulse

    + a Legato Vocal instrument, featuring the voice of Bulgarian singer Vladislava Hristozova

    Add to cart
  • Environments Christmas Play Track 165+ sounds included $17.40

    Christmas time. The time of the year everybody calms down and settles. The period is also dominated by a lot of festivities, shopping and winter actions.
    To bring you the christmas cheer, this library includes a broad variety of musical instruments, city ambiences, foleys and ready to use scenes.
    Merry christmas!

    Add to cart
  • Horror Essential Sound – Darkness And Fear Play Track 100+ sounds included, 22:55 mins total $45 $40

    It’s my pleasure to introduce you to this dense library of accomplished and cacophonous sounds. This is a dramatic and horror filled library, teaming with tension and ghostly ambience, stingers and hits.
    Most of these sounds have been used in film and television in one form or another. They’re more than just “designy sounds”.

    These are intended to create a score of tension that can help you build a scene to it’s full potential. These sounds add movement within the soundtrack, especially with the drones. When creating sounds, I like to inject some sort of movement within the sound itself, so that it’s never stagnant or ‘still’ sounding.

    So if you’re looking to notch your project up a level with dark, moody and expressive design, this is a good bet for you. Hopefully you’ll have as much inspiration as I did when creating these.

    11 %
    OFF
    Ends 1545692400
    Add to cart
  • Motorcycles Vespa 1962 – 125CC Play Track 100+ sounds included $50 $35

    This sound collection covers a wide range of sounds produced by the Vintage 125CC motorcycle Vespa 1962 . All sounds recorded with high end equipment – 24 bit and 96KHz
    All the files are mono. The stereo impression in the demo is created by means of panning.

    In this collection of high quality sound-recordings you’ll find several tandem and multitrack recordings. Please note that phasing issues between the MKH 8070 and the DPA4061’s are perfectly normal because of fluctuating time differences. The 4061’s are always onboard, fixed and in phase in contrast to the MKH8070 which was handheld on the roadside or handheld pointing at the exhaust while driving along as a passenger.

    Besides that also important to note:
    The 5 LOOPED SOUNDS are not unique. They
    are edits from the larger driving sounds. I just put these in for your convenience should you
    quickly need some loops for your project. This is also true for one of the the Revs soundfiles.
    (Heavy revs) I thought I just cut this one too for your convenience to quickly have a list of all
    relevant revs in this library. So those six soundfiles are the only double content.

    Equipment:
    Recorders

    • Sound Devices Mixpre 6
    • Zoom H5

    Microphones

    • Sennheiser MKH8070 (handheld for tracking at roadside and handheld onboard pointing at exhaust for extra perspective in addition to 4061's
    • DPA 4061 (2 x mono: exhaust and engine)

    30 %
    OFF
    Ends 1545433200
    Add to cart

Need specific sound effects? Try a search below:
 

I always like to map out my collections up front so I know if I can accomplish my goal with the gear I already possess or if I need to rent additional equipment.

If you’re in the field, choose only the essential gear you need to get the job done. Don’t load up your 50 pound car battery if you know you’re not going to need it. Remember that limitations can be helpful.

I often times will only give myself 2 channels to work with. It forces me to use my ears to find the sweet-spot which in the end can result in a better recording.

Try miking things in unusual ways. Try contact miking. Don’t just record an interesting sounding item, try recording it in a unique setting. Try miking the item underwater or in a giant culvert.
 

Coverage is king

When you’ve decided on what you’re recording, record ALL of it.

Just like with shooting video or film, you want coverage on the item. Especially if it’s an item that was difficult to gain access to. You don’t want to have to go back later because you missed something.

Obviously there are limitations to this, but do your best.

If you’ve settled on releasing a car sound pack, make sure you’re recording EVERY single sound the car makes. Get the hood, doors and trunk opening and closing. Get all of the locks, handles, knobs, buttons and sliders. Get all of its compartments.

 

I can’t emphasize this enough, GET IT ALL!

How about the windshield wipers? Gas tank? Turn signal sound? Radio static? Fan belts, why not?

There is so much more to a car than just the engine, wheel-wells and tailpipe. I can’t emphasize this enough, GET IT ALL!

Yeah, it’ll make for a lot of material to sift through later, but you’ll be thankful you have it. You might not use it all for this particular pack, but you might use it for another release later on!

With some smaller objects and only if you can afford it, you should even consider purposefully misusing the item at the very end to produce malfunction, damage or destruction sounds.

These are always unique and so many games and films feature destruction, so you know they’ll come in handy.
 

Read part two of this guide, where Mark Camperell takes a look at the post processing and the delicate art of pricing your sound effect library.

Jump to part two
 

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About Mark Camperell:

Mark Camperell is the Founder & Creative Director at Empty Sea Audio and its sister company,
The Library by Empty Sea. Mark’s direction, along with his ability to assemble uniquely talented audio teams, is positioning Empty Sea as a leader in creative audio services ranging from sound effects libraries to original music composition to full service post audio packages. In addition to his position at Empty Sea, Mark is also a freelance Supervising Sound Designer, Re-Recording Mixer and Music Producer with over 100 titles under his belt. Mark is an active member of the Motion Picture Sound Editors and Motion Picture Editors Guild.

The Library by Empty Sea:

  • Drones & Moods Dronos Play Track 154 sounds included, 154 mins total $25 $20

    Brand New Sci-Fi Ambiences from The Library by Empty Sea. 6+ GB, 150+ sounds, almost 3 hours of material, all 96k, all looped for easy use.

    20 %
    OFF
    Ends 1546383600
    Add to cart
  • Foley Gateway – Part 1, 2 & 3 Play Track 600-3200+ sounds included From: $25 From: $20

    Tired of those same old door knobs and hinge squeaks that you hear in every single game, film and TV show? Well, Gateway aims to remedy that issue while providing you with a brand new palette of sounds.

    Gateway comes packed with doors, doors and more doors! Low end, high end, slow horror creaks and squeaks, huge slams and impacts, tiny compartment doors.

    The Gateway family now includes the just-released Gateway Part 3, with more than 1400 new sounds.

    Doors, gates, overhead rollups, cabinets, closets, drawers, garage doors, fireplaces, sheds, you name it!

    Latches and knobs, wrought iron and chain link! Metal, wood, glass and MORE! All of these doors were acoustically captured in the real world. You won’t find anything synthesized here!

    Did we mention doors? Yeah, Gateway has those too.

    Gateway Part 1 features 675 files, 1200+ sounds

    Gateway Part 2 features 365 files, 600+ sounds

    Gateway Part 3 features 772 files, 1400+ sounds

    The Gateway 1-3 Bundle features 1812 files, 3200+ sounds

    Special offer:Do you already have Gateway Part 1 or 2? Send a message here for a special upgrade offer for part 3.

    Choose your preferred version below – or land some great savings by getting all three in one handy package!

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  • Mechanical Robobiotics Play Track 3600+ sounds included $120 $105

    Robobiotics is an exciting new sound effects collection from The Library by Empty Sea. It delivers 3600+ original sound effects for scifi and robots. We’re talking about almost 3 hours of material here.

    We spent over a year recording and designing Lasers, Robot Vox, Impacts, Servos, Ratcheting Metal, Ambiances, Transformations, Foley, Vehicle Bys and much much more!

    13 %
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  • Animals & Creatures Sea Monsters Play Track 4000 sounds included $65 $60

    Sea Monsters from The Library by Empty Sea is a collection containing over 4000 sound effects for creature vocals. This collection weighs in at a whopping 9GB!

    A must-have for any sound designer looking to level up on creature sound design.

    8 %
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  • User Interface (UI) Ui One Play Track 1400 sounds included $35 $30

    This collection contains over 1400 original sound effects for user interfaces, telemetry, gadgetry and more.

    14 %
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    Ends 1546383600
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THE WORLD’S EASIEST WAY TO GET INDEPENDENT SOUND EFFECTS:
 
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:
 
 
  • 20 libraries of production elements and soundscapes suited to all forms of broadcast media. From glitched-out future computers to dark, ominous atmospheres, these libraries feature organic elements, analogue source material and extreme digital processing for a blend of the familiar and the experimental side of sound design.

    Think Dystopian environments, unexplored Science Fiction spaces, unsettling horror ambiences, signals gone awry, abstract textures and harsh walls of noise.

    77 %
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  • Foley MOVES Play Track 772+ sounds included $115 $89

    MOVES is a collection of character foley clothing and gear movements that cover a large range of characters such as Special Forces, Medieval Soldier, World War Soldier, Policeman, and High-tech Soldier among many others.

    MOVES will make a great addition to your sonic arsenal and help you achieve that personal character sound that you have in your head. MOVES does not replace a Veteran Foley artist, but will come in handy if you have a restricted budget or if you need a good sound to enhance the movements of your characters.

    You get several walks, runs and stop movements for every type of character.

    Two versions included:

    To speed up your workflow, the library comes with two versions of the same content, tailored for people working either in the Video Game or the Cinema industry:

    Video Game Workflow: For every variation, you will have a single wav file, making it ideal for people who like to have every sound already cut and ready to be used in their DAW or middleware. It consists of 772 sounds.
    Cinema Workflow You will find several variations of the sounds in single wav files here. It consists of 151 wav files sounds.

    And as mentioned, both versions are included, so you can pick whatever works best for your way of working.


    Features props and characters such as:

    Bullet-proof vest, medieval chain mail, dress, leather jacket, old robot, policeman, World War II soldier, Special Forces, Thin Android, Winter Jacket, medieval foot soldier, plastic character, rattle character, shield, sword, weapons, helmets, high tech soldier, winter jacket

    As always, all sounds are embedded with useful Soundminer metadata. I really hope you will find this collection inspiring and useful in your future projects.

    Have a great day designing your new characters with MOVES!

    Best wishes,
    Michel Marchant.

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  • Mechanical Elements: Gears Play Track 4000+ sounds included, 205 mins total
    Rated 5.00 out of 5
    $75

    Elements: Gears is a collection of small and large gear, ratchet, cogwheel and other mechanical sounds recorded and edited over more than 2 years by George Vlad. The library encompasses more than 4000 individual sounds covering actions such as single clicks, slow movement, fast movement, short turns etc. The objects recorded include ratchet tools, plastic toys, old sewing machines, wagon wheels and ethnic noise making instruments. Some of the larger objects have been recorded using MKH 8040, DPA 4060 and a JrF contact microphone with each perspective included on a separate track.

    Elements: Gears 1.1 Update adds more large gear sounds! Check out the accompanying spreadsheet.

    The sounds can be used for obvious purposes such as ratchet wrenches, cogwheels, drawbridges, steampunk mechanisms, machinery etc.. As is the case with other libraries in the Elements series, these sounds can also be used as building blocks for more complex sounds such as spaceships, vehicles, industrial machinery and others. Additionally, all files are recorded and mastered at 24/96 quality which makes them excellent sound design elements ripe for serious processing.

    Elements: Gears at a glance:

    • 212 .wav files; more than 4000 sounds in total
    • recorded and presented as 24 bit/96 kHz mono files
    • 3 hours and 55 minutes total length
    • 3.83 GB uncompressed size – 3.11 GB zip archive
    • recorded on Sound Devices 633 with Sennheiser MKH-8040, DPA 4060 and JrF microphones
    • comprehensive metadata compatible with Basehead and Soundminer

    Add to cart
 
Explore the full, unique collection here

Latest sound effects libraries:
 
  • Foley Vintage Telephones Play Track 244 sounds included $39 $25

    Vintage Telephones SFX library contains 244 sounds extracted from 10 historic, rotary dial devices designed between the 1880s and 1980s. Inside, you’ll find three common ringing patterns (used in the USA, Australia, and Europe) for each telephone type, handset pickups/set downs, number dials 1-0, hook toggles, as well as single ringings with natural long ring decays to design your own ring timings according to your project needs.

    In addition to the standard telephone sounds, we captured some experimental ones, which were generated by feeding the devices with random low frequencies, thus producing some really weird mechanical rattles, buzzes, glitches, and unusual bell ringings.

    THE FOLLOWING 10 TELEPHONES WERE RECORDED

    • 3 Box Phone [1882]
    • Antique Wooden Phone [1930]
    • Siemens W48 Wandapparat [1934]
    • Ericsson DBH15 [1947]
    • Siemens W48 [1948]
    • Siemens Fg Stat 23a [1956]
    • Siemens H70 [1968]
    • Siemens FeTap 611-2 [1970]
    • Siemens H70 [1975]
    • Siemens Masterset 111 [1980]
    36 %
    OFF
    Ends 1545692400
  • Dive into a new world of trailer sounds.

    TH Studio Production presents you our new sample library, the 'Trailer Elements 3' Sound FX Toolkit Library.

    Fresh new sound design sounds for trailers , video games and movies. Inspired by the sound of the latest Hollywood trailers, the library delivers 3 GB Content of (712 sounds), custom-made for trailers. It also features a version for Kontakt 5.6.6 (with 38 Kontakt instruments), as well as a WAV version.

    Elements include:

    Boom • Bass • Braams • Braams pulse • Clocks pulse • Downers • Guitars • Dark Hits • Hits • Short Hits • Kicks • Low pulse, Mid Pulse • Pads • Pianos • Pings, Rises • Synth Pulse

    + a Legato Vocal instrument, featuring the voice of Bulgarian singer Vladislava Hristozova

  • Environments Christmas Play Track 165+ sounds included $17.40

    Christmas time. The time of the year everybody calms down and settles. The period is also dominated by a lot of festivities, shopping and winter actions.
    To bring you the christmas cheer, this library includes a broad variety of musical instruments, city ambiences, foleys and ready to use scenes.
    Merry christmas!

  • Horror Essential Sound – Darkness And Fear Play Track 100+ sounds included, 22:55 mins total $45 $40

    It’s my pleasure to introduce you to this dense library of accomplished and cacophonous sounds. This is a dramatic and horror filled library, teaming with tension and ghostly ambience, stingers and hits.
    Most of these sounds have been used in film and television in one form or another. They’re more than just “designy sounds”.

    These are intended to create a score of tension that can help you build a scene to it’s full potential. These sounds add movement within the soundtrack, especially with the drones. When creating sounds, I like to inject some sort of movement within the sound itself, so that it’s never stagnant or ‘still’ sounding.

    So if you’re looking to notch your project up a level with dark, moody and expressive design, this is a good bet for you. Hopefully you’ll have as much inspiration as I did when creating these.

    11 %
    OFF
    Ends 1545692400
  • Motorcycles Vespa 1962 – 125CC Play Track 100+ sounds included $50 $35

    This sound collection covers a wide range of sounds produced by the Vintage 125CC motorcycle Vespa 1962 . All sounds recorded with high end equipment – 24 bit and 96KHz
    All the files are mono. The stereo impression in the demo is created by means of panning.

    In this collection of high quality sound-recordings you’ll find several tandem and multitrack recordings. Please note that phasing issues between the MKH 8070 and the DPA4061’s are perfectly normal because of fluctuating time differences. The 4061’s are always onboard, fixed and in phase in contrast to the MKH8070 which was handheld on the roadside or handheld pointing at the exhaust while driving along as a passenger.

    Besides that also important to note:
    The 5 LOOPED SOUNDS are not unique. They
    are edits from the larger driving sounds. I just put these in for your convenience should you
    quickly need some loops for your project. This is also true for one of the the Revs soundfiles.
    (Heavy revs) I thought I just cut this one too for your convenience to quickly have a list of all
    relevant revs in this library. So those six soundfiles are the only double content.

    Equipment:
    Recorders

    • Sound Devices Mixpre 6
    • Zoom H5

    Microphones

    • Sennheiser MKH8070 (handheld for tracking at roadside and handheld onboard pointing at exhaust for extra perspective in addition to 4061's
    • DPA 4061 (2 x mono: exhaust and engine)

    30 %
    OFF
    Ends 1545433200

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