Gizmo sound effects library Asbjoern Andersen

Kai Paquin recently released a new sound effects library called Gizmo - and it's taken the sound community by storm, flying straight to the top of the charts. In this new interview, Kai Paquin gives you the story behind the library, and shares some of his favorite sounds and approaches for capturing those gizmo sounds:
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Hear a taste of what Gizmo sounds like above

Hi Kai, please introduce yourself and your new Gizmo sound effects library. What are some of the highlights of the library?
I’m Kai, a SFX editor from Los Angeles, and Gizmo is my newest release. It’s a collection of different clicks, snaps, clinks, clunks and all the other sounds you’d expect a machine to make if it ran without a motor.
There’s a lot of cool things about the library, but a highlight for me was recording an old antique cash register. I’m not the first person to do that, but hearing all the small gears and popping buttons at 1/20th speed is really impressive sounding.


What was your initial goal when you set out to create the library – and what sort of planning went into making it? How long has it been in the works?
A couple things inspired me while making this library. The first thing is a very talented recordist Robbie Elias had shared a recording with a stereo pair of Sanken CO100k microphones with me and it was otherworldly slowed down. I had never heard such a complex-sounding mechanical object and realized there’s a whole world of mechanical sounds like that, that needed to be slowed down.

Slowed-down recordings of an electrical typewriter

I work on a foley stage and had been collecting small antique mechanical props for years, like fishing reels, turnstile counters, hole punchers and a variety of other hand powered mechanical props

Second thing is I work on a foley stage and had been collecting small antique mechanical props for years, like fishing reels, turnstile counters, hole punchers and a variety of other hand powered mechanical props, so I was about half way there making a library. I was also on my way back home to visit my parents in Oregon where antiques are much cheaper than down here in Los Angeles, so I figured I could flesh out my collection of props quickly and cheaply while I was on vacation.
Finally, earlier in the year I was offered an amazing opportunity to help on another incredible mechanical library for Rock the Speakerbox called Gearbox and that put a taste in my mouth for taking my own approach at mechanical sounds.

As a side note I really strongly endorse also getting a copy of the Gearbox library on top of purchasing Gizmo because it tackles a whole different set of mechanical sounds. I tried to record my sounds to not have too much overlap with that library so they would complement each other well. Definitely check it out!


What was your recording setup for this one?
For most situations I was running 4 microphones. A stereo pair of Rode NT1a and a stereo pair of Sanken CO100k mics. The reason for recording with both is the Sankens have a lot of bandwidth from 0-100khz, but in general sounds with a lot of ultrasonic frequencies sound really thin on those microphones – since, even though you have the gain turned up on the recorder to the point you’re almost clipping, you might be listening to the part of the sound in your hearable range at something like -40db.

Running a second coincidental stereo pair that can’t record above the hearable range gave me a reference point of what the sounds should sound like at resting pitch while mastering

Running a second coincidental stereo pair that can’t record above the hearable range gave me a reference point of what the sounds should sound like at resting pitch while mastering. In some cases it gave me a different, richer flavor of sound to blend in with the Sankens in the mastering process to generally make the recordings feel richer than if I had just EQ’d.

Reactions from the sound community:

The library recently received two reviews – here they are:

From Michael O’ Connor:

“Wow, just wow. There is so much here I don’t even know where to begin. Kai’s diversity in sound sources makes this library extremely versatile. The dual Sanken 100K’s (alongside other microphones) have added pitch bending that allows you to sculpt and design with these sounds like never before. I tiny door hinge can be transformed into a castle-sized door creak; it is truly remarkable. Kai also made sure to capture plenty of unique takes so there is always an alternative performance to rely on. Lastly, Kai’s attention to concise yet thoroughly fleshed out metadata makes searching a breeze.
Source Material: 10/10
Sound Editing + Mastering: 10/10
Metadata: 10/10
Microphone Choice: 192/192”

From Ryan Sullivan:

“The highest quality clicks, clanks, gears, metal, mech, springs etc. This library has everything you would need for anything mechanical in any facet. Kai has separated the source of the sounds to just the essence of the sounds. It is truly a acoustimatic experience listening to this library. The incredible high quality 192k and 96k sample rate allows any sound to be manipulated endlessly. You can hear the endless amount of hard work put into this. This will be a library that will always be ingrained in my mind when doing projects. The metadata is remarkable in the amount of detail. I felt that I would listen to a sound, explain it in my head and the metadata was exactly what I was thinking.

10/10 on all fronts.”

Any surprises or fun experiences making of the library?
I’m a big fan of antique shopping, so going on a massive tour of antique shops was pretty dang fun. There were a couple field recording trips to remote places to get certain sounds like the bear box ronks. Some of the sounds never made it into the library like the swish/whoosh section, but I spent the better part of two days recording slingshot whistling projectiles with the Sankens. The recording session was a blast, but the recordings ended up being rejected because of too much noise.

More libraries from Kai Paquin:

Kai Paquin has released a number of sound effects libraries – here are some more example:

  • Electricity Electricity Play Track 392 sounds included, 35 mins total $60

    Electricity is a collection of various types of designed electricity sounds using various props and signal processing. No actual electricity was recorded in the creation of this library, its intent is for high intensity and combat electricity sounds that would be difficult to edit with acoustically recorded elements.

    Add to cart
  • Environments Los Angeles Skylines Play Track 15+ sounds included, 237 mins total From: $50

    Los Angeles Skylines is the first release of the Series 2000 collection from Kai Paquin. This library features understated traffic beds to build Los Angeles city ambiances. Covering a variety of different locations from the coast of Santa Monica to the Mountains of Pasadena, this library contains over 4 hours of rooftop and overlook recordings.

    Each location was recorded for 15-20 minutes so you can find a variety of interesting moments like sirens, street walla, and trucks while having the flexibility to cut around those moments or be able to reuse the same recording on multiple scenes without it repeating.

    Additionally, the library was carefully tagged with metadata, including flags in the recording pointing out where moments that pop out of the bed are making it easier to find specifics to cut in or around.

  • Materials & Texture Slime Play Track 949 sounds included, 72 mins total $30

    Viscous materials are probably one of the more common elements that come up on a regular basis, and one of the grossest to record. Let me save you the trouble. Slime is a collection of different Viscous materials ranging from literal slime to more abstract slime-like sounding materials like rubber.

    One of the featured sounds of the library is a gallon of slime being tossed around, man-handled, and squished.

    All the items in this collection were recorded at 192khz with a Sanken CO100k, so there's a lot of flexibility to be had pitching and manipulating the sounds.

    Before you stick your hand in that jar of mayo, give the demo a listen. It might just save you some time, and smelling like a sandwich the rest of the day.

    Add to cart

Discover more sound effects from Kai Paquin here


What are some of your favorite sounds in the library? And can you share the story behind some of the sounds in the library?
Some of my favorite sounds were the servos. I happened to walk into a hobby shop while out on a field recording trip, looking to buy an RC car and started chatting with the clerk there.

He offered I could buy their back stock of replacement servos he had taken off old dumpster pulls. I ended up getting a pretty sizable collection of different servos.

It turns out, besides selling RC cars and planes, the clerk also built robotics for movie sets and had a workshop in the back of the store. Turns out they were going to close in a couple months and he offered I could buy their back stock of replacement servos he had taken off old dumpster pulls. I ended up getting a pretty sizable collection of different servos.

Do you have any tips to share with users on how to make the most of the library?
I definitely recommend assigning the samples to a sampler and going to town. You can make a lot of interesting sounds really quickly by performing them rather than cutting by hand. That being said though, cutting by hand gets more deliberate sounding actions, so both are worth doing.

Video Thumbnail

An example of the Kontakt instrument that comes included with Gizmo

Any tips or lessons learned you’d like to share with others who are looking to create sound effects libraries?
Mastering and metadata are as, or more important than the sounds. Putting extra work into making sounds easy to search and quickly identify what the recordings are makes them 100% more attractive to use than a loosely organized collection of sounds.

A big thanks to Kai Paquin for the story behind his new SFX library!
Be sure to check out the full library below:


  • Mechanical Gizmo Play Track 2500+ sounds included, 244 mins total $125

    Gizmo is a mechanism library for designing mechanical actions in machinery without the engines. This library covers the gambit of steam, ronks, clicks, clanks, clunks, servos and all sorts of mechanical actions from various props.

    Unlike most libraries, this one was recorded at 192 with a stereo pair of Sanken CO100k microphones for extreme lossless pitching, so you can take something small like a typewriter, and make it sound like a massive printing machine.

    Add to cart

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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:
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  • Rocky Impacts is a collection of 262 rock & stone impact sound effects.
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Explore the full, unique collection here

Latest sound effects libraries:
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    • Two percent of the price of this library is donated to an environmental cause, as an “artist royalty” for the planet!
    • Carbon offset credits were purchased to offset my field recording travel for this library.

    • Woody vocalizations
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    • Visceral and guttural scrapes
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    • View larger version or Download CSV
    • A spectrogram is included for each audio file. Double click on the photo to enlarge.
    • Read 40+ testimonials for Thomas Rex Beverly Audio
    • Read my Field Recording Mastering Rules and learn more about how these recordings were mastered.
    • Browse the Library Info Master List to compare specs on all my libraries.
    • Browse the Metadata Master List to search my entire catalog.
    • MD5 and SHA 256 Checksums are included for each zip file in my catalog. Use these hashes to check the integrity of your downloaded files.
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    Each sound effect performance was recorded from multiple perspectives – a stereo ORTF pair of Lewitt LCT 540s microphones, a closer wide XY from an Audio Technica BP4025, and a close mono Schoeps CMC6/MK41 – either stationary or following the action on a boom, depending on the type of sound. The ratio of direct to reverberant sound differs between these perspectives, offering a variety of options when editing to picture.

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    The actions were performed at a range of speeds and energy levels, with multiple takes for variety. Please refer to the sound list pdf below for details. Captured at a sampling rate of 96kHz, these recordings contain detailed information above 20kHz, expanding the possibilities for manipulation when slowing and pitching them down.

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