Hi Jason, congrats on the new library – can you briefly present Future Weapons 2, and the sound design team behind it?
Thanks! Future Weapons 2 is a continuation in our series of creating top notch futuristic weaponry shots, foley, impacts, and explosions. It was created in collaboration between SoundMorph and the Russian sound team at Principle Sound Design, and also with Victor Ermakov (who was behind all the great modular synthesis layers)
How did the collaboration between you, Victor Ermakov and Principle Sound Design come into place – and how did you divide the creative work between you?
SoundMorph learned of them because a customer noticed they had released a library in Russia called “Future Weapons” a few years after the release of ours… so we wrote them asking them if they wouldn’t mind renaming it so we wouldn’t have the same name for both our libraries. But then we ended up actually buying that library from them which was about 100 sounds.
Mikhail Kotov, the owner of Principle Sound Design and I were getting along really well through emails, and he showed me some of the things they had been working on, which seemed impressive. So I proposed we hire them to help make around 400 more sounds for Future Weapons 2.
As far as SoundMorph’s involvement went, we worked closely with them deciding what the overall soundpack would consist of, how it would differ from our first Future Weapons release, and also gave alot of feedback about their submissions, did the final mastering, metadata, artwork, and soundcloud mix.
As far as Victor Ermakov’s contribution, he was hired by Principle Sound Design to create the specialized synth layers using his Euro Rack modules. Which I think he did a great job on!
Future Weapons 1 continues to do quite well here on the site, even though it’s been out for quite some time. What do you think makes the original Future Weapons so popular?
Things that claim to be “futuristic” certainly could become dated overtime as trends change and new sound tools come out, however, quality is timeless. So I think perhaps the first Future Weapons Soundpack continues to do well because we put a high value on making really quality recordings and design. If you think of something like the Light Saber from Star Wars, would never say “man that’s from the 70s it’s way dated!”. It is one of the most iconic sci-fi sounds ever created, and it still sounds great! If you play any random person on the street the sound of that, chances are high they know exactly what it is.
What were some of the things you wanted to make even better in Future Weapons 2 – and what does Future Weapons 2 bring to the table that the original doesn’t already cover?
I wouldn’t say we thought we would make something better than the first Future Weapons, as we were actually quite pleased with it, but more a continuation of the first Soundpack, covering all new weapons we didn’t have in the first library, and I’d say it possibly has more of a focus on specialized weapons, as well as alot of synth design from modular euro rack synths, which give this library a more unique sound in regards to the synthesis layers, as they were all made from scratch.
Ammunition – Reloads Foley • Bass Layers • Big Friggin' Gun • Bio Gun • Blaster • Blaster Layers • Blaster Layers • Bolt Pomp Gun • Electro Gun • Electro Rocket • Energy Gun • Explosions • Future Hand Gun • Gamma Ray • Impulse Gun • Kerosene Gun • Laser Layers • Machine Gun • Mines • Nine Inch Nail Cannon • Plasma Gun • Power • Random Source • Rifle Laser • Ripper Fast gun • Transform Layers • Weapons Foley
Can you outline your design process for a library like Future Weapons 2? What inspires you, how do you decide on how the various weapons should sound – and what’s your practical approach to creating the sounds?
Our main goal is to make sounds that people can easily use. If it’s too crazy or experimental, then more often than not a sound designer is not going to be able to use it or just won’t bother with it. We definitely want people to use the sounds and be happy with what they are getting. As far as inspiration goes, we usually get it from all the sci-fi films we watch, and kind of draw from what we like in the sound design in those and try to figure out how we could make our sounds at the same standard of quality, while also be interesting sounding.
What’s essential for a great-sounding sci-fi weapon library?
I’d say it’s a mixture of great foley, good report, shot, or initial attack sound, synthesis, and choosing non-conventional yet interesting objects to record out in the real world. It needs to sound unique and not like a regular gun shot. So you need to go outside of what you think of a real world weapon being. A classic example of something often used for a more “futuristic” sounding gun shot is a nail gun. Because a nail gun is powered by air, it sounds like a gun, but doesn’t have the same attack as say a handgun…a combination of mechanics and air make it sound more techy. That’s just one example, and it’s been done before…but you get the idea!
What are some of your favorite sounds in the new library?
You know it’s really hard to pick just a few, as I actually am really happy with how all the sounds turned out in this one. But some of my favorites would be the Bio Gun, Energy Gun, Bolt Pomp Gun, Nine Inch Nail Cannon, and Kerosene Gun!
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