swedish sound wilderness Asbjoern Andersen


To a growing number of recordists and sound designers, independent sound effects is more than a source of new sounds - it's a way of life. Now, a group of die-hard recordists are taking things to the extreme in their quest for sonic purity - and in the process, they're inventing a whole new category of sound effects. Please note the publishing date, btw :)
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Gunnar Hagsmäl may be a new name to many in the sound community – and there’s a good reason for that. For the past 12 years, he’s been living completely off the grid in the remote wilderness of northern Sweden. But now he’s back for a brief spell to share the story behind his new project. And when he returns to the wilderness, he’s taking 6 other recordists and sound designers with him. As a huge supporter of sustainable living, I was excited to hear his story – here it is:
 

Hi Gunnar, you’re planning on taking independent sound effects to the next level – how, exactly?

Let’s start with ‘why’. What’s the first thing you think of when I say sound effects? Correct, it’s not the environment or carbon emissions – and that’s too bad. Think about it: We have all these recordists traveling halfway around the globe to capture the sounds of some oddball animal, blowing up stuff to capture yet another explosion sound, or doing seemingly endless laps with a car for a vehicle sound library. How sustainable is that? It’s not, and I’m changing that right now – well, in a couple of weeks anyway.
 

So what’s your plan?

I’m launching a new type of sound effects, and here’s what I call them: Sustainable sound effects. Why? Well, the environmental impact from these sound effects with be exactly 0% – and this goes for everything from recording, editing and even delivering them.

To create them, I’m setting up a commune in northern Sweden. For now, it’s essentially just a small hut, but in time, it’ll be a place where recordists, sound designers and editors can live off the grid, ideally for years and even decades – producing some of the purest, most sustainable sounds the world has ever heard.

the swedish sound commune_

The location of the Swedish sound commune

I’ve spent years finding the perfect spot in the woods, free from flight paths, highways, country roads, pets, pests, people, radio waves, sine waves, pollution and other interruptions. In short, there’s simply no-one else around, except for our group of pioneering creatives.
 

What sort of sounds are you looking to capture?

We’ll of course have unlimited access to some absolutely pristine nature locations, so there’s that covered. We’re also building a zoo, featuring a selection of what I call run-of-the-mill animals. These are animals that, from a sound perspective, cover most of the bases when it comes to animal vocalisations. And, for added coverage, I’ve domesticated most of the local wildlife.

We’re also building a zoo, featuring a selection of what I call run-of-the-mill animals

We’ve got plenty of space, so we’ll also be building the world’s largest Foley pit.

How about vehicles, spacecraft and the like, you may ask. We’ll be using something called the Rambly technique, which will cover those categories too.

So, all in all, we can essentially do everything and anything when it comes to sound – and again, do it greener than anyone else in the world.
 

What about equipment?

We all have our existing recording gear and laptops and we’ll be using those to begin with. It goes without saying that, within a year or two, we expect to have essentially recreated these using whatever natural materials we can find up there.

As proof of concept, I’ve already built a working replica of a Zoom H4n using nothing but logs, bark, leaves from a Pedicularis sceptrum-carolinum and a patch of old moss. The noise floor is even better than the real thing, so I’m confident we’ll make this work.

I’ve already built a working replica of a Zoom H4n using nothing but branches, bark, leaves from a Pedicularis sceptrum-carolinum and a patch of old moss

To keep things sustainable, we’re capturing everything on recycled cassette tapes from the 80s. I know some of you may be worried about the sonic fidelity, but really… You can’t make a sustainable omelette without breaking a few eggs. And at the end of the day, it’s not about the bit rates, sample rates and other technical mumbö jumbö, as we say in Sweden – it’s about having the sounds that fit your project. And that’s exactly what we deliver, and then some.
 


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But.. You’ll need some kind of power source to make this work?

Ever heard of the sun? The wind? Rivers? Lakes? Waterfalls? Modified exercise bikes that can be used to recharge our recording gear? Gigantic dams and water turbines that can output 1.000s of watts? Fantastical machines that can harness the aurora borealis? Need I say more?
 

So once you’ve recorded all these sounds, how do you get them out there to those who need them?

We’ve got no internet connection, for obvious reasons, but luckily we’ve got a way to make it work despite that: For the past 5 years, I’ve been training upwards of 100 carrier pigeons. These will be stationed around Sweden and at strategic locations across Europe. They’ve been carefully trained to pass on the completed cassette tapes from pigeon to pigeon, and to their final destination, giving us incredible range, everything considered.
 

Who are the 6 recordists who’ll be coming back with you?

I wish I could tell you their names, but all I can say is that they’re among the most well-known and respected names in the independent sound community.

They haven’t quite told their friends and families that they’ll be leaving everything behind to go live in the Swedish wilderness for years to come, in search of sonic purity and 100% sustainable sound effects just yet. So in that light, I feel it would be somewhat premature for me to disclose their names.

What if someone wants to join your endeavor?

We still have a few spaces left in the makeshift commune we’ve built, so if you want to change the world of sound for the better, please leave a comment below outlining why you think you’d be a great fit for our team. I’ll then make my decision from that.

A big thanks to Gunnar Hagsmäl for sharing the story – apply to join the team in the comments below, or follow an alternative path to supporting sustainability here. We wish Gunnar Hagsmäl the best of luck with transforming sound as we know it!

 

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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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    -The sound bank contains 66 sound takes recorded in ambisonic at 24/96khZ (a total of 330 files).

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  • Helicopters Agusta A109 Play Track 243 sounds included $159

    The Agusta A109 sound fx library features 243 clips in 12.22 gigabytes from an Italian
    military helicopter. This collection includes recordings from 2 Pratt & Whitney Canada PW206C Turboshaft engines with 418 kW (561 hp) each, recorded during a military exercise.

    A total of 22 exterior perspectives capture the sound of this helicopter in 14 takes.
    Microphones arranged at the front, side, and behind record idling, departing, and
    arriving. A range of low to high turbine and rotor RPMs are captured in stationary idles.

    Each sound is embedded with Soundminer metadata. The collection is also bundled
    with Reaper and Pro Tools sessions that arrange each take for easy editing and mixing.

  • Ambisonics Surround Sound LAB Complete Collection Play Track 4500+ sounds included, +1000 mins total $1,400 $499

    The Surround Sound LAB Complete Collection is a bundle containing the whole SSL Catalog. We offer it as a perpetual audio one-time subscription, getting you 4500+ files, 240+ GB of audio and free updates as the catalog grows! This one-time bundle purchase gives you access to all the Surround Sound LAB libraries, including new future releases!

    64 %
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  • Destruction & Impact Pirate Game Sounds Play Track 136 sounds included, 9 mins total $19.99 $14.99

    136 high-quality sound effects specially crafted to help you put sound to your pirate game.

     
    They are divided in:

    – Battle (Cannon shoots, impacts on ships and water, sword hits and wounds)

    – Player sounds (eating, drinking, walking)

    – Foleys (map sounds, hoist sail, repairing ship, dig, tavern sounds, chest sounds)

    – Voice (emotions like laughs, shouts, affirmations)

    – Ambiences (Tavern ambient, ship ambient, ocean waves ambient)

     
    More about the pack:

    – Intuitive file naming.

    – All you’ll ever need regarding pirate game sounds.

    – It also contains 2 pieces of music: A tavern song and a fanfare.

     

    [Use them again & again]

    Use the sound effects over and over, in any of your projects or productions, forever without any additional fees or royalties. Use the SFX in your game, in your trailer, in a Kickstarter campaign, wherever you need to, as much as you want to.

     

    [Professional audio services]

    For custom music, sound design, sound engineering or any other game audio services, please send a mail to: audioalchemiststore@gmail.com

    25 %
    OFF
  • The only audio library of its kind on the market, this massive sound pack is designed to go above and beyond in rewarding our customers, offering unprecedented value to your players! Unlock the forbidden magic of Halloween with this truly unique collection of spooky sound effects and music. Each sound is handcrafted and optimized to be the perfect addition to your slot game and is the only Halloween slots library you’ll ever need!

    FOR ANY SCARY THEMED OCCASION

    Transform your project with hundreds of incredibly versatile sounds and voice-overs for ZOMBIES, MONSTERS, WITCHES, GHOSTS, DEVILS, DRACULA VAMPIRES, WEREWOLVES, CREEPY CLOCKS, GHOSTS, BATS, and EVIL LAUGHTER! Not to mention the highest quality spooky Halloween music you’ll need, with SOUND AMBIENCE BACKGROUND LOOPS for interior and exterior environments! This pack’s audio covers a diverse collection of themes and styles — for cartoons, blood-curdling horror, upbeat loops, engaging short stings, stripped back background loops, and more!

    FOR ANY SLOT GAME SOUNDS

    Any sound needed for a slot game user interface is included, such as button sounds, bet high and bet low sounds, minimum and maximum selection sounds, notifications, triggers, reveals, reel spin starts, reel spin loops, hums and whooshes, simple and special anticipation reel stop sounds, win payout tune rollups, coin sounds, spooky symbol sounds, anticipation-building wind-ups, sounds for summaries and transitions, and more! Whether your slot game is physical or online, each asset has been painstakingly optimized to cut through the background chatter and immerse your players in the haunted horrors of Halloween like never before.

    INCREDIBLE EASE-OF-USE

    Enrich your title in seconds with beautifully mixed, AAA quality sounds brought to you by our team of industry veterans, whose 600 slot games worth of experience have culminated in this extraordinary sound pack!

    SPOOKY CASINO SLOT GAME SOUNDS at a Glance:

    • 300 Audio Files (150 original sounds) – all in High-Quality WAV and MP3 formats
    • 100+ Symbol Sounds, Buttons and other Interface Sounds, Reel Spin and Stops, Trigger Sounds, Selection and Reveal Sounds, and more!
    • 30 Music Loops, Stings, Numerous Variations and Edits, Win Tunes, Payouts and other Celebration Tunes + much more!
    • Ready to use – requires no editing, labeling or splicing. Categorized, organized and individually labeled files for maximum use efficiency
    • FREE Updates to higher versions, FOREVER!
    • BUY NOW in time to create an amazing project for Halloween!
  • Destruction & Impact The Eiravaein Collection Play Track 21,000+ sounds included, 3265 mins total $1,129 $790

    The Eiravaein Works total mix.

    This auditory omnibus includes all 30 of our individually released SFX libraries. Encompassing a tremendously diverse amount of content, topics, unique sources, designs, recording techniques, and channel formats, our complete collection provides you with over 2.25 days of professional audio assets.

    With the Eiravaein Collection, you will receive:

    48Kilos, Anarchy, BigBlock, Bunretsu, Burst, Crepitus, Dx, Epona, Flourish, Gravitas, Grit, Helinä, Ilmarinen, Jarred, Kieuk, Latchlocker, Meridian, Mouthy, Nocked, OutwardInversion, Parched, Start Select, Tubular, Unfathomed, Vaeya I, Vaeya II, Vaeya III, Vaeya IV, Wakey Wakey and Yvaine.

    30 %
    OFF
    Ends 1571954399
 
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2 thoughts on “A sound effects revolution is coming – from the Swedish wilderness:

  1. Hello Gunnar, great to hear about your adventures, and I hereby humbly submit my application:

    I am around 6ft2, I have long hair, grew up in the Carpathian mountains, and I am as strong as the strongest Swedish man, so I should fit right in. I am also willing to legally change my name to Ragnar Rödknapp.

    Given my physical prowess and oddly convenient name, I would be able to easily help build more H4n recorders, usually to the tune of an endless loop of Nic and the Family – Hej Monika.

    I do hope that my application finds you well, and I am willing to leave my life in London behind in order to join you on your most noble of quests.

    Humbly,
    Ragnar Rödknapp.

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