Asbjoern Andersen


Few people on this planet have more experience with weapon sound effects recording than Watson Wu, so it’s fantastic to be able to share his exclusive guide on how to do it right. Covering everything from gear, weapons, locations – to the recording sessions themselves – Wu shares a wealth of experience here:
 
People in general ask why I often do field recordings of firearms. Here are my responses. When you watch movies or play video games with guns being discharged, someone had to have recorded and edited those sounds. There are no accurate ways to replicate the multiple frequencies of such powerful sounds with synthesizers and/or audio software. Well, maybe not today.

To capture great sounds of weapons, you’ll need to use tons of high quality gear. There are several different methods but I have divided my own key points into five separate sections.
 

1: Microphones

I own many microphones of all types. Why do I own so many? Because I’m a Microphone Junkie! Microphones are like ice cream flavors; the more different ones you use, the greater chances you’ll have in capturing great sounds. Charles likes chocolate while Watson loves vanilla. Just like art, particular sounds from particular microphones come down to one’s personal preference. Having more recording channels from different sounding microphones will also give me more options for editing and mixing.

Typically I record 12 or more channels for medium to large size budget jobs. The most often used microphones are Røde, Sennheiser, Neumann, Shure, and other similar high quality brands. I find it necessary to have dynamics and condensers such as handheld vocal mics, pencil mics, shotgun mics, XY and MS stereo mics all thrown into the session.
 

2: Field Mixers & Field Recorders

The right Sound Devices field mixers and field recorders are actually the key to successful recordings of weapons. A long time ago when I tried other brands, all of the channels sounded about the same. In fact, they all sounded like popcorn. This is true even when comparing a cheap $100 handheld vocal dynamic mic to a $2,000 super shotgun condenser mic. The fast responding analog limiters from Sound Devices is what makes each of the mics sound different from one to the other. My favorite field mixers are the 442, MixPre-D, and the USBPre2. The 702, 722, and 744 are the best stand-alone field recorders.

I often find myself pushing the gain beyond clipping to achieve great aggressive sounds. It isn’t about what the wave file looks like during editing, but rather, it’s about how it sounds. The Sound Devices analog limiters will often times produce great sounds despite the awkward looking wave files.
 

3: Running Long Cables

To attach many XLR cables from the array of mics to my mixers and recorders, I use InstaSnake boxes. ETSLan.com makes these fantastic boxes that utilize CAT5e data cable to send long runs of audio signals. For the Ghost in The Shell online game, we had to do over 600 feet of cabling to capture the sounds of super long distance gunshots. InstaSnake boxes are rated to send up to 1,900 feet even with Phantom power turned on.
 

4: Monitoring

During a gun recording session, there are two ways to monitor gunshots. If you use regular studio headphones, you’ll need to be far enough (60 feet or more) so that the loud gunshots won’t hurt nor impair your ears. This method unfortunately will make communication difficult between the recordist and the armorer.

Precious amounts of ammunitions will be wasted when the armorer can’t hear you telling him to stop shooting

The workflow will slow down when you have to yell at each other and/or rely on walkie talkies. The amorer must also wear electronic earmuffs that will allow him to hear normal speech and still protect his ears from loud gunshots.
Precious amounts of ammunitions will be wasted when the armorer can’t hear you telling him to stop shooting. I always use my Remote Audio headphones to record loud sounds. They are made for helicopters, racecars, and gunshots. Most of the time I can be 25 feet or closer to the shooter and still be able to monitor the recordings. Isolated playback with these headphones is also great even during moments when loud planes fly by.
 

5: Location

Location, Location, Location! Depending on the client’s needs, there are a few shooting ranges and private properties I can choose to rent. One place here in Florida will allow machine gun firing but won’t allow for explosions. This particular quiet range has areas where I get minimum amounts of echo, which is great for CQB (Close Quarter Battle) types of sounds.

At this prime location we’ve shot off tons of handguns, high power rifles, machine guns like the Mini-Gun to Explosions that send off Giant mushroom clouds of debris

If I need to do everything including explosions, I will use a huge private property in the desert just outside Las Vegas. At this prime location we’ve shot off tons of handguns, high power rifles, machine guns like the Mini-Gun to Explosions that send off Giant mushroom clouds of debris.
 

Calibers

There are clients who know what they want, and then there are clients who have little or no clue. When I worked on my first few projects that involved weapons, I was given room to choose what I wanted to record. Based on the agreed upon budget, I decided to choose weapons of different caliber ranging from 9mm, .40S&W, .45ACP, .357 Magnum handgun rounds to .22LR (Long Rifle), .223, .270, and .308 rifle rounds. I have convinced clients who have limited budget to change weapon selections when there are two or more handguns that shoot the same caliber.

When I have to record various 9mm handguns, I will acquire handguns that are all metal made material (like a Sig P226) as well as polymer types (like a Glock 17). Different types of body material, barrel lengths, as well as different brands of ammunition will produce different types of sounds. Once I was recording some hunting rifles, the owner had with him a small thumb size revolver that shot the same caliber as his rifle. However, the tiny handgun actually produced a better and more interesting sound. It was comical! For best results, most of the time, I strive to record large caliber rifles and as well as full automatic machineguns. The loud, powerful transients they produce are very exciting!

When dealing with a mid or large size project, I sometimes will buy various loads and brands of ammunitions for the possibility of capturing a variety of sounds. For example, an inexpensive non-major brand of the .45ACP caliber ammo won’t sound as beefy as the more expensive Winchester brand.

For best results, most of the time, I strive to record large caliber rifles and as well as full automatic machineguns

If I sat within 25 feet or closer to the shooter, the explosive sound from the Winchester PDX1 round will bleed into my Remote Audio NH7506 super headphones.

Not only is it good to record acceptable gunshot sounds, but my role is to also capture as much variety as possible.

When possible I will try to budget in a backup day in case we run into bad weather. I like to record in the desert away from chatty Florida birds and insects during the hot seasons. An exception was made when I gained access to shoot over a lake at a private orange groves property. This was for my “Rifles & Pistols of The World Wars” sound effects library. Shots from the rifles produced unusual gun tails that sounded fantastic over water! Moreover, whenever the wind blew, each of the tails sounded different from each other, which is great for video games. Video games are non-linear so more variation sounds are often needed.
 

 

Preparations

To prepare the needed gear for a medium or large size gun session, it may take an entire day or more to gather everything. Everything means mic stands, folding tables, chairs, cooler to store food/drinks, audio cables, long CAT5e data cables, batteries, custom batteries, bullhorn, walkie-talkies, tools, mixers, recorders, plastic bins, laptops, sun block, weapons, ammunitions, tools, etc. Sometimes I have to rent a large SUV like a Chevy Suburban or a 15-passenger work van to haul the equipment plus personnel.

Most of I do is “Work for Hire”, meaning a company will pay me to field record sound effects then send the files to them. They would own the copyrights to those files. Typically these companies will supply me with a specific list of the actual weapons.
Once the shot list has been acquired, I would call my multiple gun owner associates and offer to pay them for their services. If they don’t have what I need, they too know other gun owners who may be able to provide the same service. Once a day rate has been negotiated, I would pay for the ammunitions in advance. I tend to over budget ammunition in case something interrupts the recording session. Also, here in America, purchased ammunitions cannot be returned.
 


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

 

Latest releases:  
  • Spatial Roomtones & Interiors is an immersive collection of audio backgrounds for cinema, VR, videogames and any audiovisual or creative purposes.

    The audios provided in this library are high quality recordings with Zoom H2n recorder in propietary Spatial Audio mode, horizontal-only ambisonic alike mic layout stored in an AmbiX format. W, X, Y channels of AmbiX provide immersive audio through the horizontal plane and they allow to decode the recording into Mono, Stereo, Binaural, Quad, 5.0, 5.1, 7.1 and more layouts with dedicated Ambisonic processors. Z channel is empty.

    The library comes with 5.0 and Stereo version of the AmbiX original recordings.

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  • The following is a 2016 Bell 407 GX Helicopter single license
    sound effects library with Metadata (1.8gb compressed .zip file, 2.5gb Uncompressed).

    All 17 wave files at about 85 minutes long are in 24 Bit, 96 kHz. The Onboard recordings are in 4 separate mono wave files. Drag & drop or import each of the files into your audio editing software, then align them for creative mixing. There are also ready to use stereo mix versions of the Onboard recordings. External recordings are in mono, stereo, and Ambisonic Format B wave files.

    Onboard Settings:

    Channel 1 Front Left
    Channel 2 Front Right
    Channel 3 Rear Left
    Channel 4 Rear Right

    Notes: If you need specific shots of this helicopter, Watson is available for hire to re-record this or similar sounding aircrafts.

    Special thanks to James, his crew, and to Chad Dion (photographer)!

    Definitions
    External = Sounds recorded from outside of the aircraft (flybys, etc)
    OnBoard = Recording perspectives on and in the aircraft

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  • Recording of a 1972 Porsche 911 ST vintage sports car with a 2.5 liter 6 cylinder boxer dual ignition engine and race car tuning 280 hp.


    The German 1972 Porsche 911 ST sound fx collection includes 468 sound files in 45.46 gigabytes of audio. It features the sound of a vintage sports car with a 2.5 liter 6 cylinder boxer dual ignition engine and race car tuning 280 hp.

    The bundle gathers 20 synchronized takes from both onboard and exterior perspective. The 18 onboard takes feature microphones positioned in the interior (including an Ambisonic perspective), engine, and at the exhaust while driving with gearshifts, ramps, and steady RPMs. The 7 exterior perspectives showcase departing, arriving, passing by, and reversing at slow, medium, and fast speeds. Also included are idles, performed effects of doors, gearshifts, pedals, and more, and impulse responses of the cabin interior.

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    The 1978 Japanese Yamaha ET 340 snowmobile sound collection gathers 174 clips in 8.47 gigabytes of field recordings. It showcases the sound of a 338cc, 2 stroke, 2 cylinder engine in 23 channels of audio.

    The sound pack includes 9 synchronized takes of onboard and exterior driving. The 11 onboard perspectives features recordings from the engine, exhaust, and front shield while the skimobile drives with steady RPMs and ramps. The 5 exterior perspectives arrange microphones at three positions to capture driving at slow and fast speeds on straightaways and around corners. The package also includes custom mixes of the onboard perspectives as wells as performed effects of switches, the throttle, and more.

    Each sound is embedded with with seven languages of Soundminer, iXML, BWAV and Mac OS Finder metadata.

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  • “The Shoe Collection: Soft Hardwood – Men’s Boat Shoe“ by Periscope Post & Audio, provides 22 high quality footsteps on soft hardwood floors with the boat shoe.  The audio files are recorded at 24bit, 192k with mono and stereo recordings.  The Sennheiser MKH-60 was used for the mono files with a slightly more distant mic placement than the stereo files, which were recorded with the Sennheiser MKH8050 and the Sennheiser MKH-30 near the shoe.  From different walking speeds, to jogging, sprinting, jumping, hard stops, scuffs, and more!  There are several performances with each file to fit the right action you need.  That’s a whopping 454 footsteps between the mono and stereo files!

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Need specific sound effects? Try a search below:
 

To keep the cost down for a lower budget project, the weather will have to be perfect and without much interruption from traffic, critters, and noisy people. Having the right assistants who know when not to speak nor make noises also helps.
Microphone placements depend on the project. I often compare two films: Heat and The Matrix. Heat has lots of explosion-based sounds whereas The Matrix has more mechanical types of sounds – and as a fan, I always try to capture both. To record mechanical sounds, I typically will place mics very close to the ejection ports (where empty shell casings eject out) of Semi-Auto and Full Auto weapons like the M4 as well as the AK47.

I often compare two films: Heat and The Matrix. Heat has lots of explosion-based sounds whereas The Matrix has more mechanical types of sounds – and as a fan, I always try to capture both.

High power sniper rifles such as the Remington 700 and the Barrett 50 cal usually produce more explosion-like sounds. It’s through the many experiments of shooting and recording I conduct to figure out what is useful.

During the production of the British film ’71, video clips containing gun battles were shared with me. Based on that I was able to determine the needed angles and distances. On the other hand, for video games, I typically need to record multiple perspectives such as close, medium, far, and incoming. During the planning of Ghost In The Shell online game, the audio director wanted all different perspectives including mics being as far as over 600 feet away from the shooter’s perspective. Needless to say, the InstaSnakes really came in handy!
 

Safety Rules

When field recording sounds of live firing, safety is Always number one. Here in America, we use the terms “Hot” and “Cold”. The term Hot means that firing is going on, meaning you don’t step beyond the safety line. Cold means that there are no ammunitions inside the weapons, meaning it is safe to check your targets etc. Whenever I bring along assistants with little or no experiences in firearms, we brief them extensively on gun safety. If during a moment where someone had to go and adjust a microphone problem like a rattling cable or a fallen mic stand, that person is suppose to ask if we are Cold or can we go “Cold” so that accidental firing may never occur. I cannot stress enough at how important it is to listen to armorers and/or safety officers. Just like driving on the road, accidents can be avoided if you watch, listen, and follow the rules.

I have hired professionals to shoot for me because I’ve seen how safe and serious they are when operating firearms. They will also need to be able to follow my directions such as when and where to fire. The finger is never near the trigger until the gun is leveled and pointed at a specific target.

When the range is Hot, attendees should always wear are anti-fog safety glasses (or large sunglasses) and proper ear protection such as electronic earmuffs (or ear plugs).
 

File Names

Naming files can be a little tricky. Let’s say a company hired me to record two specific firearms that shoot the same 9mm round. The following two types of firearms are good examples to show.

The Glock 17 is a semi-auto handgun. Semi-Auto means that each time you squeeze the trigger, a round fires off. When you squeeze and hold back the trigger, again only one round fires off. The Glock 17 model is a 17 round pistol. To shoot off all 17 rounds, you’ll need to squeeze the trigger 17 times.

Handgun_Glock17_9mm_Close_01.wav
Handgun_Glock17_9mm_Far_02.wav
Type of gun _ Name of gun _ Caliber _ Perspective _ Version number

 

The MP5 submachine gun can shoot in various modes. The selector switch can be set to semi-auto single shots (like the Glock 17) or to full automatic. Full Automatic means when you hold back the trigger, many rounds will shoot out from the gun until the finger release. A short burst of shots can quickly fire out three to five or more rounds. The term MagDump means Dumping out all of the rounds from the MP5 magazine (holding back the trigger until all of the rounds have been dumped out).

Submachinegun_MP5_9mm_Single_Close_03.wav
Submachinegun_MP5_9mm_Bursts_Medium_07.wav
Submachinegun_MP5_9mm_MagDump_Incoming_10.wav
Type of gun _ Name of gun _ Caliber _ Type of shooting _ Perspective _ Version number

Foley file names can be like these:

Handgun_Glock17_9mm_Foley_SlideAction_01.wav
Handgun_Glock17_9mm_Foley_SlideLock_02.wav
Handgun_Glock17_9mm_Foley_SlideRelease_03.wav
Submachinegun_MP5_9mm_Foley_MagazineInsert_01.wav
Submachinegun_MP5_9mm_Foley_MagazineRemoval_02.wav
Submachinegun_MP5_9mm_Foley_SafetyOff_03.wav
Submachinegun_MP5_9mm_Foley_SafetyOn_04.wav
Submachinegun_MP5_9mm_Foley_DryFire_02.wav

These are some of the technical terms I’ve taught to many of my clients. The South Koreans that attended their paid session were quite fascinated and franticly wrote down new terms such as Bursts and MagDump.

Watson Wu and independent sound effects:

In addition to his custom projects, Watson Wu has also been releasing several independent SFX libraries with both weapon and SFX recordings – here’s an overview:

  • Get the sounds of an Armored Military Humvee. Metadata is included with over 26 minutes of combined recording time split into 74 ready to use wave files. There are onboard, external, and foley sounds, all in high quality 24 bit resolution, 96khz sample rate. This is the right library when you need modern military humvee sounds for your film, TV, or game projects. Note that are no Ramp recordings in this package.

    Onboard multi-track recordings are in 4 separate mono wave files. Drag & drop or import each of the files into your audio editing software, then align them for creative mixing. There are also stereo mix versions of the OnBoard recordings. The External recordings are in stereo wave files. The download is a 1.5gb compressed .rar file (2.25gb Uncompressed).


    Onboard Settings:
    Channel 1 = Engine, Channel 2 = Cab, Channel 3 = Exhaust 1, Channel 4 = Exhaust 2

    External Settings:
    Stereo in Left and Right Channels

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  • There are no Onboard sounds in this sound effects library. Download is compressed .zip file.
    For Mac users we recommend UnRarX. For Windows users we recommend WinRar.

    This is an external only sound effects library of an Astar AS50 Helicopter performing a Startup, Idle, Lift, Fly Away, and Flybys (with metadata). The 7 ready to use wave files are in 24 bit, 96khz, stereo wave files with runtime of 10 minutes.

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  • Battle Rifles and Pistols is an extensive library collection of modern firearms, recorded and designed by Watson Wu (Assassin’s Creed, Breach & Clear, Operation Flashpoint) and Nick Dixon (Call Of Duty, Homefront: The Revolution, Need for Speed).

    The collection has been mixed and designed from 10, 12 and 16 channel recording sessions. Each weapon features a full suite of ballistics, foley, casings on four surfaces and multiple firing modes where appropriate. The library includes close and distant range ballistics alongside a small selection of impulse responses for acoustic processing.

    Battle Rifles and Pistols includes:

    Firearms included:
    • AK47
    • FN SCAR
    • SKS
    • XM8
    • Micro Uzi
    • MP7A1
    • 44 Magnum
    • Baretta M9
    • Desert Eagle
    • Glock 18
    • TT-33
    • Benelli Supernova
    Casings Included:
    • 9mm
    • 45 ACP
    • 50 BMG
    • 223
    • 303

    Impulse Responses Included:
    • 5 Floor Apartment Stairwell
    • Underground Car Park


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  • The following is a 2016 Bell 407 GX Helicopter single license
    sound effects library with Metadata (1.8gb compressed .zip file, 2.5gb Uncompressed).

    All 17 wave files at about 85 minutes long are in 24 Bit, 96 kHz. The Onboard recordings are in 4 separate mono wave files. Drag & drop or import each of the files into your audio editing software, then align them for creative mixing. There are also ready to use stereo mix versions of the Onboard recordings. External recordings are in mono, stereo, and Ambisonic Format B wave files.

    Onboard Settings:

    Channel 1 Front Left
    Channel 2 Front Right
    Channel 3 Rear Left
    Channel 4 Rear Right

    Notes: If you need specific shots of this helicopter, Watson is available for hire to re-record this or similar sounding aircrafts.

    Special thanks to James, his crew, and to Chad Dion (photographer)!

    Definitions
    External = Sounds recorded from outside of the aircraft (flybys, etc)
    OnBoard = Recording perspectives on and in the aircraft

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  • There is simple two step process to download this library.

    The following is a 17 foot Medium engine boat single license sound effects library with Metadata (6.4 GB compressed .zip file, 8.5 gb Uncompressed wave files).

    This boat has a 2004 Mercury 90 horse power, in line 3, 2 stroke motor. All 53 wave files were captured in 32 Bit, 96 kHz. External sounds are in stereo. Onboard sounds are in 4 separate mono wave files. drag & drop or import each of the files into your audio editing software, then align them for creative mixing. There are also stereo mix versions of the OnBoard recordings. The combined recorded time is 74 minutes long.

    Onboard Settings:

    Channel 1 – Helm Port Side
    Channel 2 – Helm Starboard Side
    Channel 3 – Stern Port Side (next to motor)
    Channel 4 – Stern Starboard Side (Next to Motor)

    Notes: If you need specific shots of this boat, Watson is available for hire to re- record this or similar sounding watercraft.

    Definitions

    OnBoard = Recording perspectives on and in the watercraft

    External = Recording perspective from bystander view

    Helm = where the captain operatives the watercraft
    Bow = front of the watercraft (more cutting through water and bounce sounds) stern = back of the watercraft (mixed of motor & water churning sounds)
    Port side = left side of the watercraft
    Starboard side = right side of the watercraft

    Special thanks to Captain Nelson Italiano!!

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  • Nature & Countryside Dark Woods Play Track 68+ sounds included, 288 mins total $49

    The Dark Woods Ambience sound effects library contains sounds of natural night ambiences, all recorded in the woods in Southwest Florida, USA (under trees, woods, etc). All 68 ready to use and loop-able stereo wave files were captured in 24 Bit, 96 kHz stereo (each in 3 or 5 minutes long). There are sounds of birds, a Coyote, frogs, insects, wild pigs, waves/water splashes from fish/wind, thunders, etc (check out the file names). See if you can identify what the two creatures are that approached my microphone. One of the creatures dragged the microphone fur a few feet away!

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  • Cars Ferrari Dino Play Track 53 sounds included, 28 mins total $199

    Get the roaring sounds of a 1974 Ferrari Dino. This Daytona 246 GT edition Italian made exotic car is a 5 speed manual mid-engine v6, and it's known to be The Ferrari without an exterior Ferrari badge.

    53 wave files were captured in 24 Bit, 96 kHz – and the combined recorded driving time is more than 28 minutes.

    Recordings included:

    Onboard Settings:
    Channel 1 = Exhaust 1, Channel 2 = Exhaust 2, Channel 3 = Engine 1,
    Channel 4 = Engine 2

    External Passby Settings:
    Stereo in Left and Right Channels

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  • Vehicles Ford F-150 Truck Play Track 85+ sounds included, 52 mins total $79

    Get the sounds of a Ford F-150 2013 truck, captured by Watson Wu. Metadata is included with over 52 minutes of combined recording time split into 85 ready to use wave files. There are onboard, external, and foley sounds, all in high quality 24 bit resolution, 96khz sample rate. This is the right library when you need truck sounds for your film, TV, or game projects. Note that are no interior cab recordings in this package.

    Onboard multi-track recordings are in 4 separate mono wave files. Drag & drop or import each of the files into your audio editing software, then align them for creative mixing. There are also stereo mix versions of the OnBoard recordings. The External recordings are in stereo wave files. The download is a 1.5gb compressed .rar file (3.45gb Uncompressed).

    Text here:

    Onboard Settings:
    Channel 1 = Engine, Channel 2 = Near Air Intake, Channel 3 = Exhaust 1, Channel 4 = Exhaust 2

    External Settings:
    Stereo in Left and Right Channels

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  • The following is a 1926 Ford Tri-Motor antique aircraft sound effects library.
    with Metadata single license library (2.2gb compressed .rar or .zip file, 2.4gb Uncompressed).


    All 14 wave files at about 39 minutes long are in 24 Bit, 96 kHz. The Onboard recordings are in 2 separate mono wave files (left and right stereo). drag & drop or import each of the files into your audio editing software, then align them for creative mixing. There are also ready to use stereo mix versions of the Onboard recordings. External recordings are in stereo wave files.

    Onboard Settings:
    Channel 1 Left side (port side),
    Channel 2 Right side (starboard side)

    External Settings:
    Stereo in Left and Right Channels

    Notes: If you need specific shots of this aircraft, Watson is available for hire to re-record this or similar sounding planes.


    Definitions:
    External = Sounds recorded from outside of the aircraft (passbys, etc)
    OnBoard = Recording perspectives on and in the aircraft

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  • Get the sounds of a 1999 Harley Davidson Fat Boy motorcycle sound effects library (with Metadata).

    All 131 ready to use wave files were captured in 24 Bit, 96 kHz. Files are divided into External static sounds, External following sounds, Foley sounds, and Onboard sounds. The combined recorded driving time is more than 42 minutes long.

    The Onboard recordings are in 2 separate mono wave files, channel one for engine and channel two for exhausts. drag & drop or import each of the files into your audio editing software, then align them for creative mixing. There are also stereo mix versions of the OnBoard recordings.

    The External recordings are in stereo, one MS (Mid-Side) for following (tracking) and the other MS at a fixed (static) position.

    Vehicle specs:

    Vehicle Type: Motorcycle
    Brand: Harley Davidson
    Model: Fat Boy
    Year: 1999
    Country origin: USA
    Specification: modified with straight pipes (without mufflers), 1450cc, 2 cylinder, 4 stroke, V-Twin, air cooled, manual 5 speed, carburetor fuel system (modified with larger jets), 63 horse power.

    Recording details:

    Onboard Settings:
    Channel 1 = Engine, Channel 2 = Exhaust

    External Settings:
    Following (MS Stereo in Left & Right Channels tracking the moving vehicle)Static (MS Stereo in Left & Right Channels from a fixed position)

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  • This library delivers the sounds of a 1999 Honda CBR Super Blackbird motorcycle(with Metadata).

    All 103 ready-to-use wave files were captured in 24 Bit, 96 kHz. Files are divided into External static sounds, External following sounds, Foley sounds, and Onboard sounds. The combined recorded driving time is more than 62 minutes long. The Onboard recordings are in 2 separate mono wave files, channel one for engine and channel two for exhausts. Drag & drop or import each of the files into your audio editing software, then align them for creative mixing. There are also stereo mix versions of the OnBoard recordings. The External recordings are in stereo, one MS (Mid-Side) for following (tracking) and the other MS at a fixed (static) position.

    Onboard Settings:
    Channel 1 = Engine, Channel 2 = Exhaust

    External Settings:
    Following (MS Stereo in Left & Right Channels tracking the moving vehicle)Static (MS Stereo in Left & Right Channels from a fixed position)

    Definitions:
    Onboard: Sounds heard from driver and passenger perspectives (in or on the vehicle)
    External: Sounds heard from bystander’s point of view.

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  • Cars Honda Civic EX 2005 Play Track 65+ sounds included, 40 / 197 mins total $69

    This library delivers recordings of the 2005 Honda Civic EX, a 127hp, 1.7 liter, inline 4 cylinder, 4 speed automatic transmission Japanese car.

    Included are ready-to-use foley recordings, external passbys, and 4 channels of onboard wave files. All 65 wave files are at 24 bit / 96khz khz and the library features more than 40 minutes of combined driving time (total duration: 197 minutes).

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  • Welcome to the Hong Kong Ambience sound effects library (1 hour and 15 minutes long, 1.6gb compressed .rar file, 2.4gb Uncompressed). This package contains sounds of what the Cantonese people hear during their daily commutes and can be used for common Asian scenes, China Town scenes, etc. All 18 ready to use and loop-able stereo wave files were captured in 24 Bit, 96 kHz (each in 3, 4, or 5 minutes long), and include metadata.

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  • The following is a Maule M7 Seaplane with Metadata single license Ambisonic sound effects library (6.59gb compressed .rar or .zip file, 6.9gb Uncompressed).

    All 8 wave files at about 20 minutes long are in 24 Bit, 96 kHz. The Onboard sounds were recorded from an Ambisonic A-Format mic (converted to B-Format). There are also ready to use stereo mixed, 5.1, and 7.1 files.


    There are only Onboard sounds from this library (no external sounds were recorded).

    Thank you for your purchase of this sound effects library.
    For Mac users we recommend UnRarX. For Windows users we recommend WinRar.


    Onboard Settings:
    Ambisonic Mic was positioned in middle of aircraft (behind pilot and passenger)

    Notes:
    If you need specific shots of this aircraft, Watson is available for hire to re-record this or similar sounding planes.

    Definitions:
    OnBoard = Recording perspectives on and in the aircraft

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  • The following is a 2.5 Ton diesel powered 2010 Military Truck LMTV (Light Medium Tactical Vehicle)
    single license library (3.6gb compressed .rar file, 5.4gb Uncompressed) with Metadata.

    For Mac users we recommend UnRarX. For Windows users we recommend WinRar.


    All 194 wave files are in 24 Bit, 96 kHz. The Onboard multi-track recordings are in 6 separate mono wave files. Drag & drop or import each of the files into your audio editing software, then align them for creative mixing. There are also ready to use stereo mix versions of the OnBoard recordings. the External sounds are in stereo wave files. The combined driving time is more than 94 minutes long.

    Onboard Settings: Ch1 – Engine 1, Ch2 – Exhaust, Ch3 – Cab Left, Ch4 – Cab Right, Ch5 – CargoArea Left, and Ch6 – CargoArea Right

    External Settings: Stereo in Left and Right Channels

    Notes: If you need specific shots of this truck, Watson is available for hire to re-record this or similar sounding vehicles. Other types of vehicles are also available upon request.


    Definitions:
    External = Sounds recorded from outside of the vehicle (passbys, etc)
    OnBoard = Recording perspectives on and in the vehicle
    Cab = Cabin, where the driver and in cab passengers sit
    Cargo Area = this is the opened area behind the cabin where troops sit and where cargo is stored.
    Ramp = is when vehicle is using a single gear (typically 1st gear) and smoothly driven from idle up the RPM redline, then engine brake back to idle. Ramps are often used in video game software.

    Add to cart
  • Get the powerful sounds of Mustang Dragster Cars in this sound effect library by Watson Wu. It gets you 25 recordings of both classic and modern Ford Mustang passbys at a 1/4 mile race track.Update: Now includes metadata

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  • Cars Porsche Carrera Play Track 107+ sounds included, 45+ mins total $139

    Get the sounds of a 1999 Porsche Carrera, captured by recording specialist Watson Wu. The German-made Porsche Carrera is a 6 speed manual, 3.4 liter, Flat 6, weighing in at only 2,900 pounds. The combined recorded driving time is more than 45 minutes long.

    Recordings included:

    Onboard Settings:
    Channel 1 = Exhaust 1, Channel 2 = Exhaust 2, Channel 3 = Engine, Channel 4 = Cab

    External Settings:
    Stereo in Left and Right Channels

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  • Get the sounds of 12 authentic weapons from both World War 1 and World War 2, captured by recording specialist Watson Wu. A total of 587 files are included – 107 foley sounds and 480 firing sounds.
     

    Weapons included:
     
    Rifles:

    Enfield • M1 Carbine • M1 Garand • Mauser • Mosin Nagant – long • Mosin Nagant – short

    Pistols & revolvers:

    British Webley Revolver • Colt 1911 Pistol • German Luger Pistol • Smith & Wesson 1915 Revolver • Smith & Wesson 1917 Revolver • Walther PKK Pistol


     
    Each complete weapon set includes close, medium, far and incoming stereo perspectives.

    All the weapons are authentic, the gunpowder is real and 100s of rounds were sent downrange to get you these powerful weapon sounds from the World Wars.

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  • Get rare weapon recordings off the AA12 Full Automatic Shotgun (12 gauge). It gets you 14 foley sounds in mono and 56 firing sounds in stereo, captured in 24 bit resolution and 96 kHz sample rate.

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  • Cars Subaru Crosstrek SUV Play Track 90+ sounds included, 35 mins total $69

    This sound effects library delivers the sounds of a 2017 Subaru Crosstrek SUV. Metadata is included, with over 35 minutes of recording time split into 90 ready to use wave files. There are onboard, external, and foley sounds, all in high quality 24 bit resolution, 96khz sample rate. This is the right library when you need stock sounds of a common Subaru vehicle.

    Onboard multi-track recordings are in 4 separate mono wave files. Drag & drop or import each of the files into your audio editing software, then align them for creative mixing. There are also stereo mix versions of the OnBoard recordings. The External recordings are in stereo wave files. The combined recorded driving time is more than 35 minutes long.

    Onboard Settings:
    Channel 1 = Engine, Channel 2 = Airintake, Channel 3 = Cab, Channel 4 = Exhaust

    External Settings:
    Stereo in Left and Right Channels

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  • Get the sounds of a 2003 Suzuki GSXR 750 sports motorcycle. The 105 files included are divided into External static sounds, External following sounds, Foley sounds, and Onboard sounds.

    The combined recorded driving time is more than 40 minutes long.

    The Onboard recordings are in 2 separate mono wave files, channel one for engine and channel two for exhaust. Drag & drop or import each of the files into your audio editing software, then align them for creative mixing. There are also stereo mix versions of the OnBoard recordings. The External recordings are in stereo, one MS (Mid-Side) for following (tracking) and the other MS at a fixed (static) position.

    Specs and settings

    Vehicle Type: Motorcycle
    Brand: Suzuki
    Model: GSXR 750
    Year: 2003

    Specification: modified with Level One Racing aftermarket exhaust, 750cc, in-line 4 cylinder 4
    stroke, liquid cooled, manual 6 speed, fuel injection double over cam/twin cam.


    Onboard Settings:
    Channel 1 = Engine, Channel 2 = Exhaust

    External Settings:
    Following (MS Stereo in Left & Right Channels tracking the moving vehicle)Static (MS Stereo in Left & Right Channels from a fixed position)

    Definitions & FAQs:
    Onboard: Sounds heard from driver and passenger perspectives (in or on the vehicle)
    External: Sounds heard from bystander’s point of view.

    This Suzuki motorcycle was modified with a Level One Racing aftermarket exhaust.

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  • The Yamaha YZ250 Dirt Bike SFX library from Watson Wu delivers the sounds of this 2004 motorcycle with a 250cc 2 stroke engine. Files are divided into external static sounds, external following sounds, foley sounds, and onboard sounds. Captured Onboard – from the driver's point of view. External recordings: External Static is from a fixed stereo microphone. External Following is from an MS Stereo Shotgun mic following the traveling dirt bike.

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Foley Sounds

The first things I record are usually the foley sounds. We do this because fired weapons tend to get too hot to hold. You can literally crack open an egg and let it cook on a full automatic AK-47 that has fired several rounds! The typical foley sounds I record are magazine inserts, magazine removals, charging the bolt, safety on, safety off, and dry fire.
 

Types of Firing

When recording a full automatic weapon like an MP5, there is a selector switch that will allow single shots as well as full automatic shots. I will typically instruct the armorer to first perform single shots follow by short burst shots, then at least 4 to 5 MagDump shots.
 

Recording Format

My preferred method of recording is the poly wave file format in 24bit resolution, 96 or higher kHz sample rate. When I use my Sound Devices 788T-SSD 8-track recorder, each wave file contains 8 channels. This makes it easier for me to stay organized especially when there are numerous guns to record and manage.
 

Software

Prior to editing, I would use Wave Agent from Sound Devices to export the poly wave files into single mono files. Sometimes I need to remove unwanted birds, insects, drops of empty bullet casings, and wind noise using RX4 Advanced. Afterwards, the single mono files are then dragged and dropped into the DAW. While I do use ProTools and Sony Vegas, Reaper has been a joy to work with. I would compare it to Google Chrome. It’s light, fast, and easy to use! Moreover, it works with both Mac and Windows.

To beef up gun sounds, I often do layering and the usage of various plug-ins. I find Waves plug-ins to be extremely helpful. Sound Forge is a great software to finalize files. The Batch Processing tool is like Gold!
 

Gun Sounds for Games

When I work on games, it’s typical that I’m tasked to create variations for each of the shots. If the weapon again is an MP5 submachine gun, this means that there might be as many as 10 variations for close Single shots, 10 variations for close Burst shots, 10 variations for close MagDump shots, etc. The variations can be subtle from one file to the other such slight EQ/Pitch changes to vast Soft/Hard Compressions, more layering, delays, echo lengths, etc. You can see how many files there might be for implementation when all of the editing completes. The number of files can be doubled if you have to do both indoor and outdoor types of sounds.

With the modern games we have today, shots are randomized to entertain your ears. After all, field recordists and sound designers work in the entertainment industry.
Remember, safety is Always Number One! Hire professional armorers to do the shooting and handling for you.

 

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A big thanks to Watson Wu for his insights on weapon sound effects recording!
 


 
 
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