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:  
  • Destruction & Impact Debris – Ambisonic Play Track 110+ sounds included, 17 mins total $75

    Get all sorts of ambisonic debris recordings in this release from Spheric Collection – perfect for earthquakes, landslides, explosions and beyond. Debris is the material you will need for a house and gallery collapsing. From very small stone and dust to large rocks, this collection is a good set of mineral sounds – covering everything from impacts, continuous falling debris, rocks poured from various heights, light and heavy falling debris sounds, a number of falling rock sounds, to rocky explosions and blasts, glass sounds and more. Always immersive all sounds are ambisonic recordings.

    About Ambisonics:
    This is an Ambisonics sound effects library - and by using the free SoundField SurroundZone 2 plugin you can convert the B-format files into your preferred format (stereo, 5.0, 5.1, 6.0, 6.1, 7.0 or 7.1 surround). Note: The library also contains ready-made stereo mixdowns for your convenience.
    Add to cart
  • Drones & Moods Affright Play Track 208 sounds included, 45 mins total $30 $15

    Affright” is a collection of 208 sounds (Wav, 24 Bit / 48 kHz) aimed to induce tension, fear and urgency in horror productions.

    You will find looped percussive elements (clocks, metals, hits, alarms, musical elements and more at 75 bpm), designed rhythmic elements (75 bpm) and fx (atmospheric elements, reverses, noises, risers, drops).

    If you are a musician who wants to define the building blocks of an intense horror track or maybe you are a sound designer who needs to create a musical moment in a scene from a sound design perspective, this library can help you to achieve those things.

    Metals, vinyl noises, voices, ukuleles, flutes, guitars and clocks were used to create this intense pack of 164 loops and 44 Fx.

    Check the main demo!! It was created very quickly using only the sounds of the pack with NO ADDED EFFECTS, only mixing the levels of the sounds and shows you the intensity of what you can create with this library!!

    50 %
    OFF
    Ends 1569707999
    Add to cart
  • Hum, Buzz & Glitches Vintage Film Tech Effects Play Track 206 sounds included, 5 mins total $120 $99

    Vintage Film Tech Effects features Slate claps, Beeps, Bloops, Film leader tone, Static, 2 Pops, digital dropouts, record player noise and much more. We’ve collected these vintage sounds from old Hollywood dailies reels, and film stock. 206 tracks that recreate the sound of the lost art of classic Film, TV and radio production.

    18 %
    OFF
    Ends 1569016799
    Add to cart
  • City Life Transit: Japan Play Track 40 sounds included, 2.75 hrs mins total $30 $15

    Looking for authentic ambient sounds of Japanese transportation? Look no further! Field recordist and composer Ryan Ayers travelled to Japan in April of 2019 and captured this wonderful collection. His journey took him from Osaka to Tokyo to Fukuoka and all points in-between. Travel aboard the trains of the JR, the famous Shinkansen, the Hanyu Ferry and more! Explore the train platforms and station terminals of Osaka. Get lost in the Kansai International Airport. There is a subway noodle shop as well as specialty food markets. Authentic walla and natural activity give this collection the ear candy necessary to be an integral part of great soundscapes.

    This is a purely recorded sound pack. Nothing is synthetic or layered here. What you hear is exactly what was captured on location. We edited and mastered the files to bring out the best parts of the recordings. Most of the recordings have been ready-made into loops for ease of use. As always, we have embedded the files with detailed metadata for easy database searches.

    50 %
    OFF
    Ends 1569967199
    Add to cart
  • Foley Wooden Ship Ambiences Play Track 50 sounds included, 85 mins total $149.99 $99.99

    Ahoy Mateys! Step aboard the finest sailing ship sound effects library in the land.

    Whether you’re working on an exciting Pirates of the Caribbean style video game or a relaxing sea-faring romance, the hours of exceptional background loops and additional cutting edge ship sounds contained within this sound pack will set your project on a course to excellence!

    EXPLORE AN ENTIRE SHIP

    Whether your adventure takes place in the MAIN DECK, CABIN, BELOW DECK, atop the CROWS NEST, in a MEDIEVAL PORT, or on a DISTANT SHIP in the HIGH SEAS we’ve got you covered! Each ambience contains MULTIPLE VARIATIONS, ALL WEATHER CONDITIONS, and MULTIPLE INTENSITIES to cover each and every part of the ship, on the rough and calm seas, this sound effects library is perfect for every situation you need.

    A JOURNEY TO REMEMBER

    Our expert team of sound designers have meticulously crafted each ambience into CONTINUOUS, NON-REPETITIVE, DRAG AND DROP-READY LOOPS that will serve as perfect background audio for your game, film, animation, live event, or even as relaxing background audio! We have even included FULL and SIMPLIFIED MIXES, ISOLATED WEATHER, OCEAN and WOOD CRACKING versions, SHORT and LONG non-repetitive variants, and numerous other options for your convenience!

    TREASURE APLENTY

    With FREE UPDATES, FOREVER! and FREE BONUS AMBIENCES: MEDIEVAL PORT and isolated, SEA, SAILS and FLAG FLAPPING, Ship’s BELL RINGING, WEATHER and WOOD CRACKING SOUNDS, all supplied in industry standard Hi-Rez WAV and Hi-Quality MP3 formats, there’s no better time to set sail on the high seas with this ONE OF A KIND sound pack!

    So what are you waiting for? Take command of this UNIQUE library and begin your journey on the high seas today!

    KEY FEATURES:

    • Huge variety of Old Wooden Ship Interior and Exterior Ambiences, All Weather Conditions and Additional Useful BONUS Sound Effects for every scene or situation.
    • Multiple variants and intensities for your convenience and additional edit options (lengths, looping versions, stingers, etc.).
    • Ready to use – requires no editing, labelling or splicing. Categorized, organized and individually labeled files for maximum use efficiency
    • All files are included in Hi-Rez WAV, High-Quality WAV and High-Quality MP3 formats
    • FREE Updates to higher versions, FOREVER!

     

    33 %
    OFF
    Ends 1568757599
    Add to cart

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:

  • Military Armored Military Humvee Play Track 74+ sounds included, 26 mins total $79

    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

    Add to cart
  • Weapons Battle Rifles and Pistols Play Track 133 sounds included, 80 mins total $80

    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


    Add to cart
  • Environments 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!

    Add to cart
  • 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

    Add to cart
  • Trucks, Buses & Vans 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

    Add to cart
  • 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)

    Add to cart
  • 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.

    Add to cart
  • 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).

    Add to cart
  • City Life Hong Kong Ambiences Play Track 18+ sounds included, 75 mins total $49

    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.

    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

    Add to cart
  • 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

    Add to cart
  • 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.

    Add to cart
  • 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.

    Add to cart
  • 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

    Add to cart
  • 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.

    Add to cart
  • Motorcycles Yamaha YZ250 Dirt Bike Play Track 50 sounds included, 35 mins total $69

    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.

    Add to cart
 

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.

 

Please share this:


 

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


 
 
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:
  • Game Audio Packs & Bundles Vintage Anime SFX Play Track 350+ sounds included $69

    The Vintage Anime Sound Effects Library brings all of the excitement of your favorite Japanese animated series to your fingertips. Inspired by classic cartoons from the 80's and 90's, these recognizable and versatile sounds will instantly enhance any FX collection. Vintage synths were used to create the auras, beams, mecha blasters, atmospheres, magic spells, guns, sonic blasts and explosives that makeup this pack of over 350+ custom 24bit/96khz .WAV files. Perfect for film, video games, podcasts and any project that could benefit from a power up!

    Both designed sounds and source recordings:

    • Classic anime sfx from the 80’s and 90’s

    • Auras, mecha, beams, blasters, spells, explosives and more! 350+ sounds!

    • Tons of source material for experimentation

    • Expert crafted metadata

    • Vintage Anime PDF

    Add to cart
  • Human Swordfighter Play Track 479 sounds included $25 $20

    Swordfighter is a robust package with sharp sounding swords, heaps of variations and all the extras you need to make a fight come alive. Build unique sword swings with various hits, swooshes, schings, different fighter vocals and impacts on various surfaces. All up there are 137 sword sounds, 93 surface impact sounds, 15 knife throwing sounds, 48 swooshes and 180 fighter vocals.

    This version includes two sub-folders: one optimised for a film & TV workflow and the other optimised for video games workflow. Plus a few bonus sounds of a charging army.

    20 %
    OFF
    Add to cart
  • Ice Glacier Ice Play Track 300+ sounds included $40

    Glacier Ice is a library containing over 300 high quality sounds of ice cracking, breaking, shattering in various sizes of blocks – recorded entirely in the Italian Alps over the course of two winters.

    The library contains sounds of all dimensions, from ice cubes being dropped in a drink to a designed iceberg collapsing.

    The majority of the material was recorded at 192 KHz with a Sanken CO100K and a stereo pair of Sennheiser MKH8040, making this library greatly flexible for pitch shifting and all sorts of heavy processing.

    A small section recorded at 96KHz features sounds recorded exclusively with contact microphones placed directly on the surface of a frozen water stream.

    Bonus: Two extra libraries included for free:
    This library also includes two additional releases from Mattia Cellotto - for free: Crunch Mode delivers 230 crunchy sounds made with a variety of vegetables, fresh bread, pizza crust and a selection of frozen goods. The Borax Experiment gets you 158 squishy, gory, slimy and gooey sounds.
    Add to cart
Explore the full, unique collection here
 
   
FOLLOW OR SUBSCRIBE FOR THE LATEST IN FANTASTIC SOUND:
 
                              
 
GET THE MUCH-LOVED A SOUND EFFECT NEWSLETTER:
 
The A Sound Effect newsletter gets you a wealth of exclusive stories and insights
+ free sounds with every issue:
 
Subscribe here for free SFX with every issue

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

HTML tags are not allowed.