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Friday, January 2, 2015

Here's to Future Sound Effects Designers

You have been around at a time when sound effects cannot get any louder. If you look at a waveform of many modern sound effects, the waveform covers the screen. When working on the sound for the pistol in Wrack, I decided to use a part of numerous gunshot effects I had. But first, this ....

Do you like to travel? Are you interested in creating sound effects? OK. Start travelling for the purpose of collecting raw sounds for your own sound effects library. Check with your tax expert, but you should be able to deduct the cost of these trips off of your Schedule C "Sound Designer" business taxes. The trip has to be for the purpose of collecting your sound effects. As I understand it, if you do anything as a tourist, you cannot write that off.

But, if you open your ears, there are worlds of sound effects waiting to be captured. Say you go to the Eiffel Tower. There are plenty of environmental sounds to be recorded. Has anyone ever recorded the sound of the tower using a contact mike? I'll bet there are some "unworldy" sounds there. Could you capture the same sound from some other tower? I doubt it. It certainly wouldn't have the same frequencies. Plus it wouldn't have the same "bragging rights."

Making something you love to do a business is not a secret, but lots of people don't yet know about it.

Check out the possibilities!

.... Back to the Wrack pistol. What I did was take my own and stock recordings of guns firing (not just pistols). There are twenty-one different pistol sounds layered into the one effect. There's one lightning effect (recorded during a Florida thunderstorm). There's a bit of cannon fire, too. I used no compression and was careful not to add too much of any single sound. The waveform is recognizable if you look at typical single pistol audio waveforms.

Sometimes you have to use compression, but I prefer not to if I can get away with it.

Now, take a trip for the purpose of recording some new raw material for your sound effects.


  1. Thanks for your music and inspiration over the years, Mr. Prince. What programs do you use to compose these days?

  2. Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge, Mr. Prince!
    A long time admirer...