Locked and Loaded: A Behind the Scenes Look at our Guns Sound FX Pack (Coming Soon)!

Locked and Loaded: A Behind the Scenes Look at our Guns Sound FX Pack (Coming Soon)!

Here's to our first blog post! 

Ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes when recording gun sound fx? Well buckle up, Bucko, because we're about to show you how we created our up-and-coming Guns Sound FX Pack.

But first, check out this week's community highlight.

This is Bustle! A 2D platformer created by our discord member Aaron Ansay. This is a super fun game where you play as a dog doing "Barkour" throughout different levels and environments. We love this game and are happy to hear our music being used in it :)

Bustle is now available for download on Itch.io.

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What's the Big Bang About: Why a Guns Pack?

As active sound designers, our sound FX packs are always born out of the thought: "I wish there were more ___ sounds." Lord knows how often we have thought this about gun sounds throughout our careers.

The issue (like most hard-to-capture but high-demand sounds) is that the current sounds available fall into 1 of 3 categories: 

  • Low Quality: Unusable or needs a lot of work to make them passable.
  • Doesn't fit: Will sound out of place. Think lasers on a farm- unless that's the vibe you're going for.
  • Overused: Chances are, if you've found a high quality sound that fits, many others have found it too.

We have internally named this conundrum: The Free Sound Trap.

So obviously we needed to make something awesome and new. (This is pretty much our inspiration behind everything we create. So get used to hearing it, Bucko!) 

*Queue the Wilhelm scream*

Locked and Loaded: The Recording Process

Recording Location: Middle of Nowhere, USA

Welcome to the middle of nowhere, where the cows outnumber the people. Our recording session took place in a rural countryside that makes you wonder if GPS even knows this place exists. 

The obvious other location would have been a gun range but this poses about five billion issues that we didn't want to deal with. Other shooters, bad acoustics, owners being weird, you name it. 



Equipment Used:

Mic placement is crucial in capturing the nuances and details of each sound. We experimented with various placements to achieve the desired results, including:

  • Close and Far Positioning: Utilizing the Rode NTG 4s at varying distances to capture both the intensity and ambience of each gunshot.
  • Stereo Configuration: Employing the Rode NT5s in a stereo setup to capture the full spectrum.
  • XY Configuration: Utilizing the Rode NTs in an XY configuration to capture a natural stereo image.

Recording Devices: 

  • Mobile Recording Studio Setup: Macbook Pro using a Focusrite interface and a Cloudlifter. 
  • Zoom Recorder: We mirrored the entire session on this as a failsafe.

Guns Used: 

  • (Pistol) Springfield Hellcat
  • (Pistol) Smith & Wesson M&P 2.0
  • (Pistol) Colt 1911 Classic (The gun used in COD and REVillage)
  • (Revolver) Smith & Wesson .38 Special
  • (Rifle) PSA M4 Carbine
  • (Rifle) 30-30 Marlin Lever Action Rifle
  • (Rifle) Winchester 7mm Rem Mag Bolt Action
  • (Shotgun) Remington 870 Express

We recorded a lot more than what's on that list, but they will either be saved for another pack, or were blended in for taste.

Preparing the Environment:

Obviously when you are dealing with the outdoors there's very little you can do to control the environment. The best we could do is pick a day forecasted as clear weather with no wind and pray. We recorded this towards the end of winter so zero bug sounds and minimal wind - that's definitely a cheat code.

  • Safety: Aside from making sure all of the people are safe, we also needed to make sure the gear was equipped to handle the loud sounds and escaping gasses. Position a mic wrong and you'll blow out the capsule.
  • Acoustic treatment: Since we were up against a house, we needed to bring some material to help absorb sounds that would strike the house.

Hitting Record:

The actual recording session went pretty smoothly although pretty boring. You have to wait at least 10 seconds between each shot and be absolutely silent. And we captured about 20 shots per weapon to make sure we got a handful of favorites.

Whenever it comes to recording sessions we have a pretty common breakdown of our time:

  • 80% getting set up.
  • 15% goofing off.
  • 5% actual recording time.

Back to The Studio: (Hitting Record, Again)

Even after recording all of the gun shots, there was still a lot of foley left to do:

  • Cocking/racking the slide.
  • Loading/dropping the magazine.
  • Dry firing.
  • Chamber movement.
  • Shell casings hitting the ground.
  • And a ton of other fun miscellaneous things.

It's always great seeing the faces people make as we load 10+ weapons into a recording studio. 

To be clear, none of the weapons had any live rounds in them once we were back in the studio. We're not interested in shooting our neighbors.

After recording was completed, the files were sent off to Mercury for mixing. 


(Thank Pluto for not capturing any footage of the studio session 🙄)

Anyways

We are so stoked to release our Sound FX: Guns pack. We hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed making it! 

Coming soon!

 

 

-Mars (Will S)

 

P.S. I know this our first blog post, so if we can do anything better or you have any requests. Let us know on Discord!

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2 comments

We actually had a target quite far away so the mics wouldn’t catch the bullet impact sound. So yes! But we ended up moving it closer towards the end for some fun target practice :)

Will S

Sounds like fun! Did you guys at least set up a target for some of the shots? :)

Liquidfortress

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