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Lately I’ve written a lot about creating sound effect libraries. In an interview with A Sound Effect, I mentioned that many sound collections begin when a sound editor notices certain sounds are missing.

This is exactly how the Free Firearm Library began. Of course, many of you know this library. It has received a lot of press and support from the community. The library has been downloaded by many sound pros. The crew behind the library, Still North SoundFX, recently mentioned that library clips were used in Boardwalk Empire.

The library also offers something more than tricky sound clips, however. The reason why it was created and how it was done provides insight for audio pros interested in sharing sound themselves. How?

Well, we’re all familiar with the sound of Hollywood-style suppressed gunshots. Ben Jaszczak and Brian Nelson of Still North SoundFX knew silencers sounded differently. They were determined to capture realistic-sounding suppressed gunshots. To do this, they turned to the community to support the project with what became a popular Kickstarter campaign.

So, what’s interesting is that the library grew from a need to record a specific sound effect that was difficult to capture: suppressed gunshots. Also, the Firearm Library involved the community intimately by using a tool rarely seen when creating new collections: Kickstarter.com.

It’s been some time since the library was released. I recently reached out to Jaszczak and Nelson to hear their reflections on these ideas. They kindly shared their time answering questions about recording the gun library, working with the community, and their plans for the future.

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