What is the test of a good sound effects library? What separates superior collections from weak ones? Are some field recording libraries better than others?
I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this. Years ago, I worked at the sound sharing website Sounddogs.com. Part of my job was adding sound fx to the website. I was in charge of vetting each sound library submission. I listened to every clip we considered adding. These days, I still listen to every independent sound library I add to the search engine website Sound Effects Search: over 1,600 so far.
You may think that the first clips I listen to would be a publisher’s superstar sound effects: the gunshots, the wild animals, or the fireworks. In fact, though, when I discover a new sound library, the first sound I search for is doors. I don't bother with the tanks or speedboats. Why?
Door field recordings are revealing. They tell you a lot about a collection. In particular, they showcase a field recordist's skill in unsuspecting ways.
Hyperbole? Today's article will test that claim. This post will share thoughts on the value of door sound fx and how you can amplify your field recording skills by capturing these unsung sound clips.