Creating effects for a sample library

Two mates and myself thought it would be cool to create an effects sample library based on the new Mortal Kombat X video game. We put together a small trailer of footage from you tube videos and then set out to try and create some cool sound effects to sync with it.  We had a lot of fun squeezing, breaking, cutting, lightning, laughing and getting grossed out from the pungent smells from the tin tomatoes and casseroles.

Overall we have 19 different sound sources using combinations of different mics and techniques. The mics varied from large and small diaphragm condensers to dynamics and sub-kicks

the sound sources consisted of:

  • Marbles - Used to create electricity sounds
  • Oranges - Used for gore / blood effects
  • Cans of foodUsed for gore / blood effects
  • Lighter & aerosol - Used for flame / fire sounds
  • Sticks  - Used for breaking bones and swinging arms
  • Plastic bottles - Used for alternative breaking bones
  • Knives - Used for weapons
  • Small and Large Bongo's - Used for hits and cinematic
  • Cinema walking platforms (for creating walking on grass etc) - For character footsteps
  • Studio door - used for objects hitting ground
  • Humans -  (for voice) - Used for narrators voice
  • Saw & wood - Used for a character weapon
  • Cushioned poof seat - Used for punches
  • Dog chain - Used for character weapon

Some of the microphones used were:

  • 2x AKG 1000s
  • 2x Rode M5
  • AT 4050
  • SE 2200
  • Shure SM57
  • Yamaha NS10

Lessons learnt:

From this experience I have learnt a great deal about the effects engine on the digital Tascam 4800 console. For some samples I sent them through both effects engines on the console and then back into Pro tools 11. The quality of the effects is as good as any I have used in any D.A.W, if not better.

For the majority of the samples I used Pro Tools first then Ableton for the final bounce to disk, mainly due to the plug-ins I have available. I found that for an accurate digital peak readout Ozone 5 was the best I had available. Ozone is able to adjust the right and left signals independently allowing for a more balanced sound (if that's what you want).

Things to be careful of when using multiple D.A.W's is to make sure that before bouncing samples out of Pro Tools and importing them into Ableton that respective tracks are panned, nothing is clipping and that what your bouncing is selected, solo'd and your effects are going to be included in the bounce. Doing this incorrectly means having to go back and fix something and re-do the sample.

90 % of the samples are already mixed and some are sync'd to the video,  a video will be released in the next week or two.