Behind the Library - Wu Collection: Vehicles Vol. 3

Take an inside look at the process behind capturing high-performance motorcycle sounds with Watson Wu.

We're thrilled to be continuing our vehicles series with Wu Collection: Vehicles Vol. 3, recorded by Watson Wu – award-winning sound recordist and sound effects producer on projects such as Gran Turismo and Baby Driver. This new library captures seven high-performance motorcycles in stunning detail, with more than 100 perspectives, including onboard and external mics to give you the flexibility you need to cut complex chase sequences or bring visceral realism to racing and driving games.

Read our interview below to learn how Watson captured the sound of these iconic motorcycles.


Pro Sound Effects: What was your inspiration for creating this library?

Watson Wu: I’ve always liked motorcycles. They're not dampened like modern cars are which allows me more options to capture many interesting sounds.

 

IMG_4338

 

Can you describe your experience recording this library?

Bikes are challenging because there aren’t many onboard areas to conceal mics from the harsh winds. I had to do a lot of experiments to see which mics, windshields, etc, work best for this bike versus that bike. Moreover, safety is an issue. Careful onboard rigging has to be done to ensure that gear won’t come loose to tangle the rider and motorcycle. You just can’t rush a recording like this.

 

Any fun recording session stories to share?

I’ve had to teach owners (riders) not to always go fast. The rise and fall of RPMs is what makes motorcycles sound interesting. I have found out that sitting at a high speed is just rumbling wind noise. There are times for that but I want each of the bikes to perform at different kinds of speeds including slow and medium speed riding. I find that playing examples for riders to listen to helps.

"I’ve always liked motorcycles. They're not dampened like modern cars are which allows me more options to capture many interesting sounds"

 

DSCN1013 Yamaha YZ250 2004 Adam & Watson

 

Why is this library useful for sound artists?

This library is a complete kit of motorcycle sounds from both onboard and external perspectives. Moreover, there are plenty of Foley effects plus various riding speeds for editors and designers to work with.

 

What makes this different from other sound libraries?

This library has clean cut onboard sounds even at higher speeds that other libraries lack.

 

Can you provide any notable technical details about the recording of this library?

Each of the motorcycles will have isolated onboard engine perspective versus isolated exhaust perspective sounds. Having these will give editors and designers plenty of assets to do creative mixing.

"This library is a complete kit of motorcycle sounds from both onboard and external perspectives. Moreover, there are plenty of Foley effects plus various riding speeds for designers to work with."

 

Watson Wu - Harley

 

Worldizing Film Sound with Richard King

Behind the Library: Body Sounds with Mark Mangini

A sound recordist using a violin bow on a cymbal.

Behind the Library - Sonomar Collection: Bowed & Scraped Cymbals