by David Watkins
Take an inside look at the recording process behind our newest collection of energy-based sound effects.
We’re excited to bring you Energetic Forms – our newest specialty library featuring the perfect ingredients for dynamic sci-fi and fantasy sound design. Sound artist Robert Kellough (Dune, Ant-Man) sought out real-world sounds with a natural pulse, then carefully processed and manipulated them to create sound effects that are visceral and compelling, yet grounded in authenticity.
Read our interview below to learn about Kellough's process and experience in recording this expansive and high-quality library.
What was your inspiration for creating this library?
Robert Kellough: To create a collection that is other worldly but grounded in field recordings - not purely a synthetic creation. There is processing for distortion, pitch, etc, but I did not stray far from the original recordings.
Can you describe your experience recording this library?
Much of the source material in this library comes from field recordings. Boiling mud pots, contact microphones on wires, hydrophones in waterfalls, electric musical instruments and tuning forks to name a few. I was interested in sounds that already had a “pulse” and built from there.
"Much of the source material in this library comes from field recordings. Boiling mud pots, contact microphones on wires, hydrophones in waterfalls, electric musical instruments and tuning forks to name a few."
Why is this library useful for sound artists?
There is a grounded element to this collection, although it is "science fiction" sounding, that makes it relatable as well as fantastic. When sound editing I am looking for sounds that bring life and glue sounds together. This collection does both.
What makes this library different from other sound libraries?
This library is meant to be regarded as an instrument pack. I like to create my sound design not only for realism but also musical qualities such as syncopation, crescendos, intonation - as a composer would in a composition. The intent of this library is to be cut up, manipulated and used to assist sound artists in creating their own compositions in sound design.
"There is a grounded element to this collection, although it is 'science fiction' sounding, that makes it relatable as well as fantastic. When sound editing I am looking for sounds that bring life and glue sounds together. This collection does both.
Can you provide any notable technical details about the recording of this library?
This library was created from manipulating field recordings. I use a variety of microphones and techniques and listen for sounds that are interesting, dynamic and musical. By using field recordings I can create libraries that retain a sense of space and realism even after processing. After recording, and an initial clean up, I go into the editing phase.
I work by looping a record track and performing the sounds - either in a sampler, a DAW, or by other means. The processing itself is straightforward - a sampler, pitching, volume graphs, delays and reverb. I'm loading various sounds across the sampler and then ‘mixing’ those sounds together. The performance gives detail and emotion to the sounds.
Check out this video where Kellough explains how and why the sounds in Energetic Forms were recorded and designed.
Available Now – Energetic Forms