Pro Sound Effects Blog

How Watson Wu Records Vehicles

Watson Wu Vehicles

Discover the process of recording vehicles with accomplished sound recordist Watson Wu.

We are excited to announce Wu Collection: Vehicles Vol. 1, our latest release with Watson Wu – award-winning sound recordist and sound effects producer on projects including Baby Driver and Borderlands 3.

Since 2001, Watson has been creating audio content for film, TV, ads, and video games, both designing sound effects and capturing specific sounds. He and his team have worked on AAA titles including Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Assassin’s Creed, Transformers, Madden, The Need for Speed franchise, and many others.

Read about his experience recording the useful, everyday car sound effects in Wu Collection: Vehicles Vol. 1 below, and stay tuned for more inspiring, high-quality sound libraries in the Wu Collection to come.


Featuring a wide variety of perspectives from 8 common modern cars, Wu Collection: Vehicles Vol. 1 was recorded to give you maximum flexibility and prepare you for any driving sequence.

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What was the experience of recording this library like?

I personally did the driving to record the Subaru Crosstrek SUV, Honda Civic, and the Mercedes-AMG c63 S. The way I drove was to achieve the best sounds for both intensity and everyday driving, versus how a race car driver would drive (riding on top speed). Staying on top speed oftentimes doesn’t sound impressive — that sound is better achieved for energetic scenes with the rise of RPMs.

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I typically like Onboard sounds to be consistent from one vehicle to another, meaning there are nice isolated engines and isolated exhaust sounds on separate tracks. Capturing great truck exhaust sounds is one of the most difficult things to do. For the Ford F-150, I had to reposition my mics and add or take away more wind baffling until I was happy with the results. The sounds of this very truck have been used on several popular games, film, and TV projects.

_Ford F-150 2013 Truck sfx library by WatsonWu.com

I always do stunt driving at the end of the session because bad things (or not so bad things) can occur — When recording the Subaru Crosstrek off-road section, I actually ran the vehicle too hard which knocked off my Exhaust microphones.

How can sound artists use this library?

In this library, there are multiple mic perspectives of the same take — You can exclusively use engine sounds or a mix of engine and exhaust at the same time, having full control of what you need.

_Honda Civic EX 2005 Car by WatsonWu.com

Many other vehicle libraries contain mainly Passby and External perspective sounds. I personally believe this isn't enough. There are many scenes where aggressive Engine, Exhaust, and Onboard sounds are needed for a first-person point of view. This is why I like to provide more than enough of both perspectives within a library.

"There are multiple mic perspectives of the same take — You can exclusively use engine sounds or a mix of engine and exhaust at the same time for the mix, having full control of what you need."


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Available Now — Wu Collection: Vehicles Vol. 1

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