by David Watkins
Take an inside look at the recording process behind our new supercharged vehicles sound effects library.
We are excited to announce our latest partnership with Watson Wu – award-winning sound recordist and sound effects producer on projects such as Baby Driver and Borderlands 3. Wu Collection: Vehicles Vol. 2 captures six high-performance sports cars from 1988 to 2017 in extreme detail with multiple simultaneous microphone perspectives for maximum versatility.
Read our interview below to learn about Watson's process and experience in recording this exhaustive and high-quality library of both vintage and modern sports cars.
Pro Sound Effects: Can you describe your overall approach or philosophy for recording vehicles?
Watson Wu: Vehicle sound recordings should include both external and onboard perspectives. Onboard means what you and I hear from riding inside the car (cabin, engine, and exhaust sounds). Rigging microphones for the exhaust area is the most difficult part to achieve. There is also a fine line of not enough versus too much wind protection.
Do any vehicles in this library stand out to you as particularly special or unique?
The Ferrari Testarossa has been my dream to record ever since a certain 80s TV show. It is one of the most gorgeous cars ever made. Phil, the owner and driver, made his car shine. I love how the V12 roars.
Any fun recording session stories to share?
While traveling at a certain high speed, my camera guy Chad laid prone to take some extreme angle shots. Phil nudged and asked me if Chad was going to move. We both relaxed when Chad finally got out of the way, haha!
"The Ferrari Testarossa has been my dream to record ever since a certain 80s TV show. It is one of the most gorgeous cars ever made."
Why is this library useful for sound artists?
Many libraries have plenty of high performance external passbys but they lack onboard perspective sounds. This unique library gives the editor/sound designer those needed sounds with isolated engine and isolated exhaust files.
What makes this library different from other sound libraries?
The access to be able to record high performance cars aggressively driven on quiet smooth roads makes this library stand out.
Can you provide any notable technical details about the recording of this library?
Having great drivers made a huge difference in capturing beautiful sounds. Think of them as the best singers versus average people. I often test with various microphones and the best ones were used to record these cars.
"Many libraries have plenty of high performance external passbys but they lack onboard perspective sounds. This unique library gives the editor/sound designer those needed sounds with isolated engine and isolated exhaust files."