Read our review of the Creatures library HERE!
How long did it take you to create the ‘Creatures’ library and did you do any special planning before starting the recording process?
Creating the Creatures library was a pretty long task. Altogether we worked on it for about 12 man-months (4 months per person, Michael Schwendler, David Philipp and myself). This was the first library for Boom we started with, even though we released the “Cinematic Metal” first. We didn’t have an exact clue how to organize things so we started wildly recording whatever we thought would fit or might be useful for such a library.
We realized pretty soon that this wouldn’t work. So planning, organizing and recording was kind of a mixed progress for this library. However, we knew that we wanted to create samples usable for smaller creatures like bugs and rats up to samples for large scale dragons or Godzilla. During the process of creating the library we put together a list what we would need for such creature vocalizations and filled this list with new material.
How was the recording process? Where did you record and what equipment did you use? Did you do a lot of voice acting for this library?
The recording process was pretty funny. We recorded in the studio only and with very talented voice actors. In fact, there are no animals involved. During some long night sessions the only pushing element we had involved was Whisky – only for the actors, of course, not for the recordists, and only when we thought “that was creatively it from this actor, let’s try what else he or she’s got”. We worked hard on expression and creative vocal output of the actors. It was a learning process for all of us and even without any alcoholic influence I got a lot of outtakes here including some hard coughs, close to vomiting. That always reminds me how much we put into this library. There was always a bucket at hand in the recording room, which we ended up not using – luckily.
We recorded with a high frequency response microphone going up to 100kHz – you can record Bats with this thing – and did a lot of pitch shifting and time stretching. We had basically two thoughts in doing it that way: first thought was, we want to create something new and interesting in the library world, so we want to give a very vast set of sounds that is still combinable with other material or even third party libraries – you should be able to use metal screeches, animal recordings or whatever on top of the sounds to get a great creature sound.
Our second thought was to offer a well-organized library with lots of similar variations which is hard to get from animals but is nice to have for sound design. We do tons of Creature sound design for international companies and triple A products and we use this library on a daily basis, combined with our later animal series – which is a perfect match in our opinion. It is a really big time saver providing us with enough content to work on what really matters: giving a certain creature a special character and the next creature in one product another character and feel without losing tension and bigness.
Based on the amount of samples you recorded, what was the decision process on which samples would make it to the library and which would not?
We recorded about three times as much content than what made it into the library. We tried to get a good balance between putting in enough variations for easy use and not boring material. We included sounds based on something we think is interesting, be it close smacking sounds in a large roar or a dense frequency response for high squeaks. We wanted a huge variety for the overall library but files long enough to get the exact thing someone might be looking for.