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Tell us a little bit about yourself and your sound libraries?

I studied Electronic Music and Sound Design in college, and since I graduated I have been creating sound elements for Trailers, feature films, commercials, and whatever else presents itself. In school we were given a very small sound effects library, just enough to do our projects and learn how to create any sound with whatever we had. So I had an idea to create my own libraries, and sell them to people like myself. I came up with a bunch of ideas and invested some money in a couple of good microphones and Sound Devices 702, and started recording my ideas. When I wasn’t recording, I was learning how to develop my website, rdgsoundfx.com. The website finally came together right as I was finished with the first 6 libraries I have for sale. All the money I make from the site goes towards making new libraries.

How do you prepare or should we say, how does one start making sound libraries?

Well, after I come up with a good idea for a library that consists of a main theme and different objects or places that I can get different material, I start recording. I really like unique, odd textures that you can manipulate into things you would never expect or think of. Foley type sounds like creaking, or ripping, or crunching can make for some really cool sounds when processed in different ways.

How long does it take to make a sound library? (recording, mixing, etc.)

It all depends on what I’m doing. If I plan on recording ambiences, I will first scout different locations. I’ll see what kind of activity goes on, if I need a permit, etc. Then once I plan for a good day and make sure there aren’t many distractions or unwanted noise, I’ll start recording for a few hours. I’ll do the same thing a different locations. Once I have all the material I need, the edit process begins. This can take a while depending on how the recordings come out. The whole process for ambience recording can take anywhere from a week to a month. Sound design libraries I think can be a little easier to execute. You don’t have to worry about locations, most of the time, and most of the work is done after the recordings are gathered. Editing, processing, manipulating, it’s a really fun process. That could take anywhere from a few weeks to however long until you’re happy with it.

Can you give us a little insight on your creative process? (microphone placement, equipment used, vst software)

My microphone collection is small right now. I use a Rode NTG-3 for close miked recording, a Barcus Berry contact mic, and an Aquarian Audio H2a hydrophone. Once I’ve recorded everything I need I bring it into Pro Tools and go from there. In terms of processing, I really like the Sound Toys plugins, GRM Tools, and U-He. I really like Twisted Tools S-Layer as well.

How much sound design is involved in making sound libraries?

That all depends on what the library is. For ambience libraries, not much, but for sound design libraries, quite a bit. I’ll include the raw material in the library, then work on the sound design elements.

What inspires you to make such amazing products?

I think of any sound that I don’t have or wish I could find somewhere. If I can’t find it, I’ll make it. I also find a lot of inspiration from other sound designers like Richard Devine, Eric Aadahl, Charles Deenan, Gary Rydstrom, Harry Cohen, Ann and Scibelli.

Any specific “lessons learned” on a project that you could share?

No disasters yet, but I’ve learned to do research on a location before traveling all the way there to find out I can’t record anything!

What are your plans for the future?

Record more libraries, make more interesting sound effects that I’ve never heard before.

Any tips, hints or motivational speeches for the readers?

Learn to create with as little as possible. Once you learn how to make a space ship sound out of a piece of paper, making other sounds becomes easier and you can make them more creative and original.