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Posted by on Apr 29, 2010 | 8 comments

Chuck Russom Special: Gun Sound Design


I work on a lot of games that are filled with guns. Over the years, through experimentation, screwing up, listening to movies/games with great guns sounds, and tips from other sounds designers, I’ve been able to create a process that works well for me. The biggest influence on my gun sound design has not come in the studio, but on the gun range. I’ve shot a lot of guns. I’ve also been around a lot of guns while they were being fired. Hands-on education is really the best way to learn something. So, if you really want to improve your gun sound design, find a way to get out on a range where you can fire some guns off. The feel of a gun’s shockwave through your body as you fire it, the sore shoulder you have the day after shooting, the payoff of destroying a watermelon with a blast from a shotgun, these are some of the lasting lessons that you will learn.

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Posted by on Apr 9, 2010 | 7 comments

Chuck Russom Special: Gun Recording Guide



Of all the things that I have done in my career, I get more questions about gun recording than anything else. Recording guns is an exciting experience and it takes a lot of planning and quite a bit of money to pull off correctly. Often I am asked why someone should consider recording guns for ªa project. Here are my feelings on gun recording:

Libraries don’t always have enough variety or the gun sounds you need – Sound libraries are a great resource and make our jobs easier. But when it comes to guns, it can be difficult to find the type of guns/sounds you need, and even more difficult finding the variety or perspectives that you require to build the sounds for your project.

To get a specific sound – There are probably guns sounds you are after that are not in any existing library. Whether it is the specific gun, a specific action, or a specific type of environment you are after, often your only option is to go record it yourself.

All the sounds you record will be grounded in the same space – The environment that you record in becomes a huge part of the sound of a gun. If all of the guns in your project are recorded in the same space, it helps to pull them all together and make them fit your world.

Experience the guns – Firing and being around a lot of different guns while they were being fired has influenced my gun sound design more than anything else. To learn first hand how guns work and to hear/feel them in person is both educational and inspiring.

In this article I’m going to share the approach I have used to plan and conduct gun sessions. I rely on professional, private party resources to provide weapons and locations. While others may have had success with police or military, I prefer working with the private sector as I can ensure that I can get the weapons I need, work in the locations that I choose, and work under my timeline. To get the results that I am after, I need to control as much of the process as possible. It takes a lot of effort to record guns and I want to be sure the effort pays off.

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