This week we’re excited to announce the arrival of Boom Library to the Time+Space webstore with their first class collections of sound effects that will sit perfectly in all types of media soundtracks whether you’re composing for a movie or video games. Boom Library was only established in 2010 but the experience of team is second to none. We caught up with one of the founders – Pierre Langer to find out more…
Hi Pierre, as Boom Library is a new brand for Time+Space, perhaps it would be best to start off with a quick introduction of who you are and your relationship to Boom Library?
It’s great to be part of Time+Space now. I am one of the founders of BOOM Library. I have had over 10 years of experience in audio production, working as a composer and sound designer on quite a few video games. In the past years I have moved over to the business side of things – our team of sound designers has grown so much that someone needed to make sure that they have enough work + that they can concentrate on doing great productions.
How did Boom Library come about?
BOOM Library is a spin-off of Dynamedion (www.dynamedion.com) one of the largest game audio studios in Europe. We have done over 400 projects in the meantime with a team of 20 composers, sound designers, audio managers, orchestrators, etc. Our focus has always been that of a “full service” provider: music composition, music licensing, audio integration, sound design and live orchestra production. Over the last years our music department moved to other industries as well, doing feature film, trailer music, production music and so on. For sound design we actually looked for new business opportunities as it is not that easy to work remotely from Germany for big productions in the US as a sound designer. Composers can do that pretty easily, but sound design needs much more onsite focus. Two years ago my business partner at Dynamedion (Tilman Sillescu), our Lead Sound Designer (Axel Rohrbach) and I finally started thinking about doing our own sound library: user focused, high quality and of course bringing together all the years of experience we have.
What are your objectives as a sample library developer?
We really want to have that extra edge – offering something new to people who like great quality. As an independent library we definitely want to offer special products that nobody else has and we want to make them as enjoyable as possible. We try to be very responsive to our customers, find out about their needs and then make their lives easier. So our first thought really was: “what do we need as sound designers that we do not already have?”. We are definitely setup to make this a long term business. Due to the already installed infrastructure at Dynamedion we have a lot of great resources (recording studio, recording gear, network of people & production facilities, etc.) that we can use for BOOM Library as well. So if you ask about the ultimate goal then I would say: we want to release at least 5 collections per year for the next 20 years.
What’s the difference between the ‘Construction Kit’ titles and the ‘Designed’ libraries? What were your reasons for this approach?
Talking about that “edge” we wanted to have – the Construction Kits are exactly what we needed to be different from other libraries. The idea to sell source recording that are very well organized and pre-edited is the key concept of BOOM Library. That doesn’t mean that all our collections will have a “Construction Kit” and “Designed” edition, but at least a major number of our collections will have that. The difference is pretty straight forward: a construction kit consists of thousands of plain source recordings, with a lot of variation to provide a maximum of flexibility to every user. It is so often the case that as a sound designer you need a lot of similar basic sounds in order to do several sound variations. Think about a monstrous creature in a game or a film: it needs more than one scream when it attacks, it needs a lot of different ones – but still in one style, so that everybody can recognize the difference between one creature and another. So this is what we do: we record tons of great source material, with high frequency microphones, etc. so that everything can be edited and processed without losing quality. This is what sound design should be about: take some basic ingredients and then create something really unique out of it.
The “Designed” editions are complementary to the Construction Kits. In a way they are highly usable demos of what is possible with the concurring Construction Kit. All sounds in the “Designed” editions are designed by only using content from the “Construction Kit”. They represent the best our sound designers can do from a production and creative stand point using the source files we offer in the “Construction Kits”. That is why our bundles of “Construction Kit” and “Designed” have been by far the most successful products. If you need a quick solution, you grab some high-end sounds from the “Designed” edition and if you need something unique, you go for the “Construction Kit”.
How do you decide which type of library you’re going to create?
Basically we never stop talking about what is still missing. We have only done 5 collections so far so there are still a lot of white spots to be covered. Our pipeline for upcoming releases is usually based upon the most urgent need for sounds. We match this with recording opportunities (e.g. some things can only be recorded in winter, other things might be better to record in other countries, etc.) so that we end up having a good balance between cost effectiveness and the right release at the right time.
What’s been the most challenging library to create and why?
I think the beginning is the toughest bit. You need to start with a concept document, then you need to define what content you want to have in the collection. This first phase is really tricky because most of the times you only start to understand how to make the best recordings while you are already doing them, but it is often too late by then to make adjustments. This can ruin the schedule and make things much more complicated. So the most important thing is to get everything sorted our very soon, check for errors in the whole idea, check again and then talk to other people to see if you haven’t forgotten anything. As soon as you are done with the recordings you can start working very straight forward: editing, mixing and designing. This might be exhausting too of course, but there are no risks to fail as long as the source recordings are good.
What’s your most popular library?
Our most popular library right now is our latest release the “Cinematic Trailers”. However all our libraries have been successful so far and we get tons of great feedback from our users. I think that on the long run we will certainly find that some libraries will do considerably better than others, but we will have to wait and see. So far everything has beaten our expectation which is great because we can put even more work into new libraries now and speed up with the general development of BOOM Library.
What makes your effects libraries different from other soundtrack libraries?
As I said, the most important difference is definitely our concept of having a “Construction Kit” and a “Designed” edition. Another thing that is important might be the fact that our major experience lies in video game sound design. I’d say that we are bringing a fresh approach to sound design and people like that a lot.
Your sounds were used in the trailers for Resident Evil – Operation Raccoon City and Prey 2, which must have been fantastic to hear. Where else might we have heard them used?
There has been a lot of traction lately and I suppose that BOOM Library sounds have been in hundreds of productions in the meantime since our first release one year ago. We are always trying to get testimonials and credits from our users, but sometimes they are not allowed to comment on where the sounds have been used. I can tell you that nearly all the major video game publishers are BOOM Library clients and that there are quite some big film production companies that have been in touch with us lately. And the nice thing is: the uses are really not narrowed to a specific genre or media category. We have TV series, cartoons, games, trailers, feature films and so on + people are using our sounds not only as sound effects, but more and more composers are grabbing our sounds for special percussive effects, impact sounds or anything that they can be creative with.
What else can we expect from Boom Library this year?
Two more releases at least – but not a word more right now…