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Building an unnamed commercial Foley/Engineering Library

Posted: Thu Sep 17, 2015 6:41 am
by IskatuMesk
Hi! I'm IskatuMesk. You may know me from exciting adventures such as Armageddon Onslaught and Lords of Game Testing.

I started voice acting in my toddler terror years with the tried and true Tape Deck. From the very beginning I was enthralled with the concept of recording one's voice, and sounds one can make, and hearing them played back. Some years later, in 1998, I acquired my first computer and Starcraft: Brood War. It seemed my dreams of creation and Starcraft were two bums in a trash can - inseparable. Throughout the years I learned all kinds of things, particularly how even mundane sounds can be manipulated and used to great utility in unheard of places.

During 2010 I was seriously considering a major UDK project, and began recording a huge library of sound effects from whatever I could find lying around. I knew that, even with commercial cds and other rippable sources, I would need a colossal quantity of source material I couldn't really just find, especially clean. The project never happened, but I never spurned an opportunity to expand my library. And so, today, I have many hours of unprocessed audio of various foleys, clangs, crashes, clinks, jingles, and other sounds that can be repurposed for a huge variety of things, like armor when moving, ambient sounds inside vehicles, combat, physics objects, the list goes on.

I have scrounged up my Foley materials I had stashed away since before we moved and have decided to try to complete a large portion of the library with the intent of pushing it to the Unreal 4 Marketplace.

This will be the first time I have ever sold anything I have ever created or worked for. I have never once, in my entire life, worked or made money off of anything I've ever done.

Therefore, one can understand I am somewhat nervous. However, I have a few bulletpoints I'd like to bring to the forefront.

- Nearly no items on the Unreal 4 marketplace are priced at Indie prices. Often times small SFX libraries or 3-4 music tracks will be selling for anywhere from $30 to $250. That's insane. No "indie" developer can throw around money like that. I will be pricing my content reasonably.
- It is required to have functional demo maps and complete information when you distribute on the Marketplace, but Epic doesn't uphold these rules and many submissions do not follow them. With HKS' help, we'll be setting up an example project that demos all sounds in a package, and I'll be organizing the sounds in a manner similar to existing commercial cds.
- I will provide Soundcloud samples of the tracks with some kind of watermark that doesn't involve reducing their quality so you get an idea of exactly what you're getting.
- The focus of the sounds will be Foleys, but I plan to release extra packs with heavy reprocessing for Fantasy and Science Fiction applications, much like my original Black Sun soundtrack.

This is a side project and is expected to take quite some months, if not years, to fully complete.

The primary reason I am posting this thread is to assemble any requests or ideas you might have that would be within my realistic ability to do. For example, I live in Canada, so we do not possess any firearms or other gunpowder-powered equipment to record. I do not have an actual studio, I'm using a combination of recording techniques and isolation shields to furbish my sound. I do not have the ability to record mobile (e.g. record outdoors). Nonetheless, any suggestions are welcome.

I expect to separate packs into major collections, such as -

Reprocessed 1
Reprocessed 2

Potentially containing some hundreds to thousands of sounds a piece, and sold at probably around 15-20 dollars a piece.

Re: Building an unnamed commercial Foley/Engineering Library

Posted: Sat Sep 19, 2015 11:03 am
by Mucky
If you do manage to finish this, I'll be the first in line throwing money.

Re: Building an unnamed commercial Foley/Engineering Library

Posted: Thu Oct 15, 2015 3:36 pm
by Omi
I guess that would make me the second to buy, then?

My recommendation would be to sell packs in themes rather than by purpose, for example: Sci Fi, Medieval, Computers, etc. Basically, people are more likely to buy if they feel like they have some kind of control over the content they're getting with respect to whatever they are currently working on.

As a consumer, I want to buy whatever I'll use now, not what I might use later.

Re: Building an unnamed commercial Foley/Engineering Library

Posted: Thu Oct 15, 2015 7:13 pm
by IskatuMesk
Unfortunately the nature of the sounds kind of restricts their theme. At most if I separate by theme you'll get Base and Edited. While this is certainly a possibility it will greatly depend on what I am able to formulate.

The super loud buzzing case fan is basically stopping me from recording for the last 3 weeks. I'll need to unhook it before I can continue.

Re: Building an unnamed commercial Foley/Engineering Library

Posted: Thu Oct 15, 2015 10:04 pm
by Omi

This might give you some inspiration as regarding how you can package your stuff.

Re: Building an unnamed commercial Foley/Engineering Library

Posted: Fri Oct 16, 2015 3:51 am
by IskatuMesk
Yeah that guy had access to a lot more equipment to record than I do. Definitely won't be able to split them up like that. It will ultimately be determined what I am able to make, but I simply don't have a lot of variation in what I can record.

Also I don't want to be selling small packs. That defeats the purpose of the standard I aim to set.

Re: Building an unnamed commercial Foley/Engineering Library

Posted: Tue May 17, 2016 9:04 am
by IskatuMesk
I haven't forgotten this project. As I go through stuff and throw out most of my belongings, I'm making some of the long-awaited recordings I intended to do with some material I had been hanging onto and contributing to my library.

However, it will take far longer than I had hoped to see the project enter processing stages, since it's possible I may be without electricity and/or usable internet for quite some months after we get evicted. At the least, if I end up in an apartment, I will be unable to record any further additions to the library at all and will have to work with what I have.

Currently, I am in possession of around 2:20 hours of recordings, mostly of clangs, jingles, cloth/metal foleys, scrapes, and some misc mechanical sounds.