If there is one sound that pulls me out of a movie or TV show (apart from the Wilhelm) it’s the use of crappy sounding library doors. Now I don’t imagine this is a common complaint amongst theatre goers but it does bug me and I’ve often wondered why the problem exists. Lets face it, if you have your recorder running, you could record a dozen door sounds between the time you get out of bed until you return there… So why use generic door sounds?
My only theory is that on the scale of critical sounds to be recorded & prepared for a project, in some cases doors don’t rate high enough to receive due attention, and are maybe relegated to a less experienced sound editor or assistant to just ‘get them done’ before the deadline…. Sure if its a major moment in a horror or thriller then maybe the door effects are concentrated on more, but the recurring presence of those thin sounding prop doors from certain commercial libraries makes me think it is all about convenience ie use what we have!
So I’d like to pitch an idea to you, and by ‘you’ I mean anyone reading this who has a mic and a recorder: I want to crowd source a sound FX library of 1,000 doors! So if every person who signs on to the project commits to recording 10 doors over the next few months, and I can round up 100 people to participate, then we could solve this problem once & for all.
While big creaky weird doors are good fodder for messing with, I’m also referring to totally normal doors – domestic doors for the many, many crucial scenes where dialogue takes place. Right now you are sitting in a house or building with at least five varieties of doors, so if you do own a mic & recorder its not a big commitment. Just wait for a quiet evening at home/work & spend half an hour (and the same at work/home) and you’re done!
So I propose releasing it on my HISSandaROAR site as a library, sold on the terms that the 100 people involved vote on. The basic requisite would be that everyone who contributes 10 doors gets a free copy of the whole library, but how its handled beyond that is to be determined. I don’t want to spend my spare time accounting to 99 people about income from the library, so if everyone agrees that it should be sold for very little (ie enough to cover compilation, hosting & admin) or even free then so be it….
Ideally: recorded at 96k, plus I’d like a photo of the door
If you are up for the project please comment here & I’ll start a database of people & once the project has traction I’ll follow up to initiate proceedings….. We could establish a basic record list for each door to make sure we have full coverage of each – for a film years ago I needed the sound of the front door being opened, but from distant/down the hall perspective. So I revisited where they shot the scene & captured it & surprise surprise it worked perfectly, but yet I never see commercial libraries with doors with close & wide perspectives… go figure…
UPDATE: we now have 94 recordists onboard! Please keep spreading the word & coerce your soundie friends!
A good example – I needed caravan doors for the mix this week & have been running around recording them (I think Americans call them trailers) – my conclusion: no two doors are the same!
I literally want a library with 1,000 doors in it!
NOTE: for anyone commenting here for the first time, please appreciate your first comment must be moderated to avoid spammers, and bear in mind I am probably in a different time zone to you, so your first post will not appear immediately – worst case delay will be 6-8 hours
OK no more recordists please!