HISSandaROAR Library X: Doors

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.

20 doors

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…

the doors

door photo credits: 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 6 + 7 + 8 + 9 + 10 + 11 + 12 + 13 + 14 + 15 + 16 + 17 + 18 + 19 + 20

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!

167 thoughts on “HISSandaROAR Library X: Doors

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention HISSandaROAR Library X: Doors: If there is one sound that pulls me out of a movie or TV show (apart from the Wilhe... -- Topsy.com

      1. tim Post author

        My initial motivation was domestic doors as thats what I keep hearing bad versions of (especially in TV shows) but there is no need to restrict it!

        Everyone can easily record domestic doors, because we all live somewhere 😉 When I used to rent, every time I’d move I’d record the doors there before I left… So covering the domestic doors in your own house should be a reprequisite, but anything else relevant would be great too!

  2. Dan

    Power to the people!

    I’ll chip in if it helps, but my suburban doors sound rather… well, suburban. (Yes, I’ve just been wandering around the house checking them out. Amusing for a few minutes… sliding doors decidedly un-Star Trek. I wish they went ‘zzzwwwwwp’. )

    I do know where you’re coming from though, there’s a BBC library door that really winds me up every time I hear it.

  3. tohm

    I am most definitely in… heading to Lisbon this week and was planning a ton of recording. I have some great doors on campus I can get to as well.

  4. jeff p

    im in. I’ve got some cool and boring doors around me. I would love to help.

  5. mungi

    great idea. i’ll open and close all doors i have for you. looking forward to all the other doors!

  6. Ben

    Count me in! I’m living in two houses at the moment so there’s no shortage of material.

  7. Andreas

    I’m in. shouldn’t we agree on a format apart from samplerate? Ideally the door handling woul be separated from the door action, right? Stuff like that? I don’t do edits myself, so I’d like to know what the ideal set of files for a door would look like.

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  9. nick

    Absolutely count me in. Are we including cupboard doors and suchlike as well as people-sized doors?

  10. Pingback: Designing Sound » Crowdsourcing a SFX Library, HISS and a ROAR is Looking for Recordists

  11. David Das

    Great idea for a way to build a library! Count me in; I’m sure I can find 10 doors and also record them in different ways (from the inside, from the outside, from near, from far, etc.) In fact I’m on a business trip later this week so maybe I’ll grab some hotel doors too. 🙂

  12. Matt

    Great idea! Please sign me up! I’ve got the Zoom recorder with me at all times, I’ll start right away. Hell, I’ve got a couple of squeaky doors at home right now!

  13. Milo

    I’m in. Forwarded this to some people as well. If you need a metadata editor (soundminer) I can help with that.

  14. Vors

    Just this morning I was thinking about how annoying my door sounds when my girlfriend leaves for work. Better get some WD40 I thought, then I saw this and thought, better record it, then get some WD40. Add me to the list 😉

  15. jeff p

    I made the mistake of subscribing to this post lmao. So many people! Next up cars 🙂 hahahaha

  16. Sebastian Pohle

    Hi everybody,
    I´m thinking about the basic record list. This is what I´d like to suggest.
    for each door:
    open/close – soft, medium, hard – close, medium, distant perspective
    close perspective: door handle/knob handling and latching
    hinge squeaks
    This would be roundabout 25 sounds per door/set.
    Please complete or thin out…



    1. tim Post author

      I’ll do a new blog post to establish this stuff… Also need to lock down the naming convention, file format etc as I don’t want to have to manually correct 1,000 files – in that respect I will be strict about accepting material until it is in correct format… But please wait for the new blog post where we can discuss this…

    2. John Loranger

      yeah I was wondering about this. 100 (people) x 10 (doors) x 25 (sounds per door-full coverage) = 25,000 . That’s one hardcore door library.

  17. arnoud

    i’m in too. what a fantastic idea! haha, thinking about my friends that will be seeing me come in with my gear wired and rolling. great fun! about the record list, i can record m/s, but maybe that’s overkill? 96/24 bit with minimum (analog) limiting ?
    oh too many options.. i’ll let you decide on that.

    good luck handling all these recordist 🙂

  18. Jed

    I’m in too. I already have a few doors from an attic, a cemetery or a garage etc… I have to take time now to find really special ones. Thanks for the add Tim!

  19. jeff p

    I think half the doors should be of the boring every day type. 5/5 just sayin’

  20. Tim Walston

    Hi Tim,

    GREAT IDEA!! I hate cutting doors because you never have exactly what you need!

    If you still need recordists, I’d love to participate!

  21. Adam Ritchie

    Yeah, that sounds like fun. I’m sure we easily have 10 different sounding doors on my house alone, let alone at the office!

  22. Grant J

    Hey Tim, sounds like a great idea. count me in! Just let me know when and what.

  23. Matt Hauser

    Hey I have 2 comments and I apologize that they are both just slightly off-task:
    1: check out the classroom door you hear twice in the last scene of Breaking Bad S02E08; and
    2: David Bondelevitch, we worked together briefly at Coley Sound 15 years ago and it was great to see you on here. You can reach me through http://www.bigfoote.com/ or I’ll track you down. Cheers all

    1. tim Post author

      All the libraries are 96kHz – could you borrow a recorder for a few hours?

  24. Durand

    I’d love to join this effort if you haven’t filled out your quota yet!

  25. tim Post author

    No more recordists from here on thanks, or this will become too difficult to manage!

  26. tim Post author

    Ok I have just emailed everyone on the recordist list with the rewards scenario – if you didnt get the email please let me know!

  27. Michael Gallagher

    Darn, disappointed that I’m late on this. In case there are any dropouts, please let me know!

  28. Greg Ear

    Oh, wow, that went fast! Would loved to have participated. Good luck everyone! Looking forward to the release. BTW: Great Idea!

  29. Minimal Samples

    While you’re at it anyone care to contribute to my minimal samples project too? Similar terms to this door project.

    Cheers Aiki @ minmalsamples.com

    1. tim Post author

      Not too sure how much overlap there is between minimal techno and door sound effects??? I can think of plenty more relevant places to post to request such material….

  30. Alex

    If you are still looking for more recordists. I’m in… we got plenty good doors here in Brooklyn, NY.

  31. tim Post author

    Also note: unless you reply to the DOORS – rewards email I wont be sending you ftp details!

  32. Max

    I’m in if all the guys before me that already exceeded your limit get sick.

  33. Mike Caslake

    Im up for helping out, im in London Uk and want to try some historic doors aswell as new

  34. tim Post author

    Comments are hereby closed on this post – no more recordists thanks!

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