Look back with us on the last 10 BOOM Library years and get a great birthday special.
10 years of banging hammers.
10 years of dragging speakers over snowy hills.
10 years of visiting animals and capturing their sounds.
10 years of building studios, breaking them down, and building better ones.
10 years of never looking back and not regretting a single moment. Full of priceless memories, an amazing team, and an even more amazing customer base.
We at BOOM Library first want to THANK YOU, our customers, for bringing us this far. 10 years ago, we could have never imagined that we would be where we are today.
THE YEAR: 2010.
The setting was a small, snow covered cabin in the Austrian Alps. Three men were huddled around a dark table, a gently swinging overhead lamp their only light. It was after a long day of skiing in cold, blistery weather. The door had just shut, blocking out the steadily growing wind.
They were the two founders of BOOM Library: Pierre and Axel sitting together with David who worked as a freelancer at Dynamedion at that time, discussing their ideas. The vapor from their breathing had been replaced by the steam of mulled wine and the froth of freshly poured Augustiner-Bräu; their gloves and coats thrown off in a pile in the corner, mounted up like a baritone blast.
They had all been working with each other for years in Dynamedion as mercenary composers and sound designers, but the financial crisis of 2008 left them reeling. The three had gone for a retreat in David’s family home, deep in the mountains of Austria, a wood hovel covered in snow. They had traveled under the shadow of disappointment, worried about what the future was going to bring.
What happened that day, made history. The hard skiing, the beer, the cold. All these elements came together to brew a new life within the three. As the liters poured out, so did their ideas. Sound libraries were only for movies and films, not games; they couldn’t find flexible sounds for their own projects. On top of all that, they had their own complaints about the industry itself.
It was time to bring a balance to the industry.
BOOM Library was born.
We have spoken with our founders Pierre and Axel who will give us even more detailed insights.
Pierre, how did it all start?
BOOM Library started on a trip to Austria, when Axel and I went to visit David, who worked as a freelance sound designer for us by the time. We just wanted to do some skiing and have a nice weekend, but already on the way to Austria we talked about what we could do as a next step with our sound design team. By the time the financial crisis of 2008 / 2009 had made a dent in our order books, so we thought about how to become more independent from the work for hire business. Axel was lead sound designer at Dynamedion at that time, but he was ready to start something from scratch. We noticed that there is a missing balance between composers and sound designers, since composers get royalties for their music usage, while sound designers do not get any recurring payments for their works. So we had our winter holiday, with lots of beer and more discussions about how to find something that gives sound designers a more constant revenue, and came back with the idea to start our own sound effects library. Since we originally come from the game audio side of things, it was clear to us that we wanted to cater to this audience specifically. The commercial sound effects libraries that existed by the time were mostly focused on film & tv production, which often didn’t work out too well for game sound designers.
“Axel was lead sound designer at Dynamedion at that time, but he was ready to start something from scratch.”
Back home in Germany, we decided to give this a try and formed the initial BOOM Library team with Axel, Tilman, Michael, David (on the production side), and Benedikt (marketing side) and myself (boring business side). The goal was to see how far we would be able to push this within 1 year, how many initial products, what kind of market reach, etc. The concept was clearly to offer to the market what our game sound designers lacked in commercial sound libraries: many variations, organized as toolkits (we call them Construction Kits), all recorded in very high fidelity. Topics that we wanted to cover most urgently were all rather epic and huge – medieval, magic, weapons, fantasy, etc. everything needed for games. So the name came kind of naturally: BOOM Library :). After year 1 we noticed that it worked quite well, starting from 0 to something that actually made some money. So we decided to keep on doing this and set a new goal: to become one of the leading sound effects libraries in the world.
Tilman, Pierre & Axel
What did the first website look like?
The first BOOM Library website was the only website we ever had – for any of all the various labels we now have – that was not done by us. We had a great team from Austria (again) who built this first site, but with the growing business of BOOM Library and the other online audio labels we started, we eventually built our own marketing and web-design team that is now doing all our websites, trailers, artworks, videos, editorials, blog postings, etc.
What did the first logo designs look like?
The iconic BOOM logo, also developed by the designers from Austria, exists since the very beginning of the BOOM Library. But there were also some attempts until the final design was created. Here a view of the first drafts.
What did the office look like?
When we started with BOOM Library we were still in our second office space, which was a 900 square feet attic apartment, with a tiny recording room (20 square feet), that was actually more like a little recording booth. We mainly recorded outside this room, with field and outdoor recordings, but we also focused on using gear and tech that was not too common at that time. Our second library (“Creatures”) was recorded with the Sanken Co100k, a microphone that was not very known at that time, but offered incredible results for recordings up to 100 kHz.
THE YEAR: 2013
Building over 3,500 square feet of new office.
THE YEAR: 2017
Building three new audio booths.
What are we building new?
Since then, we moved to new offices two times, and are now expanding further. Currently we are building 1 new recording room, with super thick concrete walls, audio treatment, etc – all in a 120 year old vaulted cellar, there is no sound coming in and out there. In total we will end up with nearly 5,000 square feet of office, studio and recording rooms. This is not all BOOM Library of course, it is also the headquarters of Dynamedion, Sonuscore, Create Music and the other labels we manage – but with BOOM Library we are now more than 15 people, including audio programmers, sound designers and recordists, editors, marketing & business people, etc.
THE YEAR: 2020
Building a new recording room and 1,200 square feet of office extension for 10 additional sound designers.
Where do we stand today? Who are our customers, in which projects do you hear BOOM Library today?
With the 10 year anniversary, looking back, I think that we actually already have come pretty close to our goal to become one of the most popular sound effects libraries in the world. We have tens of thousands of people using BOOM Library, we have clients in over 120 countries, we get very positive feedback from great professional sound people from around the globe. The best thing though is, that it feels like we are only getting started with every new day. We still have plenty of new ideas for exciting things to come, and it is a great pleasure every day to continue to build BOOM Library, talk to our customers, work with the team and simply make things go BOOM 🙂
What is the reason those came first?
At the time we started BOOM Library we had a bunch of fantasy game work for hire jobs to do and we were missing flexible and enough content to create creature vocalization. So with the help of the at that time brand new Sanken Co100k microphone we started working on a huge construction kit for us to do these jobs. However, during the production the Games Com took place and we had to do some trailer work in a short amount of time. We were also lacking good sources to create typical trailer title sound effects. So we postponed the creature library and started on Cinematic Metal instead which we then released as our first library. After Cinematic Metal we finished the Creatures library. Once these two were released we recorded the Wildcats library, again something we were eager to have in a decent quality and variety to use for our own creative work for hire work.
What did the individual studios look like?
Then and now …
At the time we started we actually only had a very badly treated 20 square feet or so recording booth, which only damped high frequencies and also didn’t offer a lot of space to perform sound effect related things. We tried to record as much outdoors as possible, which is also difficult in a city close to the second biggest European Airport. The solution was to do a lot of weekend and night recordings to get noise floor you could work with. In 2013 we moved to another location and had the opportunity to create a much better acoustically treated recording room. However this one still had some issues, specifically in the low ends. It was basically a cubic room which was not big enough to place big bass traps. It was a huge improvement compared to the situation before and worked great for the most things though.
“When we moved again in 2013, we wanted to do it right and created two highly isolated rooms, big enough to have massive bass traps and very good acoustic treatment.”
Those are Michael’s and my studio rooms, so we record in there until today. Right at that moment, we are building another small recording room though with all the experience going in there. This will not be huge, we still rent big recording studios if need be.
How has the BOOM Library developed in the last 10 years? (Technical innovations, plug-ins…)
A lot has changed since we started with BOOM Library. But the most important thing didn’t: our own will to do the best we can possibly do. This is obviously a never ending story and there is always room to improve. However in all things BOOM Library related we are working constantly trying to improve. Be it the visual presentation and Metadata, the customer support, the always changing technical aspects of recording things or our skills “performing” sounds. Being a nerd helps to stay up to date with the technical aspects. We started of with a Korg M1000 recorder and two Sennheiser MKH416. The MKH416 are still heavily in use, those are great microphones, however this Korg recorder was pretty quickly replaced by a Sound Devices 744T. We still have the 744T, but added a bigger rig to it: two Zoom F8n and the main rig being a Sonosax R4+ combined with the AD8+ making it a 12 plus mic preamp 16 track recorder with remarkable sonic qualities. Concerning microphones we added the Sanken Co100k very early in the production and updated ever since to be able to manage bigger multitrack sessions for vehicles, guns, explosions etc. We updated the speaker systems, headphones, cables and basically really everything over the past 10 years. What probably changed the most though is our skill and our ability to reflect on what we are doing, to be hard on our selves and never be satisfied without blaming the equipment for the most part.
WHAT OUR CUSTOMERS SAY ABOUT
BOOM LIBRARY SOUND FX
“An excellent, excellent collection. With the Cinematic Metal library, you could almost do any high end trailer with those alone. I’m so happy there’s a company like you guys out there. The need for these type of sounds are monumental. Especially for us at Riot Games, we need more, and more.”
Adam Stiles | Sound Designer • VFX Artist
“BOOM Libraries are first and foremost very professional in how they work, planning, equipment and dedication to making sure to capture everything in as high fidelity as possible really sets them in the very top of the spectrum. Also, they are really lovely people to work with!”
“BOOM libraries are an absolute staple in my SFX library arsenal. I owe a lot of my success to the amazing tools BOOM has provided me! The quality of each library is absolutely incredible and I can always count on each sound to be the highest fidelity possible.”
Eric Paulsen | Emmy winning Sound Designer • Sound Effect Editor
The first sound FX library we have created: Cinematic Metal
Pimp up your final cuts, trailers, epic movie scores or sound effects with these monstrous, huge and explosive impact sound effects. This immense collection of uniquely designed hits is made for easy access to a wide range of different metal impacts.