In this article, we take you behind the scenes of our new sound effects library British Soldier Voices. This library was a challenge both from a creative and logistical standpoint, with over 800 lines of dialogue and voice clips that needed to be recorded and edited.
We began production of this library with a research phase looking at the genuine commands and terminology that British Forces use when deployed on operations. We spoke to various members of the armed forces who consulted on the operational language that is used in conflicts. This was a very interesting process, as it opened our eyes to the communication difficulties that soldiers face when operating in chaotic and noisy environments. Most of the commands are born out of practicality as communication needs to be clear and direct, with little chance of words being miss-heard as something else. We were also given lots of slang phrases that are specific to the British military which gives this library a further level of realism and depth.
Using this research we then scripted over 800 lines of combat dialogue and military commands. These included generic terms such as "Move out" and "Cover me" as well as phrases from the NATO phonetic alphabet and contextual lines to represent a soldier interacting with pieces of equipment. We added in some of our own phrases that were inspired by contemporary video games and cinematic representations of special forces units.
Once we had our lines scripted, it was then time to proceed with the recording process. Our Lead Audio Craftsman Alex Gregson jumped in the booth to give us his best special forces rendition and he absolutely smashed it! Most lines were recorded at 3 different intensities (Whisper, Talk, Shout) to reflect the different combat scenarios an operator might face.
Each line has been meticulously edited and carefully balanced to ensure consistency, whilst retaining the initial intensity of the performance (whispered, talking, shouting). The library contains both processed and dry versions of each file. For the dry sounds, we used minimal processing to achieve a natural and honest sound, whilst for the processed sounds we used a combination of filtering and lo-fi effects to represent dialogue being heard through radio communications. We then applied extensive metadata to make navigating the files and finding the exact sound you need as streamlined as possible.
British Soldier Voices is ideal for sound designers and audio professionals who are working on military/police inspired projects and would be especially useful for American/Canadian sound designers who are in need of authentic British voices. The library contains plenty of content that is applicable to historical military contexts such as ww1/ww2, so it has much more to offer than just sounds from a modern military setting.
This library would also be great for game audio professionals, as we have structured the library in a way that gives maximum creative options for programmers. This includes numerous 1-word phrases that can be combined to create endless variations of military dialogue, perfect for ambient and non-specific effects as well as direct action and character moments.
We hope you enjoyed this article. This library has involved every member of the 344 Audio team and has been a truly collaborative effort. We are very proud of the final result and we cant wait to see the library being used in your projects! Get the library here!: 344audio.com/british-army-voices If you enjoyed this article please check out our ultimate guide to audio post- production: https://www.344audio.com/post/the-ultimate-guide-to-audio-post-production-sound-design
344 Audio is an Audio Post Production studio in Manchester.
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