What kind of sound does a 1,500-sound-effect donation make?

Sound recorder Greg Smith catalogued his recordings as part of a master’s thesis. “It was a tedious process,” Smith says. “After I finished this project, I thought, ‘It doesn’t make sense to me to return it to a shelf. ... A sound effect is a living thing. It runs, pops, squeaks, rumbles, roars. For it to sit on a shelf in CDs and collect dust doesn’t make sense.’ ”

The Washington Post published a great piece about Greg Smith and the donation of his sound effects collection to the American University Library. The article even includes cool sample clips of a jack hammer, panda cub, Nascar race, buffalo, and a toucan.

Here’s a taste of the Washington Post article:

Greg Smith Sound Effects Collection

A baby panda in the wild sounds like the high-pitched bark of “Paris Hilton’s Chihuahua.”

Humpback whales mating off the coast of Maui moan amidst the distinct sounds of air bubbles popping underwater.

The futuristic grunts of aliens you might have heard in “Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith” were not created in the studio but were actually made by buffalo grazing in South Dakota.
These sound clips and more than 1,500 others were donated last week to the library at American University by sound producer Greg Smith, who spent more than 30 years traveling the world for film and radio, working for major production companies including NPR, National Geographic and Imax.

The collection includes Smith’s best hits and are immediately accessible to film students, other aspiring filmmakers and “anybody with access to the library,” says Robin Chin Roemer, communications librarian at American. “We are really happy to have this collection. Not all of us are jumping outside to record sounds around us, but Greg did.” Read more of the Washington Post article here.

Read more about the Greg Smith Sound Effects Collection and check out the

Greg Smith SFX Collection Index by category.

Sound notes taken in the field by Greg Smith who has worked for more than 30 years recording sound effects for film.

Check out some more background about Greg and his production company.

Here’s a link to Greg Smith’s personal site.

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