The Sound Mountain Library consists of nearly 2 terrabytes (and growing) of sound effects recorded over 30 years by Ann Kroeber and her late husband and partner Alan Splet.
The library covers just about every imaginable sound topic, from gorgeous nature sounds captured in leafy forests, dense jungles, arid deserts, icy northern regions, large fields and populated cities, villages and suburbs—to industrial sounds recorded in and around factories and labs. There are water sounds heard in creeks, fountains, sinks, oceans, lakes, geysers and waterfalls. There are city and country ambiances from across the globe. And many, many hours of wind recordings, from light breezes to fierce storms recorded wafting in, around and through a myriad surfaces, textures and sites—detail and variety that most libraries don’t come near achieving.
A few highlights: a vintage collection (over 100 hours) from early Hollywood that covers cars and traffic from earlier eras, old airplanes and other vessels, period walla that is almost impossible to replicate. There are cars and traffic sounds from around the world and covering many eras.
Animal vocal recording is one of Ann’s specialties. She is gifted with the ability to communicate with animals and have them talk into her microphones. Listen here to Ann talking about her animal recordings on “The Sound Whisperer” on Weekend America. Her animal vocals have been used in many famous movies and games. She has a special alligator recording that is a secret ingredient for successful monster vocals—it’s been used to design dinosaurs, a famous ape, other worldly monsters, vampires and space aliens. And she has many more creatures that add to this genre.
Horses—a seminal collection. A special mic technique was used to capture horse footsteps moving at every gait and on many surfaces. It helped win Splet an Academy Award® for his sound work on the Black Stallion. There is a panoply of horse vocals that Ann and Alan originally recorded for the Black Stallion that Ann made for The Horse Whisperer and Hidalgo, recorded in the Sahara desert.
Wolves—from pups to packs and every imaginable type, song, whimper, cry and attack vocal and movement.
Contact mic recordings—Ann developed a special micing technique capturing the insides of objects that one doesn’t usually hear to the naked ear. There are unique sounds in this realm that have a beauty and musicality that are another special trademark of Sound Mountain. And this is only a fraction of the many, many riches found in the Sound Mountain Library.