Here at Pole Position Production we’re fans of vehicle sounds of all types. If you’re like us and have watched a television series or feature film from the last 20 years you may have noticed an interesting trend – Range Rover sounds are everywhere! From Bond flicks to the Fast and the Furious series, Land Rovers feature prominently in many films and series.
It’s part of the reason why earlier this summer Pole produced two Range Rover sound effects collections. The first, a Range Rover 4.4 SDV8 version, is being released this month, with a Range Rover 2.5 TD due to be revealed next month.
Today’s post will explain why we recorded Range Rover sounds, and share how we recorded the sound libraries from sourcing, recording, and editing, to delivering the Range Rover sound libraries on our Web shop.
Why We Recorded Range Rover Sounds
Popularity of Range Rover Sounds in Film and TV
Land Rovers are particularly popular in film and television. The IMCDB lists hundreds of productions that feature Range Rover sounds. They include James Bond films such as Skyfall, Spectre, and No Time to Die, Mission Impossible: Fallout, Cars 2, Jumanji: Welcome to The Jungle, The Fate of the Furious and Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw, and many more.
Finding Range Rover Sounds on Pole.se
Often customers write us to check if we have recorded specific vehicles. Range Rover sounds are some of our most-requested libraries. Our team also noticed many searches for Land Rovers and Range Rover sounds in our web shop.
Pole has nearly 400 vehicle collections, however, up until this summer, our shop lacked any Land Rovers at all. A session was scheduled earlier this summer to get some Range Rovers in our shop: a 2019 4.4. SDV8, and a 1990 2.5 TD.
How Pole Recorded Range Rover Sounds
Sourcing the Range Rovers
The first step was to track down the Land Rovers we needed. Linus Anderberg spearheaded sourcing the vehicles.
“Securing the newer Range Rovers was relatively straightforward, given their relatively common presence in the market. However, the process for acquiring the older Range Rover proved to be a bit more intricate.
“To ensure we met our desired specifications, I reached out to an agency that specializes in auctions for enthusiast vehicles.
“Our persistence paid off. Through this agency, I was fortunate to establish a connection with the owner of an older Range Rover that aligns perfectly with our requirements.”
Once secured, the team scheduled a day to record both vehicles at an abandoned airstrip. Robin Olsson described recording the Range Rover sounds:
“We usually arrive at the landing strip about 1 hour before the first car arrives. We try to take out everything we need to rig the cars and the track. After that one or two people set up the track. Hopefully the first car has arrived at this point so the other person can start rigging the car. Usually we spend about 2-3 hours on one car. In a perfect world it would be about an hour rigging the car and a little less then one hour out on the landing strip recording it and lastly we spend about 10-15 minutes making the foley, while the other people start rigging the next car. But it almost always takes longer than that, there are always unknowns when dealing with both cars and recording equipment.
“We did add one component to our recording. That was to have a GoPro in the car with me while driving but it got so hot inside the cars that day so the GoPros shut down within 15 minutes.”
Reflecting on the sound of the cars themselves, Olsson recalled:
“The older Range Rover sounded pretty amazing, a really cool 80s diesel with a cool exhaust sound and an interior that leaks all of the engine so you can really hear it while driving. The SDV8 on the other hand has the sound of a more modern car where the engine and exhaust is not that prominent. That car is more about comfort and practicality.
“The feeling of SDV8 is that it’s just like an everyday car. It’s really comfy and smooth on the road. The older Range Rover however is a different thing. On that one, the gearbox was pretty loose so it took a few minutes to learn where the gears were and the third gear in particular was very hard to get in smoothly.”
Editing and Mastering
Once back in the studio, our team organized the 38 tandem channels of onboard and exterior recordings into synced takes and got to work.
Our editing team cut the recordings by performance (slow, medium, fast, steady RPMs, gearshifts, ramps, idles, circling, and more), trimming away any unwanted audio that interfered with the pure Range Rover sounds.
A follow-up pass de-noised any tracks that required it, while transparently diminishing any birds or insects in the background of the exterior perspectives. A final pass with iZotope RX’s spectral repair removed any minor distractions.
After the edit was complete, the tracks were sent to Bernard Löhr, award-winning mixing engineer and petrolhead, for bonus custom mixes. The mixes provide expertly rendered mixdowns of the onboard, engine, exhaust, and exterior perspectives for ready-to-use clips that can be added to projects simply and quickly without any further work.
Organization and Curation
Once editing was complete, sound library organization began: each performance was gathered into our standardized sound library performance order for ease of access (starting with slow driving, and ending with the performed effects of doors, horns, dash movements, and more).
Particular care was given to naming each track so that the performances, speeds, positions, and more would catch the eye easily – with the goal of communicating detailed info in a simple and user-friendly way.
The library was further organized into two versions: the complete version as well as a “spotting folder” version – an abridged variation with a “greatest hits” selection of clips.
Extensive curation was applied to the library: over 18 custom fields of metadata were embedded to each field to help find the right sound quickly. Among them were a full description of maneuvers, microphone and recorder, category and subcategory, as well extended keywords designed to produce both direct search hits, as well as interpretive uses for the Range Rover sounds.
Lastly, sound library sessions were created for both Pro Tools and Reaper to provide both a bird’s eye view of the collection as well as to provide an easy way to mix the tracks.
So, how did the Range Rover sound? Here’s a SoundCloud playlist of selections from the 2019 Range Rover 4.4 SDV8 library.