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Let's make another library! From the buzz of arrows to the clash of swords, there is a vast number of medieval sounds to be recorded.
1,118 backers pledged $7,052 to help bring this project to life.
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Check us out on Facebook or Twitter! And if you want to learn more about the creation of this project, check out our interview with A Sound Effect!


$7,000 - TREBUCHET!

$5,300 - flanged mace  FUNDED!

$5,600 - great helm FUNDED!

Alright, now that we've gotten those boring firearms out of the way, it's time to get to the good stuff: medieval weapons!

When we were making The Firearm Sound Library, two things were made apparent:

1. Our backers were AWESOME!

2. A lot of them wanted some older, medieval-type weapon recordings. 

Here is where we deliver!

Let's talk about the project goal. We want to make a fairly comprehensive yet very affordable (AKA FREE) library that will have recordings of some common medieval-era weapons. That means bows, crossbows, knives, axes, spears, swords, slings, and all the implied impacts that anyone making a film or developing a game could use.

As with The Firearm Sound Library, quality and usability are the main goals. This means recording every sound effect at top settings, using top of the line equipment.

But affordability is also paramount, which is why (just like last time) we only have one reward set at $1, and after the library is complete it will become free to download! So donate what you can to the cause and help us create another library for the entire sound community to enjoy!

Now, you all want to know how many sounds we will be recording and what they will be. Naturally, each specific sound listed will have multiple takes recorded to provide a wider range of diversity within each sound effect. Also, any interesting visual result (did the weapon penetrate the object or not, did an arrow break on impact, etc.) of the sound effects will be included to give you exactly the right knowledge you need. So the link below will take you to the list of sound effects that you will receive. We currently plan to record just under 500 unique sound effects...each with multiple takes. Take a look!

Spreadsheet of Planned Sound Effects

Let's briefly give a little more detail on some of the items being recorded:

Avarian Recurve

A light bow of classical east asian design, it is most suited to loose lighter arrows of around 500-600 grains at very high speeds. A very snappy sound is produced.

English Longbow

Our bow has a draw weight of 90 pounds and will be loosing arrows weighing approximately 1000-1300 grains. We will be using arrows tipped with short bodkins, long bodkins, and broadheads.

Scythian Recurve
An unusual design, the scythian recurve has produced a very fluid, smooth sound when used. We will be using very light arrows of around 400 grains with this bow.


Our crossbow uses a steel prod and has a draw weight of 250 pounds. It is spanned by hand and fires extremely thick, short bolts that weigh about 800 grains. The sound of a steel prod crossbow being shot can only be described as "wicked."

We will be using a simple sling made of leather and cord with pebbles for ammunition.

Our seax is of classic broken back design and has a blade length of about ten inches.

Our dagger is from Djibouti and has a long, slender blade.

Single Axe
A small-headed axe with a single blade and a haft of about two feet.

Double Axe
A longer handle of about three feet with a massive, dual-blade head.

We will be using two thrusting spears, each of about eight feet in length. 

Type X Sword

A weapon with a Type X blade and cast bronze fittings.

A long-bladed cavalry sabre with a basket hilt.

For our armour we are using a fairly close approximation to what would be worn at the times each form of armour was in use. Also, it is important that the armour simulators used for impact recordings are set up as they may have been worn. That is to say, no soldier would ever wear just a piece of plate armour, he would have layers of other material underneath. The materials we are using are wool, linen, leather, mail, and steel plate.

Heavy leather such as horsehide. We will be boiling our leather in water as was often done. Underneath the leather will be a layer of wool cloth.

Mail could be worn over normal clothes or also over other forms of protection. We will be using riveted steel-linked mail over wool cloth.

There are many ways to wear plate armour, but we are aiming for simulation of a medium-quality breastplate configuration, so we will have a sheet of steel approximately 2 mm in thickness over 10 layers of linen over wool cloth.

We will be using round wooden shields made of boards that are about a half inch thick, covered in glue and linen and with a metal boss. 

It is illegal in our state to hack away at live people for recording purposes, so we'll be using some beef from the supermarket, or perhaps a pork shoulder. Also, we'll have wool covering flesh to simulate a clothed body.

Sound Tech

Sound Devices 744T

192kHz Sample Rate

24 Bit 

The items and sounds should be reasonably self-explanatory, but if you're uncertain just what a sound effect is going to be, don't hesitate to ask. We are looking forward to this project getting funded, as we already know just how incredible our backer support can be. Thank you for checking out the project, and please help us make this happen!

Things We've Learned from the Previous Library

With the Firearm Sound Library we jumped headfirst into a big project and did a lot of listening when it came to feedback from our backers. The importance of how we format sound effects became very apparent as a sound you can't find is a sound you can't use. This sound library will have metadata just like the last library, and we will use a short name for each sound file to describe the sound for people who don't have a program that can read Soundminer metadata or BWAV.

A Different Way to Reward

Just like with the Firearm Sound LIbrary, this will become completely free for download. As with the previous library, we are trying to "liberate" these sounds for those that would love professional quality recordings but can't afford professional quality prices. On that note, our library will have a CC0 license, so you can use, share, download, upload...all completely free, with no royalties or need to give us credit!

We are not currently lining up ideas for stretch goals, but if we reach our goal before the deadline, we'll certainly be able to add weapons. So, if you'd like to comment with a suggestion for a weapon we can't currently record but could as a stretch goal, please do so, and if we exceed our goal, we'll be recording the most-asked after weapons. Thanks so much for checking out The Medieval Weapons Sound Effects Library.


Ben, Brian, & Kevin

Risks and challenges

Renting and insuring equipment is always a liability and challenge. Safe practice with weapons is absolutely paramount. Just because they seem primitive makes them no less dangerous. In some ways, these older design weapons are even more deadly if used carelessly than firearms are. With that said, we are very confident that our experience producing The Firearm Sound Library will aid us well in the production of this library.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1

    The one and only reward! You will get everything. Every single sound and file. Help us liberate these sound effects and bring some authentic sounds from an older time to life!

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    A hand-crafted arrow made by us and mailed to you! Thank you so much for your incredible support. Details are in Update #4!

    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 25 backers

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Funding period

- (30 days)