Post-Surgery Cat Vocals Library

Post-Surgery Cat Vocals is a royalty-free collection of strange sounds made by my cat after he had surgery. The library contains 62 mono files at 24/192, totaling 44 seconds.

Two years ago, one of our cats had surgery (don’t worry, he’s totally fine now). When we got him back home after the surgery, I noticed immediately that his voice sounded a lot different than usual; his voice sounded very strained and raspy and weak.

This particular cat’s voice was unusual to begin with. His meows have always had a strong nasal element that is not typical of other cats. Add to this the fact that he talks more frequently than most cats, and he was odd to start with, but he sounded even weirder after the surgery.

Naturally, my first inclination was to immediately grab a mic and start recording him. I wasn’t sure how long the effect would last (and I was hoping it wasn’t permanent), so I recorded as much as I could for the next two or so days. After just a few days he already sounded normal again (and he has ever since), so I wasn’t able to get a ton out of him, but I did get some cool stuff.

Perhaps the biggest challenge was getting him to vocalize at all. Although he is usually an abnormally talkative for a cat, when I would sit down with a mic and talk to him to coax him into vocalizing, he would maybe vocalize a few times and then just start purring from all the attention. Once he really started purring (which didn’t sound unusual, unfortunately, so it wasn’t worth recording), he would stop vocalizing until I left for a bit and came back later. I repeated this several times over two or three days, and still only ended up with 62 sounds worth keeping.

After that, the hard part was in cleanup and editing. These files were EXTREMELY dirty. There was background noise, the sounds were very quiet, and he was moving around (which makes more noise), so I had to move to keep the mic in front of him (which makes more noise), so at the end of it all, it took quite a lot of work to get these as useable as they are. On top of this, these were recorded with a pretty cheap shotgun microphone, as, two years ago, I didn’t own a good shotgun mic. And since the files are dirty enough already, I didn’t want to switch to my better cardioid mics, because I couldn’t afford to have more extraneous noise. The good news is that although the mic was crappy, the recorder was not. This was recorded with a Sound Devices 702 at 24/192, but that only helps so much, of course.

Which brings me to my main point: these sounds are very low quality. There are several sounds included that are dirty enough that if they were anything I could repeat, I would instantly throw them away and re-record them. I did not discard them and instead included them, because although they are terrible quality, they are interesting, and it’s impossible to re-record them. Some of the dirtiness of the sounds is mitigated by how quiet they are. I have set them all to peak at -6 dBFS, but this is just for convenience in working with them, and they should really be more like -20 at the loudest. Some were originally around -40 or less.

Post-Surgery Cat Vocals
62 Mono Files at 24 bit 192kHz, 44 Seconds, 43.6 MB (35.2 MB Download)
Includes PFD, CSV, and XLSX track lists

PDF Track List





Mechanical Typewriter SFX Library

Mechanical Typewriter is a royalty-free collection of recordings of an old mechanical typewriter, specifically a Royal 10. The Royal 10 started production in 1914, but that variant has two glass panels on each side. They later switched to one panel on each side (which is what this has), and no one seems quite sure when this change happened. This Typewriter is likely from roughly the 1920’s-30’s, but that’s a guess. It did not suffer the same fate as the cash register, as I didn’t really want to destroy something this old (and the cash register had the excuse of being beyond repair).

I found the typewriter at a yard sale, and it was in remarkable condition for its age. I’ve always wanted to record an old non-electric typewriter, so I grabbed it.

The recordings include everything that moves on the typewriter. Isolated keystrokes, keystrokes soft enough not to advance the carriage, platen rotations, carriage return lever at various line spacings, bell, continuous typing, spinning ribbon spools, switches etc. Included are 74 files recorded in stereo at 24-bit, 96kHz, totaling 45 minutes.

All the sounds in the library were recorded in XY stereo, as that is how I do about 90% of my recording. Being XY, they can be mixed to mono with no issues, if that better suits your needs. The mics were place about the same distance from the typewriter as one’s head would be when using it, presenting the most natural image. As with my other libraries, the sounds have no processing applied except cleanup. Many of the sounds (particularly the typing “clacks”) have large dynamic range and need limiting or compression, but I left them alone, so you can choose how to do this.

When I was first experimenting with how I would record the thing, I assumed that contact mics would result in really cool sounds. When I actually started experimenting, however, I found that, no matter where I placed them, they resulted in very underwhelming material. In the end, I included no contact mic recordings in this library. That’s the annoying thing about contact mics, they never do quite what you expect…

I almost never have a low-cut filter enabled when I record, as this allows me to keep the bass should I want to, or remove it easily in software when editing. As such, in some of the files, there is noticeable low-end rumble from vibrations traveling up the mic stand (despite the shock mount). While I could have removed this in seconds, I chose not to, as, when working with the sounds, I quite liked having it there when I was doing some design stuff. Outside of weird design usage, if you simply want clean typewriter sounds, these frequencies can be low-cut out very easily.

The following demo does contain limiting in order to keep the loudness of the various recordings somewhat even, but rest assured, this is only for the demo.

Here’s a demo showing some random sounds I made while playing with sounds from this typewriter library. These sounds are not included with the library itself, but they are a decent example of turning mundane sounds into something else entirely. While some include sounds that are not part of this library, they all involve something from this library on some level.

Mechanical Typewriter
74 stereo files at 24/96, 45 minutes, 1.55GB (1.07GB download)
Includes PDF, CSV, and XLSX track lists

PDF Track List

All photos by Herschel Matthews








Empty House Impulse Responses Library

This library is a very small collection of impulse responses of an empty house that I made for myself, but decided to put here anyway. I have always liked the extreme reverb of an empty house, and recently got access to one. Some friends of mine began some work on their house, which involved removing everything to paint and re-do carpet and electricity, etc. So, while it was empty, I made impulse responses of each room, the hallways, and some of the ventilation system (which mostly didn’t work; more on that later). The final product is very small, consisting of 23 stereo impulse responses, recorded at 24/48, as that’s the highest I could go with the setup I was using. These are made from full-frequency sine sweeps, not claps or anything like that. See the track list below for a list of rooms and descriptions.

Aside from the rooms and hallways, I took several impulse responses of the ventilation, with interesting results. What I did was place the speaker playing the sine sweep over one vent, then the mic in a different vent somewhere else in the house. This did not actually work all that well, as the frequency response was incredibly mangled by the time it reached the mic, which resulted in the sine sweeps deconvolving strangely or incorrectly. There are three that actually worked to some degree, and when applied to a sound, they make it sound very low-fidelity, as if it were coming out of a low quality speaker. The reason being that the vent absorbed a good chunk of the frequencies, leaving a crappy frequency response, similar to what small, cheap speakers have. These three also have weird tonal anomalies in them, which I left in. You can hear this in the fifth sound (counting the dry one at the start) in the demo below, where you can hear a wispy upward pitch sweep after the main sound. I left them in because they can result in interesting things, but you could remove them if you prefer.

The other three I made of the vents failed completely. You can hear an example of each of the three at the end of the demo below. In these cases, it would seem the vent mangled the frequency response so badly, that the little that reached the mic was so incomplete that the sweep could not deconvolve into an impulse correctly. This resulted in a short, piercing pitch sweep followed by a wall of noise. This would be considered garbage, as it sucks as an impulse response of a vent, since it sound nothing like a vent, but they mangle sounds in a very interesting fashion, so I included them.

The first sound in this demo is 100% dry, just so you know what it sounds like, then each after it is 100% wet with impulse responses from this library; there is no other processing. The fifth sound (counting the dry one) is of one of the vents that worked, and the last three are the ventilation mistakes I mentioned above.
Empty House Impulse Responses
23 Stereo Files at 24-bit, 48kHz, 16MB (10.7MB Download)
Includes PDF, CSV, and XLSX Track Lists

Note that these photos below were taken a couple weeks after the recordings were made, and the rooms have a lot of stuff in them. When the recordings were made earlier, the majority of that stuff was not present.