I created a lot of custom footsteps and cloth movement geared toward specific characters and movements for a project and I just wrapped it up.

If you record a ton of material like this and use it for a specific film, do you take the time to consolidate and file the recordings you've done for later use? Things like footsteps, cloth movement, glass downs, etc.

Or do you discard it, back it up with that project and not save any of it in your library because it was too specific for that project and the next project will get it's own recordings newly anyway?

7 Answers 7


Definitely keep that material! Don't file it away, no matter how specific you think it may be. There will inevitably come a time when you need such-and-such sound, and you'll remember that you did something very similar for a show years ago but no longer have it in your library. And, there will always be a use for well-recorded, well-performed foley - not necessarily to use for an entire film or scene, but surely to get you through some rough cuts/temp dubs, etc.

On a similar note, there will be occasions where you can use portions of FX or BG predubs, such as 5 channel winds, room tones or wallas, or 5.1 gunshots, design hits, whooshes, etc. Just because you created them for a specific show doesn't mean they can't be applied either partially or fully somewhere else.

Regarding filing or entering in metadata, it's an excellent idea to do so if you have time but mostly I just pull all of the material for a show into a folder and then drag that into Soundminer. Then I'll search the name of the show and drill down thru the results from there.

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    +1 I'm always mastering up my Foley for a show and loading it into SM along with cool FX builds/designs I make... when the time is available to do so, of course ;) Aug 24, 2011 at 20:07

I've been saved many times by recutting foley from old projects to sync with footsteps, hoofsteps, etc. Still can't beat the work by a good foley artist.


I have a Foley folder in my library that contains sections organized by folders for each action (fs, cloth, specific props etc) Rarely will I spot a film with this Foley in the edit, but it has proven to help many times when something is missing from the Foley team during a mix or to fill some gaps on a project that can not afford a Foley budget.


I obsessively keep every single thing I capture, including any extra bits during a voice recording session. Normally I don't keep the actual lines/song if it wasn't my stuff, but I've used bits and pieces of off-the-cuff talking for tons of things. A laugh I once got has become one of my favorite group ADR spikes while a snippet of a phrase said by another actor was manipulated until it became an element of an alien turbine sound effect for a game.


I keep everything backed up; if I get something tasty/useful when I'm editing it I try to remember to export it to a foley folder on my fx drive, but you'll also be surprised at how often you need a sound and you remember where it occured in a previous project and you can dive in and grab it. Really must syphon through it all at some point though. Things like hands and moves are really difficult to find quickly if what you've recorded isn't quite working, and thouasands of files with the same name are a nightmare to sift through!


So you are filing your foley but not your loop group recordings? Why do loop group performers deserve to get payed but not foley artists?

America is a weird country :)

  • Professional loop group talent (at least in the US) falls under SAG/AFTRA jurisdiction, so it's a violation of union regulations to master/re-use loop group recordings because they make residuals. It would be the equivalent of illegally obtaining a musician's song and re-using it on anything that you see fit. Foley is ALWAYS needed though, the artists that is, so these artists do get paid ;) Sep 2, 2011 at 9:38

This does not really answer the question about filing my foley, but may help you with filing yours. I do not have the proper space/ ability to do much foley and actually would love to be able to purchase just a foley library. The large libraries just have a few different steps/cloth movements that are just lame/wrong place space etc. Many times on the things I do, the time/budget does not allow for foley, yet the film desperately needs it. Would be a thought for those that do have/ work on foley stages to take a little time and file/edit some of it because for myself that would be quite a valuable asset at the level that I am at. I have the gear to go out into the world and source lots of outside sounds, but do not have the space to keep the world out and record quiet cloth movements/footsteps/ etc.

Just a thought if the sounds already exist. Unless there is some kind of copyright with resale of sounds created for a project.


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