Although we are halfway into a new topic month here on Designing Sound; listening through Empty Sea’s new Robobiotics library makes me think about last month’s “Noise” topic. Of course not in any negative way mind you, but noise in the way Rob Bridgett described it as: “desirable noise”. If you think about it robot servo motor sounds/foley have become an integral part of media’s depiction of robotic and synthetic characters. An android or robot who didn’t have some sort of servo sounds going on would seem “off”. Some of the character of C-3PO or R2-D2 would be lost without the power window and antennae recordings that helped build up their servo sounds. Even the super-future robots of 2004’s I, Robot had shimmery electronic foley elements. The “desirable noise” of robot movements, however impractical they would be in real life are ubiquitous and certainly not going anywhere (especially not if giant robot moves keep happening!). And Empty Sea’s new offering in Robobiotics scratches the synthetic itch of robot foley we were all programmed to have.
From The Library by Empty Sea’s page for Robobiotics:
“Robobiotics is an exciting new sound effects collection from The Library by Empty Sea. A big one at 4.5GB, this collection contains over 3600 sounds. We’re talking about almost 3 hours of material here! We spent over a year recording and designing Lasers, Robot Vox, Impacts, Servos, Ratcheting Metal, Ambiances, Transformations, Foley, Vehicle Bys and much much more!
This collection features all original material both designed and recorded, for robots and sci-fi. It even includes original sounds from the MPSE Golden Reel nominated web-series DR0NE for which Empty Sea provided post production sound services. As always, we painstakingly edited, processed and mastered the sounds, while also embedding them with metadata. It is a must have for any project that relies on SciFi material! Don’t wait, grab your copy today!”
As the description says; this library comes in at a whopping 4.5GB of a wide variety of ambiences, motors, whooshes, household electronics, designed sounds, and foley. This collection is rather huge with a massive amount of variations in each selection. While the $300 US price point may seem a bit high for an indie library offering; this is definitely the strongest offering that The Library by Empty Sea has put out.
The library includes 96khz sounds as well as 48khz designed sounds all of which are 24-bit. While the most usefulness to most sound designers will be the source sounds; the designed sounds aren’t so unique or too complex as to be unusable in serious production due to ease of identifiability. Some sounds are an incredible amount of variations to the point of almost-overkill. 300 one shot recordings of an HP Printer foley will definitely keep a game sound designer from worrying about repetition.
There is not much else I can say about the library outside of it is pretty cool and probably worth the price if you do a lot of sci-fi (especially if you use the discount code DS_SUMMER13 for $50 off). The file naming and metadata all makes sense and works well and I didn’t have any issue with downloading and importing the files. I did think it was odd that some ambience files are named “ambiance” but investigating my other libraries some use that spelling as well. So it might just be me unaccustomed to using the UK spelling that is colouring my judgement.
A copy of Robobiotics was provided to Designing Sound for review. Once again if you pick up the library be sure to use the offer code: DS_SUMMER13 for $50 off.