If you are releasing a new SFX library and you would like it to be included in our recap, send us the details through our SFX Independence Submission Form (and yes, I know there are less than two weeks left in December, but don’t let that stop you).
“I can’t believe this year’s almost over!”
…you know they can believe it though. Unless the Gregorian calendar recently became their planner of choice, they knew 2016 was coming, regardless of their hyperbole. Yet even if they’ve invaded your ears a million times with this remark, they bring up a good point. We are on the final sprint to the new year, one that with a single, confusing day will assure our celebrations are properly aligned with the locations of our celestial counterparts. But let’s slow down for a moment and take a look back at November and the flock of useful SFX libraries our community produced.
Rooms by 3maze
Every so often, you enter a room with a stillness that seems to amplify each disturbance around you. It could be a buzzing fan slowly modulating as if the room might take off any second, or the flow of fluids and energized air within the bellies of the walls. Even the hum of a fluorescent light can feel like a pinpoint through the rush of hot air through the heating vents. As a collection of hypersensitive recordings, Rooms captures characteristics of the indoors that make you feel as if the building is breathing your air and digesting your livelihood.
(30 WAV files, 4.8 GB, 24bit/96kHz or 16bit/44.1kHz)
Electronic Drain for Kontakt 5 by SampleTraxx
Electronic Drain is a sound collection that explores the magnetic field. Its hisses and crinkles are lovely and pop out easily in a mix to subtlety hint the environment without dominating the context. Am I lurking through an abandoned spacecraft? Was I abducted and my brain violated with an implanted radio? Who is this Serbian man noting all the flickering bolts of lightening around my head? This library contains eleven Kontakt 5 instruments with processed and looped tracks for quick implementation into your electromagnetic world.
(11 Kontakt instruments with 1.1 GB of samples, 300 WAV files, 24bit/96kHz, requires paid version of Kontakt 5)
Harmonic Machinery for Kontakt 5 by Wobblophones
Lulled into an uneasy contemplation, I peacefully float but with caution, keeping one foot on the ground lest I am dropped. This is the feeling I get from the music of Sun Araw, whose work was featured in Hotline Miami, and Harmonic Machinery gives me much the same impression. Its evolving drones are marred by whistles, scratches, beeps and swirling pitches. They urge me to stay and relax, perhaps meditate for a while, as the blinds around me close to hide the lonely, foreboding Wastelands outside.
(3 Kontakt instruments with 1.1 GB of samples, 59 snapshots, 24bit/44.1kHz, requires paid version of Kontakt 5)
Rural Australia by Squeaky Fish
I don’t want to be too blatant, but there honestly isn’t a sound in this library’s demo I don’t love. From the crystal clear birds to the feral dogs and rugged cows, these animals introduce the landscape of New South Wales in a way that sounds larger and more intimidating than what I’ve come to expect from the world around me. Each animal is confident and intruding: horses angered by your presence, flocks of birds intruding the night life, and ravens perched nearby as if you might be their dinner. These recordings are extraordinary, even though I realize that for those who live in rural Australia, these sounds make the land home.
(62 WAV files, 640 MB, 24bit/48kHz)
Fireworks SFX Library by Bombay Sonic
Fireworks are a gas for some and a bore to others, but even if the colors and fantastically engineered shapes don’t wow you, there is no denying the visceral impact of those booms. Deep in your stomach they can be felt while their residual energy echoes long into your surroundings, reminding you how far the sky drapes over the land. Fireworks are often signal a public gathering, too, with the crowd simply unable to contain their “ohs” and “ahs” as their anticipation releases when the whistling rocket reaches its final destination. Perhaps you haven’t attended a fireworks show lately, but if you’d like to remember what you’ve been missing, give this library a listen.
(43 WAV files, 1.18 GB, 24bit/96kHz)
Cinematic Horror Bundle by BOOM Library
Yes, Halloween was almost two months ago, but horror enthusiasts don’t need a holiday to make people squirm. Cinematic Horror is a large collection—over 1700 sounds combined in the designed library and construction kit—which contains sounds that could inspire new scenarios with its range of tension. Whispering choirs, droning strings, squealing metals, high impact stingers, orchestral hits and swells… the list goes on. If you are looking to get into horror production or sound design, this library can help induce your prototyping to create those perfectly-timed heart attacks.
(1700 sounds, 370+ files containing construction kit and designed edition, 12+ GB, 24bit/96kHz)
Sips, Pours, & Set-Downs / Switches & Clicks by Undertone Sound Library
A major part of creating a large library dedicated to one topic is organization. How do you classify these sounds? Was that a gulp, a sip, or a slurp? Did we use a plastic or a styrofoam cup on that take? When finding the perfect sound quickly, these details matter, but for some of us, organization is not our strongest feature. Undertone has us covered. Sips, Pours, & Set-Downs and its 335 files are ready to go for Soundminer integration. The team also released another library in November, Switches & Clicks, which is dedicated to every button, switch, knob and pedal they could get their hands on. This library contains 137 recordings of various household items as they are opened, closed, tightened, pushed, pulled, rotated, turned on and off—you get the picture—and with the metadata, you’ll find them quickly.
Sips (335 files, 24bit/48kHz) / Switches (137 WAV files, 24bit/48kHz)
Elements: Zippers by Mindful Audio
I don’t quite know why, but the sound of a zipper completing its task makes me feel a sense of accomplishment. Perhaps I’ve wrestled an overpacked suitcase one too many times, but the consistent buzz of its conjoining teeth varied only by a slight change in pitch, ending with the perfect halt and jingle of its slider, is oddly satisfying. If you are as easily amused by the integrity of a common fastener, then Elements: Zippers with its 83 files may be for you. It contains slow, moderate, fast and quick performances of various zipper-secured objects, and with a little creativity and pitch-bending, you might even find the sound of a bellowing monster or perhaps a long, drawn-out fart.
(83 WAV files, 1.19 GB, 24bit/96kHz)
UI-FI by Torann
Creating a consistent user-interface soundscape that evokes personal connection to everyday computing tasks is no easy feat, especially since most of these actions are inherently soundless. Minimize. Low battery. Log out. None of these actions effect air molecules, but they may demand the immediate attention of the user. They may also be expected to represent motion, shape, sense of space and organization, or even play a role in manipulating the future actions of the user with a little psychoacoustical magic. UI-FI is a collection of 400 UI sounds that keeps these concepts in mind with its metadata. If you feel a dissonant tremolo chord, an earthy metallic impact, or a plasticky press and release is the voice for your task, then this library is designed and labeled for you.
(400+ UI sounds, 24bit/48kHz)
PH – WoodWork Bundle by Phonophilist
WoodWork is a bundle of sound effects from woodworking tasks such as sanding, chopping, chipping, planing, sawing and scraping. Its contents are intriguing because the bone-dry frictions of the wooden vise, saws and sanders give me an expression like this with their fingernails-on-chalkboard squeals, but at the same time I feel their ranges of frequencies just beg to be manipulated and pitch-bent. I’m going to keep it 100 and say I can’t brave the sheer abrasiveness of this library, but if you’re looking for an edge to your design, or you are simply designing a woodworking scene, check out this library.
(24 WAV files, 1 GB, 24bit/192kHz)
The Doors by HISS and a ROAR
Once you grasp what is contained in The Doors, you may not need another door sound for the foreseeable future. It has the squeaks, knocks and sliding of doors that lead into garages, sheds, warehouses, Ryokans, offices and kitchens, along with doors found on cupboards, drawers and appliances. Lengthy previews can be found on their website to allow you to know exactly what you’re buying. This library also includes other household sounds such as light switches, curtains, drapes, sinks, tubs and windows, which will prepare you for any television program, game or film in a domestic setting.
(327 WAV files, 13.4 GB, 24bit/96kHz)
Orion for Kontakt 5 by echo | collective
If you’re looking for a little hot pink and neon blue in your music, Orion can help you find it. Containing over 800 one-shot percussion sounds which are arranged into 17 drum kits, this library has the analog synths, vinyl pop and tape saturation to give you that dreamy nostalgia and modern crunch. It also has three signature kits, created by producers Vital, Timecop 1983 and Phrakture, and a unique dual-sequencer inspired by drum machines and grid-controller hardware. So, if you’re the type looking to be the next composer for Kung Fury 2 or Hotline Miami 3, check out this library’s VHS-inspired demo video.
(17 drum kits, 60+ .nki files, 800 one-shot percussion sounds, 24bit/44.1kHz, .nki files require paid version of Kontakt 5.5 or higher)
Tension by SoundMorph
It takes a team effort of sound design and composition skills to create tension, or in this case, the work of sound designer Charles Maynes and composer Jason Payne. In their library Tension, they create a balance tuned to the audience’s anticipation and expectations with the use of drones, stingers, experimental ambience, vocal distortions, musical sound design and waterphones—an instrument which, if you see one yourself, will probably convince you it’s a must-have in your cinematic library. Whether you are attempting to make your audience sweat or magnify a disconnected creepy/cheerful paradox, Tension can help you find the right cinematic tone.
(430+ WAV files, 7.5 GB, 24bit/96kHz)