If you are releasing a new SFX library and you would like it to be included in our recap, please send us the details through our SFX Independence Submission Form. Now excuse me as I mourn Alan Rickman.
I know I’ve let half the month go by again without the recap, but – what can I say? – buying a new house means a lot of moving and planning and building and raking and adopting a dog – you know, living the American Dream or something. However, February is not yet upon us, and 2015 still needs a proper wrap-up! So I present to you the libraries which became available to our ears last month. There is an assortment of big vehicles, massive drones, fat 8-bit SFX, giant monsters and.. was that a monk?
Motorsports 1 by Airborne Sound
Many car sound libraries exist – they are fun to record, after all – but Paul Virostek and his Airborne Sound studio have offered us something slightly different. Motorsports 1 contains 241 recordings of high-performance cars during nine races at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montréal and the Exhibition Place in Toronto. These aren’t the jerks who speed down your street at 3am. These pros fly around the track like giant android hornets, growling and sputtering with explosive backfires as they accelerate. This library features the Formula One, Ferrari Challenge, IndyCar and Pro Mazda – with single performances from each car – as well as yellow flags and formation laps from various recording positions. The tracks have also been mastered to remove distracting noises such as crowd reactions and helicopters, and naturally the library includes Soundminer data. With a “1” in the title, we know we can look forward to hearing more from this series.
(241 WAV files, 4.87 GB, 24bit/96kHz)
Ultra Drones by 3Maze
Going the extra mile in a project can often go unnoticed by others and feel like a waste of time. However, with a solid plan and interesting data to support it, this effort can result in charm and distinction. Peter Smith and his 3Maze studio produced this magic in their new library, Ultra Drones. Containing 27 ambient drones, this library blends synthetic and acoustic personalities through a mixture of atypical techniques. The tracks were first designed with FM and analogue synthesizers, then re-recorded at freezing temperatures in a 300 foot-long concrete tunnel. The resulting tracks emote other-worldly dissonances, ones that might creep through the windows of an isolated cabin or represent the unease of being inside a living cybernetic Cylon Raider. These drones will make your stomach drop and likely add the right amount of anxiety to your project.
(27 WAV files, 2.32 GB, 24bit/96kHz)
PH – 0017 – ANIMALS, Farm by Phonophilist
Private farms put me at peace. They blend the feeling of home and nature for the people and domesticated animals living there, and most farm species see humans as annoyances rather than food. Even the most ferocious animal on a farm, the bull, prefers plants to flesh – unless you house a pack of boars a la Mason Verger. But despite their simple nature, farm animals can be unpredictable and flighty when presented with a shotgun mic. If you need the sounds of these animals but have no work boots or local farms available, Phonophilist’s Serj Phomin released Animals, Farm just for you. It contains over a thousand sounds to provide the foundation for a convincing farm scene. In this library you will find cows, dogs, pigs, geese, guinea fowls, chickens, sheep, peacocks and others in its 61 tracks. To summon the simple country life of these animals, Serj even gave them their own barnyard-inspired ditty for his preview.
(61 WAV files, 7 GB, 24bit/192kHz)
Rupture by SoundMorph
I can’t cite the academic research to back this up, but I’m fairly certain that breaking things is a near-universal pleasure – that is, if you remove waste contemplation, clean-up and replacement expenses from the equation. Why else would so many open world games offer this simple pleasure? If you are nodding your head in solidarity and thinking of your own project, perhaps Rupture by SoundMorph could help give sound to your interactive mayhem. In collaboration with sound designer Rick Hernandez, the good people at SoundMorph destroyed every surface they could find to create sounds of car destruction, ice explosions, tree hits, crushing wood, shattering lights, and rock and snow impacts to name a few. With over 375 sounds, this library will surely be the sonic bane of many NPC bystanders.
(375+ WAV files, 517 MB, 16bit/48kHz)
Arcadia by noisecreations
I know what you’re thinking, but no, this library does not include sounds of Houdini Splicers or moaning Big Daddies. However, in a similar retro-modern (though less art deco) vibe, this library contains nearly a thousand 8-bit-influenced sounds processed for modern day. Adding trash and synths to the collection of square waves, Arcadia contains many familiar scenarios in video games, including death sequences, door-unlocking joy, power ups, sword fights, rocky explosions, twittering birds, musical notifications and hundreds upon hundreds of other sounds. Noisecreations‘ Callum Tennick and Philip Moroz mastered the tracks for project-ready preparation, whether it be a game, a nerdy web series, or a commercial wanting to appeal to a coin-op loving crowd.
(983 WAV files, 1.75 GB, 24bit/96kHz)
Ringtones by Undertone Sound Library
Ringtones are mini time-capsules of pleasure. From the chimes of a rotary phone to the classic Nokia melody to the evolving themes of Apple and Android devices, these sounds have instilled happiness in extroverts everywhere – and the team at Undertone Sound Library has more to add. Using many memorable timbres, Ringtones contains the instruments and noises heard most often on cellular devices, such as soft xylophones, cheerful pianos, soothing glass taps, robotic sounds, chipper harps, toy pianos, electric guitars and more. With the addition of Soundminer integration, processed tracks that mimic the body of a mobile, and themes that won’t infringe any Steve Jobs-ian copyrights, this library gives you the variation and flexibility to find what you need and put it in your scene.
(178 files, 24bit/48kHz)
Motions Motors HD Pro by The Recordist
Though Motorsports 1 was unique, it wasn’t the only vehicle library released last month. The Recordist Frank Bry added another library to his extensive selection, and one that embodies the mantra “Always Be Recording.” Motion Motors contains several heavy construction vehicles – the ones my nephew goes nuts over – like road graders, pavers, surface rollers, logging trucks and excavators. Many of these recordings were captured spontaneously and serendipitously as the vehicles passed by at various speeds and on multiple surfaces. But for the few who are unfamiliar with The Recordist, don’t interpret “unrehearsed” as “unprofessional.” Just like all of Frank Bry’s work, this library has mechanical personality, multiple perspectives, frequency and proximal depth, and even bonus material like a “crappy postal service vehicle” and “stupid engine revs” (my thoughts exactly at 3am).
(245 WAV files, 6.2 GB, 24bit/96kHz)
Screams & Shouts 2 – Monsters by SoundBits
Anyone can create monster sounds, but few can do it well. Creating the targeted frequencies, physical qualities and sheer body of a monster with your own voice and trusty plug-ins is a challenge that can be fun but frustrating if you just can’t produce a convincing sound. Scream & Shouts 2 – Monsters by Saro Sahihi and his SoundBits studios has you covered. This library contains the shrieks and growls of legendary brutes, such as goblins and sea monsters, and modern day creatures like zombies or perhaps the new beast you’ve created. As part of their Screams & Shouts series, the library adds 940 more roars, grunts, gasps, dying howls, and shouts of struggle and attack. It also includes 250 untreated performances to encourage you to experiment with your own pitch-shifting or monster-simulating plug-ins.
(940 WAV files, 823 MB, 24bit/96kHz)
Istanbul by TONSTURM
Tilman Hahn and Emil Klotzsch of TONSTURM have captured several locations in the past, and this time they’ve traveled eastward to Istanbul to capture all the personality, industry and wildlife of this beautiful city. Using a wide-spaced omni rig, they recorded nearly a hundred 5.0 surround ambiences, which are available as either a surround or stereo download. Istanbul represents something like an audible tour, making you feel as if you could wander anywhere through day and night to observe the daily life of its people and wildlife. Tilman and Emil captured the ambiences of this ancient transcontinental city from the rooftops, parks, bustling bazaars, side streets, construction sites, and seaside ports at all hours of the day. For a taste of the thriving culture of Istanbul, check out the promo video or their SoundCloud demo.
(99 WAV files, 27 GB Surround or 11 GB Stereo, 24bit/96kHz)
Bunkler Singing – Sound Design Pack by Firb
Upon visiting this link you might think uh… huh like I did. Continue to click up the tracks. Has one caught your attention, making you wonder what might happen within the distorted audio? This free soundpack Bunker Singing was released unconventionally on freesound.org by user Firb. It not only contains 10 tracks that constantly change and evolve, it also stands as an example of how to breathe new boundaries into a sound with experimentation and play. Firb originally recorded the vocal track in an abandoned bunker, which I must say displays more vocal power and comfort than I currently have. A voice is a vulnerability, and this perception is only amplified outside the safety net of a soundproofed project studio. I am inspired. Perhaps, you’ll hear me chanting in the bathrooms of the Moscone Center this March… well, maybe not, but if you haven’t visited the site yet, listen to the sound above.
And don’t forget, Firb, you should be paid for your work!
(10 WAV files, 560 MB, 24bit/88.2kHz)