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Everyone needs a vacation, and since I took mine last month, this recap covers all the new libraries for June and July. It’s quite the list! In this summary are several mechanical libraries featuring gears, mechanisms, lock sounds and steam machines; hard drives from the 90s and modern ones that have been beat to hell; ambiences from Mediterranean summers, PNW springs, rocky shorelines, rivers, and cormorant nests; large machines such as dump trucks, fighter jets, freight trains, and old laundry mills; synthetic and acoustic drones and textures; a new M4L sequence generator; and plenty of foley with cartoon props, small toys, door sounds, mangled fireworks, energy devices, snow, wood working, and demonic beasts. Surely there is something new for you in this recap!
lockdown by echo | collective
Just like the sounds of gunshots, each mechanical “lock” or “unlock” sound has a lot going on. Pins or discs must be intricately aligned to allow entry. Because of their hidden nature, these internal sounds do not always have to be completely accurate to be convincing, but the size, proximity and what’s behind the locked door is visible, so variety is key. lockdown by echo | collective has just that. This library contains over 1,700 files in its ‘elements’ and ‘designed’ collections, featuring various metallic sounds such as carabiners, wrenches, knives, tongs, can openers, and crimpers, as well cameras, servos and a variety of doors. If you’re working on a stealthy game or a TV show produced by J.J. Abrahms, this is the library for you.
(1,700 elements files, 192kHz/24-bit, and two Kontakt instruments—full version of 5.5 or higher required)
Snow – Frozen Sound Effects
Cabinet Shop by Perception Sound
Perception Sound has released two new libraries: one for the cold, wintery scene and the other for the air-conditioned wood shop. The former library was recorded in four to six feet of snow in the Eastern Sierras of California. This library contains 40 minutes of clean, crisp snow sound, capturing the full range of frequencies from the sheen hiss of debris, scrapes and slides to the low impacts of crunches and whooshes. It also contains footsteps of all intensities as well as ambiences and sounds reverberating off the mountain range.
Also by Perception Sound is Cabinet Shop, but this shop isn’t just the one in your basement. This two-hour library comes from Diebold’s Cabinet Shop in downtown Chicago, an 80 year-old shop that has every machine you could hope for. The team captured horizontal drill presses, jointers, drum sanders, pressure releases, giant band saws and plenty more. Along with machine startups, power downs and general work, this library also contains several ambiences of air conditioners, heaters, fans, and clocks, as well as dozens of designed sounds for dramatic, evolving sci-fi and horror effects. Whether you’re looking for debris made of snowflakes or wood chips, Perception Sound has you covered.
Snow (79 WAV files, 2.88 GB, 192kHz/24-bit)
Cabinet Shop (115 WAV files, 6.26 GB, 192kHz/24-bit)
Cormorants by Soundholder
Dawid Moroz of Soundholder released two new libraries this summer, Water Flow and Cormorants. Water Flow is the result of six months of recording as well as “15 thermoses of tea and 42 litres of gasoline” as Dawid recorded two rivers—the Lyna and Guber—during the winter before sunrise when nature is at its quietest. This library features beaver dams with fractured streams that guide around the fallen trees, water dripping in a sewer, and much more. The library was also recorded in MS, XY, and ORTF to cover a range of perspectives.
Soundholder’s second library, Cormorants, is of course dedicated to these hooked-beak seaside birds. Dawid trekked out to a bird colony containing over 1,000 nests (yes, the smell was bad) to create this two-hour library. Dawid took special precaution to not disturb the colony, and after four recording sessions and 20 cups of hot tea, he was able to capture close, detailed recordings of these birds living their daily lives—squawking, flapping, “growling”, swimming, and overall enjoying life.
Water Flow (90 WAV files, 6.44 GB, 96kHz/24-bit)
Cormorants (32 WAV files, 3.46 GB, 96kHz/24-bit)
Ferocious Creatures by TONSTURM
Leave it to the designers at TONSTURM to show their pride in their process with a twisted, in-your-face video. Sure put a smile on my face! Ferocious Creatures has disgusting beasts of all shapes and sizes. The library contains bellowing grows, breathy purrs, slobbery belches, clicking, croaking, groaning, rattling, choking, gargling and so much more. If there was an olympics for vocals folds, TONSTURM would have won the gold. They also recorded a death metal singer and Olof Johnsson, a voice artist who created creature sounds for The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies. With over 300 sounds mastered at 192kHz, this library will pop up in all your horror and high fantasy projects.
(311 WAV files, 5 GB, 192kHz/24-bit)
Elements: Gear by Mindful Audio
Elements: Gear by Mindful Audio is a collection of 2,000 sounds of small cogs. George Vlad recorded metal and plastic mechanisms such as ratchets, cogwheels, drawbridges, toys, a sewing machine, wagon wheels, wrenches, and several sizes of gears for a nearly two-hour library dedicated to angular momentum. The library also has various performances of single clicks, different rotation speeds, and short turns; plus it includes contact mic recordings of some of the larger objects. If you’re looking for a library full of clicks, clanks and whirrs, this is one to check out.
(107 WAV files, 1.88 GB, 96kHz/24-bit)
Cartoon Props by Sound Effects Monkey
Cartoon Props is a modern update to the cartoon sound libraries available, many of which are decades old and have high signal-to-noise ratios due to the equipment used at the time. Chuck Russom and his team recorded nearly 1,000 cartoon sounds that are clean and flexible and—as individual sounds with multiple variations—ready to be layered for that perfect comedic effect. The library features standards such as slide whistles, cymbals, rattles, and xylophones, as well as jaw harps, balloons, and helix bowls that seem to let you know exactly what they’re thinking (á la Mel Blanc). Whether you need a sound base for your animation or you want that classic feel in your project, give this library a listen.
(930 sounds, 6.9 GB, 192kHz/24-bit)
Granular Textures by Glitchedtones
Glitchedtones has mastered the art of the evolving soundscape, and their two new libraries Drones and Granular Textures prove it. In Drones, Stuart Keenan creates unsettling noises that will make you wonder ‘Will I locate the generator before I run out of oxygen?’ or ‘Could the blood-thirsty creature be behind that oil tank?’ With 50 ambiences, this library contains a lot for its small price, and with a sample rate of 96kHz, you’ll have plenty of wiggle room to modify this pack for future projects.
Granular Textures also features drones, but it could not be any more different. These sounds originate from foley, lo-fi recordings, and instruments such as zithers, pianos, and kalimbas that were fed into granular processors and mangled beyond recognition. This library has a wide range of emotions from glowing, hopeful shines to dark, grainy rumbles. However, Stuart Keenan keeps your ears on their ear-toes with the library’s over-arching, unsettling atmosphere—a cloudy feeling of familiarity from the acoustic genesis of these sounds. Whether you want to subtly hint to your audience or lay it on thick, these are libraries you should hear.
Drones (50 WAV files, 2.11 GB, 96kHz/24-bit)
Granular Textures (40 WAV files, 850 MB, 96kHz/24-bit)
Urban Winds II by Hzandbits
Christian Hagelskjær from Hzandbits has two new libraries for you to check out: Mechanisms and Urban Winds II. Mechanisms focuses on the “oddball mechanical sounds” with small devices such as antique coffee grinders, 8mm cameras, balls and chains, metal lids as they scrape against various surfaces, marbles rotating in bowls and in tin cans, and many more. Not only are there 150 sounds, but most tracks seamlessly loop, making them perfect for games.
Christian has also extended his Urban Winds collection with a second installment. This library features over an hour of wind as it interacts with the city streets, alleys, office buildings and marinas of Aarhus. It has sounds of wind as it whips around steel wires and masts, howls through pipe cavities, whips around debris, rustles foliage, gusts across metal signs and flag poles, and much more. So whether you need the whirr of plastic wheels or wind rushing through a pipe, Hzandbits has something for you.
Mechanisms (150 WAV files, 213 MB, 96kHz/24-bit)
Urban Winds II (29 WAV files, 2 GB, 96kHz/24-bit)
SD027 SMALL PROPS
FX001 DUMP TRUCKS by HISS and a ROAR
Tim Prebble from HISS and a ROAR brings us two new libraries which spotlight the big and the small. In Small Props, Tim uses his assortment of props—those small enough to fit in a suitcase—to create a versatile library. With bells, ceramic drums, tape cases, tiny washboards, jewelry boxes, cabasas, shakers and more, there is something in here for just about any project, whether it be an animation looking for emotive sounds, a UI that needs a distinct palette, or a game full of layered effects.
Also from HISS and a ROAR is Dump Trucks, your go-to library for this unforgettable 100-ton vehicle. This Komatsu workhorse made diesely roars as it passed to and from the quarry…which was near Tim’s holiday home. Luckily he remembered ABR (Always Be Recording) and turned the unlucky situation into a recording session. This library has over an hour of dump trucks as they travel on open roads and through intersections. Tim was even invited onto the mine site to record detailed sounds of idling, startups and stops. Whether you’re looking for sounds of objects small enough to fit in a suitcase or a vehicle that weighs as much as a Boeing 757, check out these libraries by HISS and a ROAR.
Small Props (274 WAV files, 8.9 GB, 96kHz/24-bit)
Dump Trucks (107 WAV files, 4.1 GB, 96kHz/24-bit)
Steam Machines by Moon Echo Audio
Moon Echo Audio presents their version of a mechanism library, but instead of featuring hand-cranked or electrical machines, these devices are steam-powered. This fantastic collection of sounds has the clicks and cranks of gadgets and switches, as well as churning engine gears, released steam, boiling bubbles, sparks, and workshop ambiences. With 400 WAV files, Moon Echo Audio wants to help you experiment and create new machines and devices—and whether these exist physically or live in your Steampunk-loving mind, Steam Machines will help you design them.
(400 WAV files, 2.4 GB, 96kHz/24-bit or 44.1kHz/16-bit)
Attack Aircraft Maneuvers by Airborne Sound
Leave it up to Paul Virostek and his team to capture crystal clear recordings of military fighter jets as tear through the sky and put the speed of sound to shame. Attack Aircraft Maneuvers contains sounds of four North American fighter jets as their hotshot pilots perform a spectacular arrangement of operations. This library has passbys, dive bombs, climbs, blasts, rumbles and more from the F-16C Fighting Falcon, the F/A-18C Hornet, the CT-114 Tutor and the CF-18 Hornet. With this library, you will have a new level of power for your sounds.
(118 WAV files, 1.62 GB, 96kHz/24-bit)
Ocean Ambience: Rocky Coastline, Volume 1 by Endorphin Sound Library
Ocean Ambience: Rocky Coastline, Volume 1 may sound like a straightforward library of waves sounds, but the tracks could not be more diverse in how they’ve captured the natural interaction of the ocean and the coastline. This library contains beautiful sounds of waves as they tumble with rocks, crash against boulders, bubble in a tide pool, break far in the distance, and recede, dragging pebbles for that distinct shimmering sound. With 50 peaceful ambiences, this library is so clean and detailed, you might just fall asleep listening to it!
(50 WAV files, 1.14 GB, 48kHz/24-bit)
Mediterranean Summertime by Sound Ex Machina
Did you work too much this summer and forget to go outside and enjoy the weather? If so, do not listen to Mediterranean Summertime, because you will surely be filled with jealous rage. This library highlights the romantic and almost nostalgic sounds of summer along the peaceful Aegean coastline. It features busy beaches, ferry rides, sandy waves, distant motorboats, and the general ambience of people having a good time. It also has the sounds of local street artists playing traditional music for the tourists. If you want your audience to fall in love with the Mediterranean summer life, this is the one for you.
(120 WAV Files, 11.5 GB, 96kHz/24-bit)
Normal Doors by The Sound Keeper
Just like with footsteps, clothing sounds and ambiences, you can never have too many door sounds, and this is what ‘The Sound Keeper’ Jeremy Rogers discovered while working on Uncharted 4. Instead of settle for the same door sound over and over again (I’m looking at you, South Park), he decided to create his own substantial library and share it with the rest of us. Normal Doors isn’t a collection of massive entrances or intricate cabinet doors, it is dedicated to where 99% of doors exist—households and industrial environments—as they open, close, creak, click, turn and kerplunk. Since this collection was designed so Jeremy would never have to look for a normal door sound again, it may do the same for you!
(147 WAV Files, 2.48 GB, 96kHz/24-bit)
Spring in the Pacific Northwest by Raconteur Sound
The U.S. Pacific Northwest has everything: mountains, forests, oceans, lakes, fields, islands, bays and so on. The only thing it’s missing is the sun. Oh, snap! Luckily, nature doesn’t have seasonal affective disorder, and Colin Lechner from Raconteur Sound was able to capture the beauty of these diverse landscapes in Spring in the Pacific Northwest. This library features over 40 sounds of natural ambiences, including various birds, bodies of water, beaches, crickets, rainfall, ocean waves, thunder, waterfalls, and all the other sounds avid campers live for. For a taste of the PNW, give this library a listen.
(43 WAV files, 6.59 GB, 96kHz/24-bit)
Freight Trains HD Mini by The Recordist
Perhaps it’s a Midwestern thing, but I have always loved the sounds of distant trains, especially when their dissonant horns haunt foggy fields just after dawn. If this sounds like heaven to you, you may want to listen to Freight Trains HD Mini by Frank ‘The Recordist’ Bry. This high-quality pack of 34 new sounds was created to compliment Frank’s North Country Trains sound library. It features the far off, nostalgic train I described above as well as close recordings of these beasts as they pass by at various speeds. With plenty of sounds of chugging engines, squealing breaks and wheels, crossing bells and clattering rail cars, this library can compliment anyone’s collection.
(34 WAV files, 3.91 GB, 96kHz/24-bit)
Annihilated Hard Drives by Norsonant
Thomas Alf Holmemo from Norsonant has created quite the unique sound library. He took old hard drives, beat them senseless, and then booted them up again for sounds you hope you never have to hear in your own studio. Annihilated Hard Drives features drives that grind, whine, screech and rattle as they power up, run, and shut down. Recorded at 192kHz, these sounds can also be mangled and stretched to voice objects much larger than themselves—spaceship ambiences, drones, robots, jet engines, etc. With over 50 minutes of four channel recordings by two cardioid mics and a contact mic, this library has the flexibility for your project needs.
(76 WAV Files, 7.5 GB, 192kHz/24-bit)
ENERGY by SoundMorph
Frederic Devanlay and Cedric Denooz brought you Futuristic Weapons 1 & 2, and now they’re back with more sounds of aggressive electricity. Energy contains over 600 shock waves, sparks, zaps, power ups, hums, buzzes, whooshes, passbys and ambiences, all mastered to be dropped straight into your game. The library also contains very specific sounds of night goggles, force fields, metal-grinding sparks, magic spells, sonar panels, and so much more. If your game or film takes place in the year 2200 or beyond, this library will serve you well.
(625 sounds, 6.4 GB, 96kHz/24-bit)
ACM(E) by Unidentified Sound Object
Remember when by the time your computer booted, you could have prepared a cup of coffee from beans you grew yourself? Now computers just let out a quick exhale and are on. Though the speed is more convenient, it has kind of lost its fun. That’s why Unidentified Sound Object decided to take a trip back to the not-so distant past and record the computers of the 90s and 2000s. Their new library ACM(E) features some Apple favorites with three generations of the Power Macintosh, as well as the Macintosh Classic and the Mac G4 and LC 475. You can find sounds of their hard disks spinning, CPU fans running, startup chimes, and boot sequences. If you’re looking for something to experiment with, or you want accuracy in your project, check out this library.
(44 WAV files, 875.6 MB, 48kHz/24-bit)
Laundry Mangles by Detunized
I’m convinced it is impossible for Detunized’s Stephan Marche to capture a boring sound. Don’t believe me? Just listen to his haunting Around Bridges 2 library. As for Laundry Mangles, you’d think perhaps this library takes place in a laundromat. You’d be right, but you are likely thinking of the wrong century. This “laundromat” is an old laundry mill that uses a huge box full of stones to press linen on rollers. Doesn’t this tiny bit of information already make you want to hear this library? This collection features five models of the machine with all their wooden and metal creaks, boomy echoes, and motors—which I’m sure relieved many tired laundry workers. I hope to hear sounds from this library on my TV or in the theater soon.
(107 WAV files, 3.8 GB, 96kHz/24-bit)
Fragmented Fireworks by Sound Spark LLC
Many of us enjoy recording fireworks (you just have to sit back and enjoy), but Sound Spark LLC loves to mangle them, too. In their new library Fragmented Fireworks, Chase Steele and his team experiment with sounds of fireworks to give them a futuristic sci-fi feel. With over a hundred tracks, these sounds can work within a layer or on their own for engines, explosions, weapons, and even UI design. To see what further stretching and manipulation you can do, give this library a listen.
(114 WAV files, 300 MB, 96kHz/24-bit or 44.1kHz/16-bit)
Random Riff Generator – PRO by Audiomodern
Audiomodern returns with another tool to inspire you to make music. Random Riff Generator – PRO is a MIDI tool that generates sequences and communicates with anything that accepts a MIDI signal. Created by Mario Nieto, aka Bitcode or DJCode, this Max For Live plugin features quantization, 42 scales such as Pentatonic, Blues, and Major modes, 64-step loops, root-note changes, an octave selector, saved presets, and, of course, keyboard control. Whether you’re stuck in composers’ block or want to add more textures to your music, check out this plugin.
(Requires Ableton Live 8.1 and Max For Live 7.1 or higher)