Guess what, everyone? This is our last SFX recap on Designing Sound. While we love listening to and sharing information about new SFX libraries, we found there are plenty of other great roundups on the internet. Sorted by frequency, you can read:
• A Sound Effect’s Weekly SFX Library Recap
• Audio Spotlight’s Monthly Indie Sound Effects Roundup (to submit your new libraries, go here)
• Pro Tools Expert’s Sunday Sound Effects Roundup
• Reviews on blogs by Pro Sound Effects, Sonniss, ZapSplat, SoundSnap, and Sound Architect
• And even #sfx on Twitter
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to stay up to date with new SFX releases. However, this isn’t to say independent SFX libraries don’t have a place on Designing Sound. If you are a creator, we can add your store to our Independent SFX Libraries page (just send an email to [email protected]). As a reader, if you would like to hear from our many contributing SFX creators, check out our Pushing the Boundary – Your Stories: SFX Creators series from last summer. And if you think you’ll miss my writing, don’t worry—I write the weekly SFX recaps for A Sound Effect.
Before we begin, I’d like to offer a huge thanks to everyone who has submitted their libraries since the renewal of this series. It’s been a pleasure to listen to the work of all the insanely talented and passionate folks out there (and discover resources for just about any project I’ll ever work on).
With that said, let’s listen to some new sound effects!
Artificial Life by Lesser Vibes
Sergey Eybog from Lesser Vibes honed his inner cylon for a library that sounds like it would be the result of sticking smooth sci-fi tones and visceral organic textures in a blender. These sound effects are soothingly soft and disgustingly crunchy at the same time, which gives the library an eerie sense of danger. But the sounds aren’t just abstract or indiscernible. You will find lasers, sparks, drones, glitches, beeps, calculations and more, along with emotive textures that will force you wonder if this thing with skin and blood could really be sentient.
(477 WAV files, 2.19 GB, 96kHz/24bit)
SHRED IT by Jeremy Zussman
‘Shred It’ by Jeremy Zussman is one of those libraries you don’t know you need until suddenly you needed it yesterday. This library has 50 sounds of a paper shredder doing its thing with sounds of the motor, buttons, paper jams, and working through those pesky jams. It also includes foley of crumpling, ripping, and—of course—shredding single and multiple pages, and disposing the minced results. Recorded at 96kHz, it will also give you the flexibility for more creative sound design—plus. you won’t get any paper cuts!
(50 WAV Files, 1.29 GB, 96 kHz/24bit)
TRACTION STEAM ENGINES by EarQuirks
‘Traction Steam Engines’ by the new SFX studio EarQuirks is a library that will likely fill you with jealousy as it finds its way onto your timeline. The team’s Rob Szeliga and John Cohen recorded five Victorian and Edwardian-era traction steam engines for drool-worthy steampunk action. They capture the machines’ creaking mechanisms, pumping and hissing steam, blasting whistles, and more in this collection of over 200 raw recordings and designed sounds. Plus, all these sounds were captured during personal recording session in Wittshire, UK, for ultra-clean takes void of tourists. It shouldn’t take a whole lot more convincing to give this one a listen!
(201 WAV files, 9.7 GB, 96kHz or 48kHz/24bit)
Room Tones – Office Building by Detunized / Stephan Marche
Detunized’s Stephan Marche persuades an office building to speak its woes in his new library ‘Room Tones – Office Building’. This library takes place after most of the employees have left to hear the building’s creaks and hums which seem amplified by the silence. Stephan records humming neon lights, blowing vents, and night traffic muffled by the glass of office windows, as well as doors and elevators. With a light and HD version, you can choose your preferred quality for the over 160 minutes of play time, and you can even get this library as a Live pack, Unity Asset Store package or as UE4 Marketplace content. This library will surely bring your interiors to life.
(BWAV HD version: 79 takes, 5.4 GB, 96kHz/24bit)
Rushing Wind by TONSTURM
Tilman Hahn and Emil Klotzsch recorded the Scottish Highlands for their 19th library, a Surround collection of 68 wind ambiences that will chill you to the bone. The gusts, howls, and whistling wind in ‘Rushing Wind’ will engulf your audience without the human distractions of traffic, crowds and planes, or even most wildlife or terrain disturbances. These wide-open sounds are also available in Stereo, as go-to ambiences for your games as well. If you want players to feel the challenge of climbing that icy mountain or the horror of being stuck alone in a cabin during a sinister storm, these sounds are probably what you’re looking for!
(68 files, 31 GB, 96kHz/24bit)
Random Groove Generator PRO by Audiomodern
For all those Max for Live fans out there, Audiomodern has a new tool to help you play and express your creativity. Created by developer Mario Nieto, ‘Random Groove Generator PRO’ is a MIDI sequencer and sample slicer that features four channels of randomized steps, pitches, volume, filters, sample points, number of notes and more. Plus, the program creates sequences by combining grooves, filters, resonances, pitches, and velocities for flexible tweaking, creative inspiration, and easy use with a clean UI. It also includes over 180 one shot samples, so you can dive right in.
(Ableton Live 9.2 and Max For Live 7.1 or higher is required, 180+ one shot samples)
TEXTROBOT by SoundFxWizard/Giorgio Riolo
‘TEXTROBOT’ by Giorgio Riolo of SoundFxWizard is a Kontakt instrument that has a feel you’ll dig right away. It takes clean, simple sounds typically found in UIs and combines them with the power of a MIDI controller to help you create textured rhythms like no other. It features over 160 samples from typewriters, shakers, maracas, metal clangs, switches, etc. than fit into genres ranging from sci-fi and classic cartoons. The sounds are also categorized to be easily found with names like ‘clicks’, ‘bleeps’, ‘big size’, ‘percussive’, ‘fun’, ‘digital’, ‘keys’ and’ mechanical sounds’. This Kontakt instrument will help you make your beat stick out and be implanted in your listeners’ heads.
(1 NI Kontakt Instrument, 165 WAV files, 48kHz/24bit)
High Desert Ambiences
New York: Gorges and Waterfalls
High Desert Chainsaw by Thomas Rex Beverly
Thomas Rex Beverly has four new libraries that show off rural America. ‘High Desert Ambiences’ features southwest Texas and its peaceful wildlife with sounds that will make you fall in love with the desert. It has trickling distant rivers, smooth cricket chirps, the close-by wing flaps and echoing caws of ravens, choruses of birds at dawn, snorts from a cautious yet curious mule deer, and even a half-hour night-time track that will make you want to take out your tent immediately.
‘Ringing Rocks’ features a county park on the border of Pennsylvania and New Jersey where you can find boulders formed by a natural phenomenon that Thomas explains here, which gives them an interesting characteristic when struck. These rocks chime with multiple tones like thick earthy bells, and in this library, you’ll receive nearly a half hour of their ringing as they are hit with single taps and rhythmic patterns and scraped with a crowbar, hammer, and sledge hammer.
‘New York: Gorges and Waterfalls’ features its titular state and its gushing cascades along the Appalachians. These recordings give you not only the liberated plunge of flowing water, they also capture an almost underwater-like sound as the crashing resonances are swallowed by the massive 150-meter gorge walls. You’ll also find other various waterfall heights, from less than a meter to 65 meters, and different perspectives in this collection of nearly 70 minutes of rushing water.
‘High Desert Chainsaw’ doesn’t feature a location exactly, but it does let you put this power tool wherever you’d like—whether it be in the background of a lumber yard or, as the demo suggests, in the hands of a serial killer. Either way, you will hear this STIHL chainsaw starting up, revving, idling, overheating, and chewing through oak trunks and branches. With all the content Thomas has been releasing, it will be exciting to see what he records next.
High Desert Ambiences: (10 WAV files, 6.5 GB, 192kHz/24bit)
Ringing Rocks: (218 WAV files, 1.93 GB, 192kHz/24bit)
New York: Gorges and Waterfalls (48 WAV files, 4.92 GB, 192kHz/24bit)
High Desert Chainsaw: (25 stereo WAV files, 1.25 GB, 192kHz/24bit)
DARK DEEPSEA DRONES by Eneas Mentzel Sound Recording & Sound Design
Eneas Menzel created a library of drones with a specific feel in mind and nailed it. ‘Dark Deepsea Drones’ has nearly an hour of engulfing sounds that hold you in a dangerous place as the light ripples above you. Its nine tracks have atmospheres with psychoacousmatic filtering and musical textures that give the sense of being simultaneously overwhelmed and at peace. Ranging from two minutes to twelve minutes, these sounds evolve in ways that allow them to loop or feel climactic for an involved listening experience.
(9 WAV files, 2.61 GB, 96kHz/32bit)
Heavy Metal! by Soundopolis, LLC
‘Heavy Metal’ by Soundopolis may not have lots of rotoscoping action or Sammy Hagar shredding a solo, but it does have hundreds of metal sounds recorded with a Røde NT4 and a matched pair of Schoeps CMC6U MK4gs at the same time. Using hatchets, machetes, saws, axes, chains and rubber mallets, this library is the ultimate collection of metal-on-metal impacts, scrapes and sawing. The victim: a large heavy car door whose destruction varies from thick, crushing impacts to harsh squeaking sounds that should be used wisely on your audience’s ears.
(720 WAV sounds, 1.8 GB, 96kHz/24bit)
the rush by echo | collective
Rene Coronado from echo | collective designed a sound library with a unique edge. These tracks sound like field recording except they are designed to be used as time-lapses, swirls and twisting movements. With sources of motorcycles, helicopters, trains, race cars, and even vinyl, metal friction and gore, the swishing swarms of this library give the effect of being stuck in a wormhole as time rushes in and leaves without a trace. This library goes beyond time shifts and pitch bending for a collection that’s designed with careful imaging and all the tricks Rene has up his sleeves. Just listen to the demo, because this description does not do it justice.
Also, don’t forget to check out Rene Coronado and Timothy Muirhead’s Tonebenders podcast (which shouldn’t be much of a reminder if you’re on Designing Sound often). The guys recently reached their 50th episode, which features stories and great advice from their listeners.
(319 WAV files, 8.5 GB, 96kHz/24bit)
Xmas Bells Free by Smackheads
We all love free stuff. Anyone who says differently is selling something—which I suppose is everyone here besides me. However, it doesn’t mean you can’t trust them or accept gifts, and that’s just was Smackheads has for you. In ‘Xmas Bells Free’, you’ll find what you’d expect, a small pack of Christmasy jingle bells that don’t just need festivities and snow on the ground to be useful. With shakes, jingles and rhythms at 120 and 160 BPM, this little library will easily fit into your soundscapes and glimmering indie rock tracks.
(33 WAV Files, 104 MB, 48kHz/24bit)
Hybrid Library 2017
Submerged by Pro Sound Effects
Pro Sound Effects has updated their signature ‘Hybrid Library’ for the new year. This massive collection of hand-picked go-to SFX now offers you over 8,000 additional sounds, bringing the total up to over 63,000 tracks in 293 categories, including aircrafts, ambiences, wildlife, doors, foley, whooshes, impacts, explosions, debris, and much more and growing with free annual updates. These sounds can be easily received as downloads through full online access or on a pre-loaded hard drive delivered right to your doorstep.
Also new on Pro Sound Effects is their library ‘Submerged’ which uses the physics of liquid to take you to new places. This library uses the power of watery textures and abstract design to help you make your audience feel instinctual emotions of anxiety and horror from the uncharted depths with underwater vocalizations and explosions, rushing water, ice impacts, air releases, etc. To learn more, try out their free sampler pack on their store page or learn about hydrophone recording techniques from the creation in a tutorial by Colin Hart.
Hybrid Library 2017: (63,812 BWAV files, 350 GB, 48kHz or 96kHz/24bit, 44.1kHz or 48kHz/16bit)
Submerged: (230 WAV files, 1.3 GB, 96kHz/24bit)
Ghosts by Articulated Sounds
Stéphane Fufa DuFour from Articulated Sounds has two new collections he’d like you to hear. For ‘Thin Ice’ Stéphane traveled through the cold and snow to find a desolate lake quiet enough for clean sounds of ice crackling, breaking, and falling into water. However, he wasn’t going to freeze the whole time, so he also recorded some detailed takes in his studio. The results are incredibly useful sounds of ice that you can almost feel splinter underneath your hands or feet. Plus, these sounds work great for adding tension, fractures, icy debris and brittle textures to your design.
In ‘Ghosts’, Stéphane uses atmospheric details to create chilling soundscapes that are ready for your VR and 360 video projects. With sounds of whispers, creaking doors, drills, whistles, creepy giggles, and many other elements that you just can’t put your finger on, this collection sounds like discovering the crack between reality and the supernatural. This library is also organized for extensive use with 20 atmospheres and 125 sound effects, all available in Ambisonics, Surround 5.1 and Stereo formats. On top of that, it also has a construction kit with 545 Mono sounds for interactive and unsettling experiences.
Thin Ice: (315 WAV files, 767 MB, 96kHz/24bit)
Ghosts: (980 WAV files, 23.6 GB, 192kHz/24bit)
Monster Sound Pack 02 by Debsound
In ‘Monster Sound Pack 02’, Ilyés József gives you that deep growling layer that warns your audience they might be dinner soon. With 118 monstrous vocalizations recorded with a Røde NT2000, these rumbles and gnashes can be mixed in with your other beastly elements to create monsters that are predatory, forewarning, ornery, or even a little despondent. Whether you have large deep sea beasts, horrifying reanimated corpses, or snarling demonic dogs waiting for you around the alley, these sounds will help you make the ground shake.
(118 WAV files, 335 MB, 96kHz/24bit)
INSECTS & SWARMS by Shapingwaves
Shapingwaves decided to don their protective clothing and become one with the hive in their new library ‘Insects & Swarms’. In this collection you will hear insects like bees, blowflies, mosquitoes and cicadas as individual bugs or in variously populated swarms for loads of buzzing and humming. It also includes various perspectives both inside and outside the hives, as well as insects passing by, landing, walking, and approaching. With over 1,000 close-up sounds on 183 tracks, this library will definitely get you to swat your ear a few times.
(185 WAV files, 3.7 GB, 96kHz/24bit)
Undercover Guns HD Pro by The Recordist
No one knows guns like Frank Bry, and in The Recordist’s new library, you get the gunfire you need for interior missions. ‘Undercover Guns HD Pro’ has nearly 300 sounds of rifles and handguns fired in an empty garage, a massive barn, an old farmhouse, and a huge metal shop for the detailed reverb tails we all obsess over. This collection also includes foley of gun mechanisms, suppressed firing, single and burst shots, and rounds fired in different parts of the buildings, such as in doorways, bedrooms and basements, as well as outside the buildings for that distinctive bounce-back.
(297 WAV files, 2.6 GB, 96kHz/24bit)
Sci-Fi Weapons by Sound Response
Vedran Kapetinic from Sound Response is proud to present to you his newest collection, ‘Sci-Fi Weapons’. This library has over 350 sound effects from five high-powered weapons created by the arms industry of tomorrow. Featuring assault rifles, sniper rifles, machine guns, SMGs, and rocket launchers, the shots fired in this library are not just for trick shooting or deer hunting. With a futuristic edge, these weapons will cut through your sound design, letting your player know whether they should get behind cover or just accept their fate and respawn. Also included are sounds of scanners, shields, sensors, mechanisms and loading for a well-rounded collection.
(357 WAV files, 544 MB, 96kHz/24bit)
Cinematic Trailers Designed 2 by BOOM Library
It’s pretty hard to not like everything BOOM Library releases, and with the tracks in ‘Cinematic Trailers Designed 2’, which are like sonic hands that rise up and slap you in the face, you’ll likely find the perfect beats for your trailer. With Stereo and Surround versions, this collection has whooshes, hits, transitions, and more that will instantly give you a professional sound and insinuations of danger, stress and mystery. With over 450 sound effects, this library will quickly be your go-to and save you countless hours with a result that will make your producer’s heart skip a beat.
(3123 WAV files, 9 GB, 96kHz/24bit)
Mountain Rivers by Phonophilist
Some libraries have the power to be psychologically healing along with their usefulness, and I dare to say ‘Mountain Rivers’ by Phonophilist falls in this category. Serj Phomin traveled through the majestic Yosemite National Park to record the peaceful, lush sounds of Bridalveil Creek, Merced River, Yosemite Fall Creek and their respective waterfalls. He captures these mountain rivers with their rapid flowing, bubbling, and almost swarming textures that can’t help but immerse your mind and take away your worries. These sounds are also recorded at various distances for 48 minutes of beautiful panoramic imaging.
(19 WAV Files, 3.1 GB, 192kHz/24bit)
Burp by Jack Menhorn
Some libraries require a talent of a different kind, perhaps a digestive kind. In the case of Jack Menhorn, he was born with this digestive talent which he proudly puts on display in his library ‘Burp’. In this library, you will hear over 240 belches, all by the-one-and-only. Some burps are explosive and strained, while others are airy, impossibly long, slightly quizzical, and maybe even a little bitey. Though bodily functions are often used verbatim for comedic effect, this library begs to be transformed into another genre to voice your monsters, drones, and perhaps some cheeky but threatening gnomes.
(21 WAV Files, 140 MB, 96kHz/24bit)