The first time I saw a modular synth, I was taken aback by the massive nest of patching cables, seemingly flying off in all directions and connecting various devices with countless knobs and flashing lights, somehow creating all kinds of strange sounds. Coming up in a mostly digital world, such a mass of wiring was somewhat foreign to me. Sure, I had put together studios before, but those kinds of wiring setups were far more linear, at least as far as I was concerned. While I had spent a lot of time with Propellerhead’s Reason, virtually patching together all kinds of sound modules, I couldn’t even begin to compare it to the sight of a rack of analog modular hardware. However, I finally got to sit behind a modular at the NAMM show in Anaheim, California last year, and after just a few moments of fiddling, I was hooked. (more…)
I was born in England in 1988. Some of my earliest memories involve old BBC and Mac computers. I grew up listening to CDs, MiniDisks, playing “Duck Hunt” on my sister’s NES. The dial-up modem sounds are imprinted on my memory. I recall my father ordering books from Amazon.com back when that’s all Amazon sold. In my teen years I assembled my own computer to save money and grew to appreciate the inner workings of a computer. What I’m trying to say is, I’m an early product of the digital age, it’s all I’ve known.
If you’re coming to San Francisco for GDC, or just happen to be in the area regardless, a few of us from the website are heading to Thirsty Bear Brewing Company (661 Howard St.) at 6:30PM this Sunday (3/1/14). If you’re in town early, and are looking for something to do in the evening, you’re welcome to join us!
A two day course focusing on the voice and its import on cinematic sound will take place in York, UK next month.
Taught by industry specialists Neil Hillman, Adele Fletcher, Adam Severs and James Hyde, and led by Dr Sandra Pauletto (University of York), Creating Cinematic Voices: from script to mixing will cover a wide range of topics, including dialogue production recording, critical listening, voice sound design, working with directors and actors. It is aimed at early career film sound practitioners.
Creating Cinematic Voices will take place on 21-22 March, 2015, at a subsidised cost of £390.00 including accommodation.
For more information and to book: www.heslingtonstudios.com/training/
Steinberg will preview Nuendo 7 at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco next week, and have announced a new feature, Game Audio Connect, that will provide instant and seamless connection to Audiokinetic’s Wwise middleware platform.
It will allow mixdowns to be exported to Wwise from Nuendo via a simple drag-and-drop operation, and it will also be possible to open the Nuendo project that corresponds to an exported section, directly from Wwise.
UPDATE: We’re going to have to reschedule the talk due to some last minute scheduling conflicts. Date still to be determined, but we’ll keep you posted.
We had originally intended to schedule this talk back in November; during our focus on documentaries. Circumstances conspired against us, but a good idea is a good idea. So I’m happy to get this on our schedule this now.
This coming Sunday (Feb 22nd), at 4PM U.S. Eastern time (1PM Pacific)Sometime soon, we’ll be hosting our next Designing Sound Discussion Group to talk about Scouts Honor: Inside a Marching Brotherhood. We’ll be speaking with one of the film’s directors, Mac Smith, and one of its co-producers, John “JT” Torrijos. Scouts Honor is a unique documentary in a couple of ways. First off, it’s follows the Madison Scouts, a drum and bugle corps out of Madison, Wisconsin, on their 2012 tour. The other thing that makes it unique is that this is the first film for both Smith and Torrijos in these roles…who both have day jobs at Skywalker Sound. We’ll be talking with Smith and Torrijos about the film, their experiences taking on a different role in film-making, and the methods used to sonically capture some spectacular recordings of live performances. [ed. I've heard them...in theater...and they are IMPRESSIVE!]
As usual, this will be hosted via Google Hangouts and will have time for Q&A at the end of the discussion. Come here this Sunday to watch the live-stream and to find the direct link to the Google Hangout so you can join the conversation. See you all on Sunday!
The first SFX Independence edition of 2015 is here, with a whole host of new and recently-released sfx packs, and a few special offers.
Don’t forget to use the SFX Independence Submission Form if you’ve got an independent sfx collection that’s recently or about to be, released.
New York Ambiences
A collection of 38 stereo files, recorded as 24 bit 48 kHz Broadcast WAVs and featuring interior and exterior ambience recordings made in New York. Spanning streets and museums, subways and the Staten Island Ferry.
Presenting over three hours of recordings, New York Ambiences contains different perspectives of the city – the distinctively dynamic New York traffic and the quiet and loud sides of New York’s museums.
Price: £35.00 (excluding taxes)
Bonson present their first library, Wings. From tiny insects to small birds, from fairies to dragons, Wings offers over 1400 files spread over two packs. The Design pack includes 180 files and the Source pack offers more than 1200.
Meticulously recorded, edited with patience, and mastered with love, all files have appropriate filenames and complete Soundminer Metadata.
Price: $99.00 (96 kHz), $129.00 (192 kHz)
Audiomodern introduce Abuser – a powerful hybrid analog virtual instrument for NI Kontakt. Featuring 1.538 pristine audio samples, direct from the Sherman filterbank, a filter effect box with unique tube sound overdrive. All the source material comes from recordings of various devices feeding into the Sherman filterbank – No software based distortion emulators were used in the creation of these sounds.
The Abuser instrument is packed full of analogue modelled effects, powerful LFO’s and envelopes, and is able to create a huge range of sounds, from filthy basses with extremely low frequencies and leads to futuristic electronica, distorted leads, mellow saturated melodic Poly-Synths and everything in between.
The full feature set of Abuser is available on the Audiomodern website.
Price: Currently €29.00 (usual price €39.00)
An intriguing library to kick off: 30 experienced swimmers recorded for your war or sports scenes involving water. This collection from Red Libraries features 220 Elements & Ambiences in stereo and mono Wave files, 24-bit / 96kHz.
Chuck Russom FX
Beeps: Volume 2
Available as a free upgrade to those who purchased the original version, Beeps: Volume 2 features 250 all-new designed hi tech beeps and interface sounds ready to drop into your project. Included are confirmation tones, error tones, menu navigation tones, and interface transition sounds. Everything you need for your game menus, sci-fi projects, computer interface screens, or other hi tech equipment.
Priced at $35.00, check the Beeps: Volume 2 product page for full details.
Raptus is a sample pack featuring 100+ cutting-edge cinematic sound effects. Created as a perfect tool to complement any sound artist, trailer editor, video games sound designer, or soundtrack composer in need of distorted impacts, mutilated drums, resonating brass hits, synth shifters, or drones and textures.
A great tool for forward thinking artist with an out of the box approach.
Price: $25.41 (including tax)
Debris is full of just what you’d expect from the title: falling, breaking, tearing, rumbling, rattling, clattering of glass, dirt, foam, gravel, metal, paper, plastic, porcelain, rocks, sand, wood, even trash. Featuring both single and combined recordings.
This collection is presented as more than 1.800 SFX, delivered in more than 350 files. The “Construction Kit” version holds the source recordings while the “Designed” version comes with pre-designed, ready-to-use sounds. Each is available separately or as part of a bundle.
Cars – SUVs & VANS
With over 20 GB of sounds, BOOM presents another addition to their vehicles sfx library collection. Presented in this collection are long takes of multi-channel car engine sounds and drive-bys with a comprehensive collection of interior handling sounds such as indicators, ventilation, pedal break, seatbelt moves.
Classic Car Pass Bys
The Classic Car Pass Bys pack contains 232 recordings of passbys from classic cars such as the Austin 7, Bentley MK VI, Ferrari F40, Jaguar E-Type and many more. Each recording is stereo and is captured and delivered in 24-bit 96kHz.
The Noise Bureau
Presenting multitrack onboard and Stereo external recordings of the Jaguar F-Type 3.0 Litre 380Hp Supercharged Soft top being put through its paces.
263 individual sound files at 96 kHz 24bit and totalling 7 GB. This collection also features recordings of acceleration and deceleration ramps, with a tip to those implementing for game audio.
Richard Devine’s Modular UI
Modular UI is an advanced user interface library designed by world renowned sound designer and musician Richard Devine.
Designed and sourced entirely from Richard Devine’s personal and exclusive Eurorack modular synths and processors collection, the Modular UI soundpack combines the retro, clean sound of analog with the futuristic tech of the new wave of advanced analog and digital synthesis from modular synths, evoking flashbacks of iconic sound design heard in both classic and modern sci-fi films.
Modular UI features 1,000+ sounds, 400+ files and 5.7Gb of 24bit/96khz .WAV files, all meticulously embedded with Soundminer & Bashead metadata, including: FM Hybrid Gestures, Solo Beeps and FM Confirm Tones.
The Battle Crowd Collection
One of the most extensive battle crowd and civilian sound effects libraries on the internet, ‘Battle Crowds’ was recorded entirely at 24-bit / 96kHz, and contains over 500+ royalty-free source files and thousands of sonic variations.
This collection of pre-edited source recordings has everything you need to audibly re-construct just about any type of battle or civil-unrest scene.
Three new libraries from Airborne Sound:
Fairground Sound Effects
More than 70 fairground sound clips in over 7 gigabytes of audio, featuring crowds, amusements, ride ambiences ride ambiences and more.
Freight Train 1 Sound Effects
A collection of 25 freight train sound effects, including locomotive engine and freight car manoeuvers.
Passenger Trains Sound Effects 1
A collection of passenger and commuter trains. 57 takes of interior and exterior locomotives and cars.
Hzandbits Sound Effects releases Excited Electrons – a collection of 121 files/399MB of electronic noise and interference sound effects in 24bit/96kHz mono.
Here are the chaotic, squealing, squelching insides of everyday electronic apparatus, such as cell phones, laptops, MiniDisc players and battery drills. Drones, tones, buzzes, crackles, static and hum of all sorts. Recorded with induction coils/telephone pickups, these sounds are excellent sound design material.
Mechanical Wave are a new independent sfx company out of Quebec City who have recently launched with a range of libraries, from basic Foley, to impacts, ambiences and sci-fi.
Prices range from $10.00 to $45.00
Doing exactly what is says on the tin, Tortured Zither features recordings of an old zither being plucked, scraped, hit, and shaken.
Captured with a combination of Barcus Berry contact microphones and Neumann U87s, all sounds are in stereo 24-bit 96 khz Broadcast Wave format.
echo collective: fields
quiet spaces is a collection of recordings of people gathered in rooms of various sizes and not talking.
echo collective: fields have put together a new library, part of which was recorded… in a library! Microphones were discreetly placed from a backpack onto empty tables in various libraries. Also captured were an entire class taking a test. Quiet Spaces is ideally suited to filling ambiences that require groups of people together who are mostly silent.
Price: $30.00 (Full), $20.00 (Lite)
Urban Russia captures the atmospheric sound of modern-day Russia. Featuring sounds captured in streets, parks, subways, a museum and a bookstore (among others). This collection presents 149 sound clips recorded in Moscow and Saint-Petersburg, Russia – with a total of 6.5 hours of recordings included.
Price: $96.80 (including tax)
Hover – Drones & Textures
Mode Audio’s new collection is 100 richly detailed sonic atmospheres. Calling on a host of exciting source material (from classic synth waveforms, electric guitars and noise generators to field recordings, household percussion), these SFX samples are as applicable to film, TV and game soundtracks as they are to EDM and Dance Music.
Price: £15 / $22.66 / €19.53 (Currently offering 3 for the price of 2 on all packs)
The Ultimate Footstep Collection
5GB+ of high-quality Foley footstep recordings from Foley Supervisor Joshua Reinhardt (WILDFIRE STUDIOS). Presenting boots, dress shoes, flats, heels and sneakers in a variety of performances on all kinds of surfaces.
Foley Plus is a massive collection of sounds taken from sound designer David Fienup’s personal sound library and Pro Tools sessions. These sounds have been precisely edited, mastered, and arranged, and populated with rich metadata descriptions and tags, so they can be easily found using any asset management or browser search software.
Check the website for a full breakdown of the sounds in this collection.
Kickstart your Foley collection with ‘The Kitchen’. 154 sounds of blending, boiling, frying, chopping, toasting, dishwashing, and a whole raft of other actions are included here, at a 24-bit as either WAV or AIFF files.
Brandon Seyboth Audio
A royalty-free collection of strange and abstract recordings of noise generated by electrical devices, such as old CRT TVs, laptops, AC adapters, lights, etc. There is a variety of unnatural whines, moans, buzzes, and shrieks of various textures.
All the recordings are mono, which isn’t my preference, but is the nature of how they were captured. The recordings are pretty low-fidelity, despite the 24/96 resolution. This is the unavoidable nature of how the recordings were made, and is not due to a failing.
89 files, totalling 1 hour 27 minutes of audio
Recorded and mastered at 24-bit/96 KHz
After September’s Yellowstone, there are two new collections from Skywalker Sound’s Tim Nielsen. Ether is an offbeat gathering of “weird statics, data and telemetry beeps, the EMF signatures of things such as rack mount gear, LCD screens, telephones, computers.” The recordings are presented au natural, without any post processing.
Price: $72.00 including taxes
Tim Nielsen and Jeff Davis
Earth Mother Communicator
Another one from Tim Nielsen, this time in collaboration with sound designer Jeff Davis. Massive and unusual metal-induced reverbs is the name of the game with this collection, which has practical applications in bridging the boundaries between sound design and music.
Price: $90.00 including taxes
New Sound Lab
NSL013 3D Printer
This library features recordings from a Printrbot 3D printer with four NEMA 14 stepper motors. The high torque motors connected to a pulley system control the X-Y-Z movements of the aluminium extruder and metal print bed.
The resulting sounds are a mix of grainy, gritty atonal patterns, robotic percussive bleeps, glitchy digital beeps/clicks, low fidelity drones, and chaotic noise. Both raw recordings, and processed elements are included and ready for further sound manipulation.
Just Metal- Squeaks & Moans is the latest collection from SoundBits. Featuring tons of nasty metal squeaks, squeals, moans, slides, Soundbits have collaborated with David Klaschka to present a heavy duty metal on metal action as and when needed.
All sounds are delivered as BWF tagged, 24Bit, 96kHz WAV files
Number of files/sounds: 706 files / 950 sounds
Total Size: 1,87 GB
You can also find these recently-released collections from SoundBits: Just Transitions /
Just Metal – Scrapes & Scratches / Just Impacts – Simple / Just Impacts – Processed / Just Impacts – Designed / Kinetic Design FX
The Whoosh Processed Expansion Pack
They say you can never have too many whooshes and Tonstrum are proving that theory right with their ‘The Whoosh – Processed Expansion Pack’, which offers a selection of sound effects shaped and processed using the Kyma Pacarana Workstation and source material. It is a collection realized in collaboration with Georg Rohbeck and Jedsound, and comes in two flavours: Analog & Digital.
Customers of The Whoosh library are entitled to an update discount and should have received their coupon code via email.
Price: $84.00 (Original), $129.00 (Original + Processed)
Impacts & Whoosh Sounds
This collection features a wide selection of metallic, massive, brutal and futuristic impact and whoosh sound effects. All sounds have been created by using diverse synths, effects and sample manipulation.
Full details available on the website.
Price: $45.98 (including taxes)
Abandoned Shelters – The Danish Bunker Coast
Available for a couple of months now, Abandoned Shelters – Danish Bunker Coast features mysterious and eerie sounds recorded in and around WW2 bunker relicts along the Danish West Coast.
Abandoned Shelters – The Danish Bunker Coast contains 71 high quality audio files recorded on 8 different locations along the Danish west coast. Each take is at least 2 minutes long and has Broadcast compatible descriptions embedded.
Price: $66.55 (including taxes)
Gym Machines & Ambiences
This collection of 59 sounds, include a variety of ambiences, machines, and Foley sounds recorded in Spanish gyms.
96Khz and 24 bits of HD audio featuring Room Tones, Designed Ambiences and Machines noises (including elliptical trainers, running machines, pilates balls, punches, weights machines, treadmills, vibrating platforms).
All the files have metadata embedded for Soundminer and similar programs. Descriptions are in Spanish and English.
Surround Sound Library
Sci-fi Ambiences Surround
Created to give productions a ”next generation” feel, Sci-Fi Ambiences Surround can help bring your SFX library to the next level with more than 50 ready-to-use sci-fi ambiences in 5.0 surround and over 120 in stereo.
Perfectly balanced surround sounds for easy integration in games, cinematics & radio plays, all sounds are royalty free and instantly downloadable.
Guest Contribution by Scott Kramer
With Haunting Melissa, we sought to bring feature film quality sound to an iOS app. It was an incredible experience, so when Neal Edelstein asked me to join the Hooked Digital Media team for Haunting Melissa: Dark Hearts, I jumped at the chance. Like many of us, my “day job” is designing sound for feature films and television. Hooked is breaking new ground by delivering filmed content via an app, and we thought the sound should be high-quality but also pioneering.
With that in mind, I entered an R&D phase to develop new standards and technologies for this medium. I’m a firm believer in mixing a project in the format and monitoring environment where it will most commonly be heard. We decided to mix these stories on headphones in the hopes that the audience would prefer that experience over the apple device’s built-in speaker, and we’ve found that they often do. Next, I began to research ways to deliver a truly immersive experience using an ordinary pair of headphones.
At the time of writing, recent graduate and field recordist Chris Trevino has a Kickstarter campaign called “The Japan Sound Effect Collection” which he plans to be a collection of ambiences, train passes, and walla. Chris was kind enough to answer a few questions about his current campaign.
Designing Sound: Tell us a little bit about your own background in sound and field recording.
Chris Trevino: I was enraptured at a young age by the games that were coming out of Japan in the 90s. The music of Nobuo Uematsu (Final Fantasy Series) and Yasunori Mitsuda (Chrono Trigger/Cross) gave me both the game and Japan bugs. These games inspired me to take up the tenor saxophone and then later choir when I was younger and made me want to be a game composer.
I first started my undergraduate as an anthropology major, because of my love of cultures, but quickly discovered that I loved the ideas but was not passionate about the work. At the end of my first year, still dreaming of game music, I took summer music composition classes and my first sound design class. Needless to say, I got hooked.
Since then, I’ve sound designed a handful of theater productions and have done a lot of field recording on my own. In the summers of 2012/13, I trained with Ric Viers at The Detroit Chop Shop. While there, I helped record and edit four commercial sound effects libraries for BlastwaveFX. I started the Japan collection in Fall of 2013 while I was studying Japanese at a language center in Japan.
DS: What made you choose Japan as a subject for field recording?
CT: Choosing Japan as a subject for field recording was a natural choice given how much Japanese games influenced me when I was younger. When I was accepted into the language center in Japan, I knew that I needed to do as much recordings there as I could.
Guest Contribution by Timothy Muirhead
Although we all like to talk about sound work as a very creative discipline it is also a technical one. Universities and other post secondary institutions really have their hands full trying to teach both sides of the craft – the hows and the whys. Most come up short on one side or the other and that is why the industry has come to rely so heavily on the concept of the internship to complete the educations of those just entering the work force. I know the work placement I did at the conclusion of my time in film school taught me more in 4 months then I was able to absorb in the previous three and a half years I spent in classrooms. The schools narrow it down to the individuals who are dedicated, and give them time to focus on the craft and decide if it is indeed right for them. It teaches perseverance – but the internship is where you really learn the trade.