Photo: Tim Prebble
If you are releasing a new SFX library and you would like it to be included in our recap, send us the details with our SFX Independence Submission Form. Please only notify us of libraries that were released within the last month or substantially updated.
Last month, our community produced 15 new sound effects libraries with locations ranging from deep ravines secluded from humanity to places most people would like to avoid — the courthouse. You’ll find forest winds, ambiences from Berlin and the Mediterranean, energy weapons, battle horns, transit sounds, feedback and signal interference, elevator functions, FM and granular synthesis, electronics toys from the 80s, canyon reverb, cinematic impacts, and courthouse ambiences. Two libraries on this list are completely free, and at the end of the recap you can read about a site full of free SFX that raises money for Deaf Child Worldwide. Can’t ask for more than that!
MPLS Light-Rail by Undertone Sound Library
For their most recent sound library, native Minneapolitans Undertone Sound Library captured the sounds of their beloved local transit system, the MPLS Light-Rail. This library features 30 tracks between one and a half and five and a half minutes in length with interior sounds such as door functions, announcements, stops, walla, bells, horns, and the train car traveling at different speeds. It also contains exterior recordings of the subway’s bells and horns as well as fast and slow passbys. If you’re looking for metro sounds for your film or game, check this library out.
(30 WAV files, 24-bit/96kHz)
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. However, please notify us of libraries that were released within the last month or substantially updated, since we will not include old libraries that are on sale.
Last month, we had the most submissions I’ve seen since taking over these recaps six months ago. There are sounds of snowpocalypse, machinery hums, granular and rotational noise, expanding Reaktor libraries, handwriting, whooshes, copyright-free broadcasts, drones, destruction, Catalan ambiences, excited dogs, and new glitchy and experimental libraries for Ableton Live. So, let’s get on with it and check out these new libraries from our community.
Snowman HD Professional by The Recordist
Ho, ho, ho, Merry.. wait? It’s Spring! And this means your chance to capture snow sound effects is over! (Unless you’re in the path of Winter Storm Ursula.) But if corn starch just won’t cut it, check out Snowman HD Professional by Frank “The Recordist” Bry. This library goes far and beyond the usual crunchy footsteps and snowball fights. It contains avalanche-quality slides and impacts, as Frank recorded his tractor dumping chunks of snow and piles sliding off his metal roof. He also included many gentler sounds in this library with powdery impacts, light debris and icy sprays as well as the simulated sounds of bodies and tires interacting with snow. If you purchase this library, I suggest you take Frank’s advice and pitch-bend these sounds for some real winter crunch!
(339 Stereo/Mono WAV files, 823.4MB, 24bit/96kHz)
Photo credits: “French Flag in the Sky” by Guillaume Ulrich
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)
“A live rooster in the studio, 1930s.” by Yle Archives – Yle Arkisto. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Commons – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sound_effect#/media/File:A_live_rooster_in_the_studio,_1930s..jpg
This is the beginning of a new series to recapitulate each month’s SFX library releases. If you have a release occurring soon and you would like it to be included on our list, send us the details through our SFX Independence Submission form.
September brought us several SFX libraries with an overarching theme of darkness. Deep-water beasts, mysterious sci-fi ambiences, rumbling howitzers and stormy nights can be found on this list, so let’s take a look back at last month’s releases and explore the sounds you may now purchase for your future projects.
The Battlefield Howitzers by Airborne Sound
Every once in a while a sound effects library comes out and you know very well you have nothing like it in your audio arsenal. For some, The Battlefield Howitzers is that library. These authentic recordings of World War II-era ordnances contain the grace and ferocity of the M101 C1 and C3 howitzers and the British 25-pounder, along with 169 bonus clips of designed artillery shots and battlefield montage soundscapes.
(239 sounds, 4.89 GB)
Photo: Dave J Doe
The month of favorites may be over, but for me, the chirp of a wild bird can comfort at any time. When I think of an early morning robin, a lone wintery chickadee, or a nest of spring-time sparrows hidden under the roof, specific emotions evoke from the sonic data in their calls. They express the time, the season and weather, and the topography they declare home. Their calls, as well as their silence, create a thick atmosphere that can enhance just about any scene, from the mockingbirds of the South Atlantic in the US version of House of Cards to the backyard birds surrounding the peaceful but seclusive Mulwray mansion in Chinatown. In interactive scenes, they reflect the actions and the changing landscape around the avatar, signaling moods from solitude to panic, though they are rarely the cause of threat (unless you’re in Bodega Bay). In our existential life, they remind us the world continues on with or without our presence.
So, who is the owner of your favorite call? If you can recognize him or her by sound but not by name, check out The Macaulay Library from The Cornell Lab of Ornithology, which has uploaded nearly 137,000 of their 175,000 audio samples online, or the Xeno-Canto noncommercial database, which allows you to search by call length, number of notes, or even changes in pitch or rate.
If your sound effects library is lacking the charm of even the intercontinental sparrow, there are several commercial libraries to meet your twittering needs. The massive Animal Planet Sounds, Vol 1 from Sound Ideas contains hundreds of bird calls and ambiences, though the bird sounds consist of less than half the library. If you are looking for a more specific library, consider Quiet Planet’s Prairies, Boom Library’s Birds of Prey and Deciduous Forests, or The Recordist’s Bats, Birds and Bugs. Each library contains over 100 sound effects, metadata, multiple versions of each sound, and a recording quality of at least 48kHz/24-bit.