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.
Let us know about recent independent sfx library releases by using the SFX Independence Submission Form.
Announcing one of their largest libraries ever, Matter Mayhem from SoundMorph is all about debris and destruction. Created in collaboration with Frederic Devanlay (Sinematic, Solar Sky) and Cedric Denooz (Future Weapons), it contains over 1,500 sounds rendered as 24bit/96khz .WAV files, including:
– Bomb Blasts
– Blow Ups – Stone, Pebble, Metal, Wood
– Debris – Stone, Wood, Glass, Plastic
– Scaffold Impacts
Matter Mayhem is in Presale until April 28, 2014. Once purchased, it will be immediately available for download in your User Account. Check the website for full details.
Guest Contribution by Frank Bry
Check out part 1 of The Making of Thunderstorm 3 SFX here.
In this second and final article I will discuss microphone patterns, recording device pre amp settings, editing and the final mastering phase of this collection. Before I dive into all the technical mumbo jumbo I want to express that when I’m setting up and actually recording thunder and lightning I get quite excited. There must be something in the air, alien mind control beams or just the anticipation of getting the “ultimate” thunder clap or lightning strike. It’s very hard work and involves exercise, listening, tracking the storms and watching the skies. I feel like a kid in a candy shop and I feel the recording is the easy part. So, now we begin. Part 2: The Real Work Begins.
It has been a little while since the last SFX Independence post. So many new sfx libraries have come to our attention during that time that this roundup comes in two parts, designed to make it more digestible. Part 2 will follow later in the week.
Our aim is to provide readers information about the best and most innovative independent sound effects library available, so if you’d like your recently-released library to be considered for inclusion in the next roundup, all you need to do is fill in the Independent SFX Library submission form.
Tim Nielsen – Yellowstone
The Yellowstone SFX Library comprises 120 stereo tracks, recorded at 96/24 by supervising sound editor and sound designer Tim Nielsen. This 8GB pack of sounds from the Yellowstone geothermal volcano in Wyoming, USA, includes giant geysers, bubbling mud pots, fumaroles, hot springs, water streams and more.
Recorded using a SoundDevices 722, using Schoeps MS rig (CMC6 XT extended frequency bodies with an MK41/MK8 Capsule setup) and a Telinga Stereo Parabolic microphone.
Released: August 2014
Tim Nielsen on IMDB
Guest Contribution by Frank Bry
In this article I will reveal my secrets and techniques to recording decent thunder and lightning. Many, many years and sleepless nights have gone into perfecting the art of recording the thunderstorm and I will finally share. But first, I want to share a little history and tell you how I developed these secrets and techniques. It was not so easy at first and here’s the story I’m still alive to tell. Part 1: Live and Learn.