Times are changing fast and technology always changes the way you see things everyday. Well, the way you buy those things also changes. This time let’s talk about sound effects libraries. The Internet has also changed the way we can get libraries and sound effects quickly, even free, open source and with all kind of licenses.
I often see people talking about the highly price of commercial sound libraries, the lack of creativity/different options or the “old” way of distribution there. All of us know that behind each sound effect company is wonderful job from lots of people trying to get the best sounds he can. The Internet has changed the way this sfx libraries are distributed and we can see very good examples on companies such as SoundSnap, Blastwave FX, Sound Dogs and many others, using Internet as a solid platform to sell high quality sound effects.
But wait, what could happen if individual sound professionals make his own libraries and sell them on the Internet with affordable pricing options?
This is what Supervising Sound Editor Tim Prebble is doing with his new site HISS and a ROAR, a new sound effects label releasing libraries with raw elements on different quality and pricing options, everything distributed online. Tim is a sound designer with more than 20 years of experience in the industry. He’s also the owner of the great Music of Sound Blog and is a good example of what a sound professional can do with Web 2.0, using social networks, blogs and projects such as HaaR:
HISS and a ROAR release royalty-free sound effects & sound design libraries created by award winning film sound designer Tim Prebble and while there is nothing new about the idea of selling sound effects online, these libraries take a different philosophical approach, which we believe is fundamental to the art of sound effects editing. We believe the four most important assets for a sound editor or sound designer are: an open mind, sharp ears, experience and a personal sound library. But what about ProTools? Plugins? A recording kit?
The truth is that anyone can buy these things, and if they were lost in a catastrophic disaster then pending the insurance claim you would simply go & replace them. They are valuable and important but not irreplaceable.
I created the project because I felt the way sound effects are sold online doesn’t actually encourage sound editors to do their best work. As a sound designer I have no use for over-designed sound libraries; I want the raw elements, not someone else’s idea of the end result. And I don’t want to pay $5 for one sound effect, because one sound effect is never enough – I need a variety of sounds and performances so I can create my own composite sounds that suit the project I am working on.
While there are also many free sound effects available online, the issue is that they are hugely variable in quality & the copyright can be vague or inappropriate for professional work.
SDB: What are the main features of the web platform?
[…] In terms of the functionality of the site, I don’t believe in low resolution MP3 preview files. We all work with high quality sound and need to hear full resolution sounds to make decisions, so while I provide a soundcloud embed preview of example sounds, in the end it is much more satisfying for people to just download the FREE version of the library (16bit 44.1kHz) and listen to the sounds in context in their own studio. That way they can decide whether they need more variety and at what bit rate & sample rate they prefer to work. […]
And he’s right. The pricing model is very flexible, offering different options of pricing and quality, for example, on his first release called “Vegetable Violence” you can get eacatly what you need. From a free pack with few sounds and normal quality to a professional pack with high quality sounds and lots of different performances of the recorded elements.
Tim plans to release at least one library each month, and also give some special surprises to his customers. So, stay tuned for more!
I think is a great example of a different approach on online sound effects distribution. I’m sure this is just the start and in the future we’ll see more individuals selling his own libraries in a Web 2.0 style. What do you think?