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Tuesday, 22 January 2013 13:42

The Pro Sound Effects Hybrid Library

Written by  David Hurd
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pro_sound_effects_big_logoAs a sound designer, you are only as good as your tools. The full-blown sound library from Pro Sound Effects contains over 120,000 sound effects designed for professional use, but the cost is a bit pricey (and most of the sounds will never be needed). So what if you’re a freelancer who just needs some sound FX for various productions? Pro Sound Effects has the answer. The company took $13,000 of sound FX out of their master library to create the Pro Sound Effects Hybrid Library for a fraction of the price. Designed for freelance and independent sound designers, it’s a really useful sound effects library that can be used for everyday projects.

At about half the size of the full library, the Hybrid contains the best of the entire Pro Sound Effects Library, featuring the entire SONOPEDIA 2.0 and Foundation catalogs as well as Blastwave FX niche libraries, Foundation, Rare Animals, 5.1 Surround Ambiences and a bunch more. The Hybrid Library comes on a portable hard drive loaded with the 56,047 sound effects that most freelancers will use. It’s both Mac and PC compatible with a one-year hard drive warranty, but that’s not all: The people at Pro Sound Effects know that you’ll have a client seeking some exotic sound that can only be found in the full library, so they’ll also let you download 100 sound files from the 120,000 sounds in their Pro Sound Effects Online Library. This allows you instant access to most of the sound FX you’ll need at a reasonable price — and you can go online and quickly download 100 special files when you need them. Going online to select the files is really easy to do. You can even drag and drop your sound file to search the database for similar sounding files. When you find what you like, just add them to your cart, check out, and hit the download button.

This collection includes Blastwave FX’s SONOPEDIA 2.0, the exciting upgrade to the encyclopedia of HD sound effects that now has over 30,000 royalty-free sound effects, ranging from Ambiences to Zaps, and more than 400 5.1 Surround sound effects. Every sound in SONOPEDIA 2.0 was pristinely recorded and mastered at 24/96 with delivery in 24/96 and 16/44.1. SONOPEDIA 2.0 is cataloged with rich embedded metadata that provides instant, accurate search results on any system. It’s compatible with Avid Pro Tools, Soundminer, Net-Mix, Apple iTunes, BaseHead and other popular sound library search engines. Additionally, all SONOPEDIA 2.0 sound effects are descriptively named and intuitively categorized for easy browsing.

I tested the Hybrid Sound Library with Soundminer and BaseHead on my new Titan Computer audio workstation with very good results. I just scanned the Hybrid Library into both programs, where I was able to search through all the files by simply entering words in the search box. For instance, if I wanted Drones, I just typed drone in the search box and a list of drones appeared almost instantly. Then, I hit the space bar to play the first one and the down-arrow key to jump to the next sound file until I found what I wanted. Making sure that a project was open in Pro Tools 10, I hit the Spot to DAW button and the sound file magically appeared in PT10. It’s just that easy to sort through thousands of sound FX files to find whatever you need in a hurry.

The Hybrid Library is a collection of various sound libraries, representing thousands of hours of work by some of the best sound designers in the business. Blast Wave Production Elements has FX for Logos, Distortions, Low Frequency Effects, Musical Elements, Drones, Compositions and 5.1 Surround Sound Elements. The Zombie Apocalypse Sound Effects Library is a collection of 666 horrifying sounds for the outbreak of your next apocalyptic project. Zombie was created at the Detroit Chop Shop and personally designed by Ric Viers, the author of the Sound Effects Bible and Location Sound Bible.

The AMBIENCE collection has over 130 high-definition sound effects that include battlefields, city streets, construction sites, factories, forests, sci-fi, oceans and many more. AMBIENCE also contains a selection of loopable ambiences, allowing you to work freely within extended scenes. The EMERGENCY collection is nearly 800 high-definition sound effects files of alarms, ambulances, fire engines, guns, hospitals, medical instruments, police equipment and sirens. The HOUSEHOLD collection will help audio professionals make audiences feel right at home. It comes with 1,135 high definition sound effects, including appliances, doors, lawn equipment, snow blowers, telephones and many more. The INDUSTRY collection has 1,114 high-def sound effects, like CB chatter, factories, heavy equipment, tools and vehicles. The SCI-FI collection comes with 1,685 effects, like air locks, alarms, aliens, beeps, drones, force fields, lasers, robots and spaceships, while the TRANSPORTATION collection also comes with over 1,000 effects, such as automobiles, planes, trains and watercraft. And the WEATHER collection comes with 111 effects, such as rain, snow, thunder and wind.

The Foundation Sound Effects Library offers a mind-boggling 16,406 of contemporary recordings, including vehicles, industrial machinery, domestic sounds and over 1,000 animal sounds. It also includes natural elements, such as wind and water, as well as musical instruments and a range of ambiences. In addition, the Foundation Library includes thousands of audio “elements” or sound bytes from which an almost infinite number of sound events can be crafted. These elements are cataloged into material types, such as wood, metal, glass and stone, and subtitled by actions, like impacts, scrapes, shatters and breaks. The library also includes abstract elements, such as sweeps, drones, pulses and surges. Foundation is from Sound Control SE, a Sweden-based company under the direction of sound design dynamo Ken Skoglund, whose credits include the documentary Expedition Bismarck (co-directed by James Cameron) and the 3D IMAX doc Aliens of the Deep. You’ll find curious snippets of dialogue, crowd ambiences and whooshing cars, as well as the impact of assorted body-slams on a professional wrestling mat; waves rolling across a Malibu beach; and a Zamboni machine sweeping a hockey rink — all amid a formidable range of sound effects.

The ANIMALS collection comes with over 300 sounds for alligators, birds, cats, chickens, dogs, horses, insects, jungle cats, monkeys, monsters, pigs and many more. The FOLEY collection comes with over 3,500 high-definition sound effects — everything you’ll need to make a scene come alive, from human movements to object movements to footsteps. The HUMANS collection has 534 burps, coughs, gags, laughs, screams, sneezes and many more comedic effects. The MUSICAL collection comes with 680 musical accents, ascends, descends, organs, pianos, and percussion and string instruments. The SPORTS collection comes with over 900 sounds for baseball, basketball, football, golf, hockey, tennis and many more, including hits, tackles, swooshes and swings. The WARFARE collection contains over 1,700 ambience effects for the heat of battle, like bombs, guns, swords and vehicles. And BUZZSAW 2 is stocked full of over 1,600 useful production elements for your next edgy production. It will zap you in the face with crunch and bass, LFEs, stabs and guitar riffs.

APP FX has 4,000 sound effects and comes with a full license for mobile app products with duplication and distribution. At last, app developers can find a sound effects library perfectly tailored for crafting sound content for mobile app platforms, such as iPhones, Androids, iPads and other interfaces, including websites and video games. The RARE ANIMALS Library was edited and optimized with game and interactive industries in mind, so it mostly offers shorter, trigger-able sounds. It also contains a collection of ambiences, which are longer, environmental sound effects that can be further edited or used as backgrounds. The CARTOON collection comes with nearly 1,000 high-def sound effects, including farts, horns, magical elements, mallets, musical instruments, squeaks and fun voices.

The FIRE collection comes with 67 blazing sounds, such as bonfires, crackles, fireballs, lighters, matches and torches. The IMPACT collection comes with 572 bullet impacts, car crashes, glass breaks, metal impacts and rock impacts, while the OFFICE collection has copy machines, desk drawers, keyboards, paper shredders and staplers. The TECHNOLOGY collection offers 1,350 arcade, camcorder, cell phone, gear, GPS voice element, typewriter and other tech sounds. Lastly, the WATER collection comes with over 130 bubbles, cave ambience, creeks, fountains, lakes, splashes and many more water sounds.

The Pro Sound Effects Hybrid Library is a great way to get the professional sounds that you need for a reasonable price — and all of the sounds are well recorded and ready to use. For more information, contact
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