sound opinions Asbjoern Andersen


Thinking about creating an independent sound effects library? Here are some thoughts on a crucial first step you should take before creating that debut sound effects library:
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To say that the market for independent sound effects has exploded is something of an understatement. When I started A Sound Effect back in 2013, there was a small but great selection of SFX libraries available from the community. Fast-forward to today, and the amount of content from independent sound effects creators is simply staggering, both in terms of quality, quantity and coverage.

With that much quality-content out there, if you want to stand out, you need to do some thinking first

For the end-user, this is great news, as there’s so much excellent content to choose from. For indie SFX creators, the equally great news is that more and more people are becoming aware of indie SFX, and the interest just keeps growing.

There’s a challenge though: With that much quality-content out there, if you want to stand out, you need to do some thinking first.

Creating an indie sound effects library is no simple task, and it usually takes a lot of time, effort and energy, requires quality equipment, and can often cost you out-of-pocket money too (for props, gear, access or transportation, for example).

That’s why I’d wholly recommend you take one crucial step before beginning your SFX library adventure. It may seem like common sense, but I know from first-hand experience it’s something a lot of people tend to forget:

Research what’s available already – before you start


 
A way to explore what’s out there – and to get new ideas:

 

1. Want to know what’s already out there? Try searching through the vast number of libraries on A Sound Effect to get an idea. Try some variations on your topic keywords to get a feel for the current coverage.

Search for sound effects below:



2. Looking for inspiration for new sound effects libraries? The results of our most-recent survey on sound effects that are hard to find can be found here (new survey coming soon).

 

Running A Sound Effect, I’m often contacted by new indie SFX creators who are looking to have their sound effects libraries released. And more than often, it’s a whoosh library, a futuristic UI library, an electromagnetic field library, a (vegetable) gore library and similar.

While many are great in their own right, when there are numerous similar libraries out there already, standing out and getting your library to gain traction can be a huge challenge. Think about it this way: Why should someone pick your gore or UI library (or any other crowded category) over the, say, 10+ quite similar libraries out there?

And even if you manage to put a different spin on a SFX library in a crowded category, you’ll need to do some thinking on how to make that easy to understand for customers (who are looking at a large number of seemingly-similar libraries). That’s not always easy.

If you’re going to be spending hours, weeks and months, thoughts, talent and resources creating a new sound effects library, you owe it to yourself to familiarize yourself with what’s already available

Of course, for many, getting into indie SFX is just as much a passion project as it is about making money on the sounds. There’s a lot to be learned – and often, a lot of fun to be had – from coming up with an idea, recording, editing, packaging and publishing a library.

But once it’s out there, for the vast majority of SFX creators, it’s definitely rewarding to have people noticing your library, and to make some money off of it too. And the more crowded a given category is, the harder that’s going to be.

So if you’re going to be spending hours, weeks and months, thoughts, talent and resources creating a new sound effects library, you owe it to yourself to familiarize yourself with what’s already available, so you won’t end up disappointed after all that hard work.

This isn’t to say what you should and shouldn’t make, but after you’ve researched what’s already out there, you can make a much better-informed decision on how to proceed.

This isn’t to say what you should and shouldn’t make, but after you’ve researched what’s already out there, you can make a much better-informed decision on how to proceed

You can then decide whether to go ahead creating a library in an already-crowded category – or if you should do a bit more thinking to see if you can put a different spin on it, find a less crowded category, or see if you can downright spot a hole in the market instead.

Whatever path you end up taking, best of luck with your indie sound effects adventure!

 

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More reads on creating indie SFX libraries:

If you want to do some more research before having a go at your first sound effects library, I recommend checking out these fine reads:

DIY SFX libraries – Your guide to your first sound effects library
Sound Effects Survey – what people are looking for (new 2020 version coming soon)


 
 
THE WORLD’S EASIEST WAY TO GET INDEPENDENT SOUND EFFECTS:
 
A Sound Effect gives you easy access to an absolutely huge sound effects catalog from a myriad of independent sound creators, all covered by one license agreement - a few highlights:
 
 
  • Destruction & Impact Metamorphosis Play Track 2328 sounds included $190 $165

    Metamorphosis is a huge collection of recorded source, synthesized material and hybrid sounds. The library was created to cover a wide range of themes, with rich textures, aggressive impacts and a large selection of pass bys, bass drops, pyrotechnics and many more types of material.

    All of the Recorded Section was captured at 384KHz with microphones capable of recording up to 200KHz among with more conventional mics. The resulting assets are sounds that can be stretched to new extremes for greater sound design opportunities.
    In many cases I took the liberty to slow down the assets while editing the sounds to deliver what I thought was the most useful version of a given recording though in most cases I have also included other takes at the original 384KHz sample rate to get the best of both worlds.

    All of the Synthesized Content was created in Serum while the Hybrid Section was created by manipulating the Recorded and Synthesized sounds.

    Techniques such as morphing were used to blur the lines in between the nature of the two sources, making for ambiguous yet extremely versatile material that can be employed on both realistic and abstract designs.

    Bonus: Two extra libraries included for free:
    This library also includes two additional releases from Mattia Cellotto - for free: Crunch Mode delivers 230 crunchy sounds made with a variety of vegetables, fresh bread, pizza crust and a selection of frozen goods. The Borax Experiment gets you 158 squishy, gory, slimy and gooey sounds.
    13 %
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    Add to cart
  • Animals & Creatures Animal Hyperrealism Vol II Play Track Over 2000 sounds included $170 $140

    Animal Hyperrealism Vol II is a library containing sounds themed animal vocalisations, from real to designed creatures totaling more than 2000 individual sounds in 283 files.

    The sounds were partly recorded with animals trained for media production, partly recorded in zoos and wildlife centers. The asset list includes but is not limited to: amur leopards, bottlenose dolphins, californian sealions, pacific walruses, red ruffed lemurs, owls, parrots, dwarf little fruit bats, hamsters, guinea pigs and many more.

    The content has been recorded at 192KHz with a Sanken CO100K plus a Sennheiser 8050 for center image and a couple of Sennheiser MKH8040 for stereo image.
    A special section of the library features samples recorded at 384KHz. For these sounds an additional microphone was employed, specifically the CMPA by Avisoft-Bioacoustics which records up to 200 KHz. This microphone was actually used to record most of the library but the 384KHz format was preserved only where energy was found beyond 96KHz not to occupy unnecessary disk space.
    All files are delivered as stereo bounce of these for mics, though in some instances an additional couple of CO100K was added to the sides.
    The resulting ultrasonic spectrum is rich and allows for truly extreme manipulation of the content.

    Bonus: Two extra libraries included for free:
    This library also includes two additional releases from Mattia Cellotto - for free: Crunch Mode delivers 230 crunchy sounds made with a variety of vegetables, fresh bread, pizza crust and a selection of frozen goods. The Borax Experiment gets you 158 squishy, gory, slimy and gooey sounds.
    18 %
    OFF
    Add to cart
  • Animals & Creatures Animal Hyperrealism Vol I Play Track Over 1300 sounds included $170 $140

    Animal Hyperrealism Vol I is a library containing sounds themed animal vocalisations, from real to designed creatures totaling more than 1300 individual sounds in 290 files.

    The sounds were partly recorded with animals trained for media production, partly recorded in zoos and wildlife centers. The asset list includes but is not limited to: african lions, bengal tigers, horses, donkeys, cows, exotic birds, owls, bobcats, pumas, dromedaries, wolves, dogs, geese, lemurs, gibbons and many more.

    All the content has been recorded at 192KHz with a Sanken CO100K plus a Sennheiser 8050 for center image and a couple of Sennheiser MKH8040 for stereo image. All files are delivered as stereo bounce of these four mics, though in some instances an additional couple of CO100K was added to the sides.

    The resulting ultrasonic spectrum is rich and allows for truly extreme manipulation of the content.

    Bonus: Two extra libraries included for free:
    This library also includes two additional releases from Mattia Cellotto - for free: Crunch Mode delivers 230 crunchy sounds made with a variety of vegetables, fresh bread, pizza crust and a selection of frozen goods. The Borax Experiment gets you 158 squishy, gory, slimy and gooey sounds.
    18 %
    OFF
    Add to cart
 
Explore the full, unique collection here

Latest sound effects libraries:
 
  • Sci-Fi Beams Play Track 1139 sounds included $149 $99

    BEAMS is a comprehensive toolkit for beam sound design. Sounds are separated into activation oneshot, activation/deactivation mechanism, and active loop categories. Each category contains subcategories for small, medium, and large beams. You can design anything from the smallest spy-watch laser cutter to a planet destroying column of chaos. As a bonus, you’ll also get a diverse collection of burning ignition sounds as source for beam environmental destruction.

    34 %
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    Ends 1597442399
  • Metal Smash – What do you get when you go to the junkyard with the best Schoeps Microphones money can buy.

    Every effect is also recorded with a sub sonic microphone to add depth to the smashes. Great complicated crashes with extra metallic details.

    20 %
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    Ends 1597355999
  • The sounds presented in this pack were recorded during the shooting of a short film taking place by the ocean. We shot in different places, in the marina, on a boat, in an industrial harbor area, in a wharehouse of boat maintenance.

    Even if some sounds of the pack are not fully in the theme, I voluntarily left them because they were recorded at the same time and in order to serve the film.

    The most represented sounds in this pack are those recorded in the marina, the wind blowing in the masts of the boats, at the seaside, as well as a detailed recording of the zodiac boat.

    Sounds were recorded using Sound Devices 633, in 24bits 96Khz, Schoeps CCM 21 mic in ORTF, with an extra CCM 41 for the center (LCR), and using an extra contact mic to record the motor of the zodiac boat.

    All the sounds are raw (No EQ, No Compression, No Fx).

    This pack contains 40 sounds, 80 files, for the ambiences.

    It also contains 15 sounds, 39 files for the zodiac boat.

    All embedded with detailed metadata on Soundminer.

  • Welcome to “MOTION MODE”, an intense collection of sounds to induce movement and evoke excitement in your production.

    You will find whooshes, transitions, noises, granular textures, movements, stutters and hits with a powerful Sci-fi feel.

    Special attention was put in the dynamics of the sounds to ensure the creation of an energetic pack aimed to enhance atmospheres, add movement and enrich musical compositions.

    If you liked some of my previous libraries like “Dodge this” and “The Transition” you are gonna love this one.

    29 %
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    Ends 1597183199
  • Huge deep and textural organic whoosh by’s. These are un-altered but a total blast. Want more fun, just (again) compress and pitch to fit, and hell, maybe add a little distortion.

    A great collection of organic sliding whooshes. They sound great, have lots of movement and are almost always complicated movements not just simple whoosh by’s.

    20 %
    OFF
    Ends 1597183199
 
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