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



 
 
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:

  • Human Sound Effects Crowds: Emotions And Reactions Play Track 400 sounds included, 90 mins total $39.50

    This SFX library contains a wide range of reactions and emotional responses varying from quiet crowds to roared battle cries to a large selection of exclamations generated by a group of passionate theatrical actors in indoor venues.

    Apart from the vocalizations, we’ve also included recordings of more unusual crowd ambiances like people walking around the mics, falling down, sitting down and getting up, jumping around, marching, or just being present in the space.

    Crowds library is split into the following two parts:

    Small Groups: Includes small groups of up to 30 people which you can layer together and quickly create the sound of any sized realistic groups of people.

    Large Crowds: Brings pre-designed, easy-to-use sounds of medium to large crowds in various types of reactions, moods, and surroundings.

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  • A complete collection of sonic exploration by Slava Pogorelsky.
    Grow your sound arsenal with an ever evolving collection of high-end cinematic and fresh sound effects!
    Here’s what to expect:

    RESONATING METAL FORCE offers a fresh sound palette of reverberant aggressive metal rampage, totaling 680 sound effects. Featuring creeping evolving metal pressure and resonating rattle, massive rumble, explosive impacts and nerve-racking squeaks.
    HORROR SERIES VOL.1: EVIL STRINGS TORTURED WIRES offers a unique toolset for nightmarish designs, totaling 564 sound effects. Featuring creeping dread of bowed metal wires, strings and double bass, providing exciting opportunities for unique layering.
    CINEMATIC MAGICAL ICE is offering a unique toolset for ice-cold freezing designs, totaling 267 sound effects. Great for fantasy genre with ice based magic, motion graphics, time lapse and flow motion freeze sequences.
    CINEMATIC WATER WHOOSHES AND TEXTURES is offering a unique toolset for water and underwater designs, totaling 285 sounds. Great for hyper realistic designs, water based magic, surreal underwater movement or motion graphics with liquid elements.
    CINEMATIC WOOD SYMPHONY is offering a variety of wood based recordings that were morphed into a unique audio experience that bends the boundaries between recognisable source and unusual wooden textures, totaling 611 sound effects.
    SCI – FI ELEMENTS VOL.1 is offering a variety of carefully crafted futuristic sound effects that vary from pleasant and musical to unpredicted and glitchy, totaling 364 sound effects.
    CINEMATIC METAL WHOOSHES is offering a unique collection of aggressive roaring metal whooshes and transitions with cinematic feel and mind bending characteristics, totaling 120 sound effects.

    WHAT SOUND PROFESSIONALS SAY:

    Victor Mercader – AAA Sound Designer (Apex Legends)
    “I find myself continuously using Slava’s SFX libraries to blend it’s pristine and detailed sound designs into my own sounds. They always add that cutting edge I am missing and make my sound designs more unique and pristine. The Sci-fi Elements sound library is the perfect library to use and blend into my UI designs in Apex Legends.”

    Enos Desjardins – Sound Designer/Sound Effects Editor (Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning, Black Mirror)
    “Slava has been creating some really cool libraries which I find myself using time and again. Really high quality recordings to start with but then the cool processing he has used for example in his cinematic whoosh libraries really stand out. They are not just your standard generic whoosh sounds but are loaded with character and have a unique feel to them that is really fresh and cuts through in the nicest of ways.”

    Bjørn Jacobsen – AAA Sound Designer (CyberPunk 2077, HITMAN, DARQ)
    “Slava has for several years made high quality sound effects for me to play with. I use his sound libraries across multiple projects as lego blocks of my creations.”
     
    Yarron Katz – AAA Composer and Sound Designer
    “Slava makes some wonderful libraries. He’s relatively new on the scene and his libraries have come to critical acclaim. He takes some general ideas, like whooshes and he injects some extremely revolutionary and innovative ideas to them, so you’re not getting another whoosh library – you’re getting something very unique, very fresh. He brings some wonderful ideas to the table.”

    Ginno Legaspi – SoundBytes Music Magazine‎
    “‘Evil Strings Tortured Wires’ is an all-scary affair with plenty of really good, nightmarish, imaginative sounds from authentic materials, like double bass, dulcimer strings and metal wires. Sound-wise, this sample pack is clean and carefully recorded. The editing and processing of sounds is top notch, with sound design techniques applied very professionally. Overall, very gritty and not for the faint of heart.”
     
    Ginno Legaspi – SoundBytes Music Magazine‎
    “As far as the sound goes ‘Cinematic Magical Ice’ is both beautiful and mystical. I happen to like the icy textures that are oozing with coldness. Overall, this sound library boasts a good variety of effect samples ready to drop in various cinematic projects.”
     
    Ginno Legaspi – SoundBytes Music Magazine‎
    “The spotlight of ‘Cinematic Wood Symphony’ is the wide range of complex sounds that can be dropped in your sound design projects. I love the Wood Movement and Tonal sounds, and I’m sure thriller and horror music composers will be delighted with the Friction and Impact sounds. If your cinematic projects are lacking texture and impact sounds ‘Cinematic Wood Symphony’ is a library to be considered – especially if you’re looking beyond common wood sounds.”
     
    Ginno Legaspi – SoundBytes Music Magazine‎
    “Cinematic Water Whooshes and Textures is great for anything. You won’t be hearing recordings of calm rivers or relaxing streams, but cinematic whooshes and textures for soundtrack works and media projects. Whether you’re into this type of sounds, this pack was recorded quite well, professionally edited and processed with Slava’s own flair.”

    Ginno Legaspi – SoundBytes Music Magazine‎
    “Slava is back with another aggressive and energetic sample library called Resonating Metal Force – a 680 strong collection of modern metal effects captured using various tools and high-end studio equipment. The source material was edited and processed professionally for instant use. These sounds are primed for experimentation – whether you add your unique processing, layer several WAV samples or slice and dice to your heart’s content, the sky’s the limit. This sound pack is another winner.”

    Ginno Legaspi – SoundBytes Music Magazine‎
    “Sound-wise, the quality of ‘Cinematic Metal Whooshes’ is clear and punchy, and very consistent from start to finish. The whole content promises to be a tool to get you going in your cinematic adventures – and it delivers.”

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  • Farm & Horse Sound Effects Animal Farm Play Track 165 sounds included $69

    This library is dedicated to popular farm animals, rural backgrounds and agricultural activities – all you need around farm life. It features 165 sounds in total, from 14 different species with multiple variations for each animal, 25 discreet rural backgrounds and 10 types of modern and traditional agricultural activities.

    Recorded and mastered at 24-bit/96kHz high-resolution, Animal Farm took over a year to get ready, since the goal was to capture as many seasonal work activities, weather conditions and animal habits, as possible.

    List of animals recorded: Cat • Chicken • Cow • Dog (Wolf hound, Sheepdog) • Duck • Fowl • Goat (Mediterranean) • Goose • Horse (Arabian, Andalusian) • Pig • Pigeon • Rooster • Sheep (Mediterranean) • Turkey

    Types of agricultural work recorded: Chopping • Feeding • Gardening • Loading Manure • Milking • Mowing • Olive harvest • Sowing • Tilling • Watering

Explore the full, unique collection here

Latest sound effects libraries:
 
  • Presenting the most malfunctioning, dirty old gritty sounding engine failure library out there

    Featuring a staggering 81 files with numerous takes in most tracks, the Kaput sound effects library will cover the bases of almost any broken false starting engine scene one can imagine.

    I can honestly say, that finding the vehicles and tools for this library, has been among the most challenging I have come by. Old and broken cars and trucks are hard to come by these days. Most cars are obviously either driving and dont have start problems, and many of the rest just wont start at all.

    Just as rare are broken petrol powered tools, which usually fit the latter category of not working at all.

    Still, with amazing recording help from recordist Michal Fojcik Soundmind Poland, and just as amazing help from recordist Erik Watland from Norway, the Kaput sound effects library is featuring no less then

    24 different cars, trucks, moped and motorcycles

    1 boat engine

    A few weird sounding power generators and water pump motors

    Back firing exhausts

    Petrol powered garden tools, chain saws, and hedge trimmers

    Brutal construction machines

    From old eastern european trucks, vintage US V8 muscle trucks, classic scandinavian cars, and more modern diesel and petrol engines to funny sputtering dying petrol power tools.

    There is even a few more recording sessions planned, that just didn’t make the deadline for the first batch of sounds in this library (buying a copy of this first of sounds, will of course make any future sounds added to the library free of charge).

    KAPUT is 81 stereo and mono files, 96/24. 1,6 gb big, all UCS ready!

  • Hear the majesty of tropical seas from soothing surf, trickling water laps, and crashing wave sound effects.

  • ACOUSTIC GUITAR FOLEY FOR YOUR PROJECTS
    The SB111 ACOUSTIC GUITAR FOLEY Sound Effects Library is a collection of handling movements, grabs and sets, string noise, drags, impacts, strumming, fingerpicking, tuning, and the smashing and destroying of an acoustic guitar.

    A UNIQUE ACOUSTIC GUITAR FOLEY LIBRARY
    We’ve gone above and beyond just capturing the sounds of strumming and picking – we’ve recorded the nuances and details that make acoustic guitars so special. Like the subtle sounds of the guitar strap as it settles against your shoulder, string noise of fingers on the fretboard, the satisfying sound of the guitar being tuned, grabs and set downs, strings being clipped and even a full restringing sequence. Of course we’ve also included the playing of chords and riffs while strumming and fingerpicking – some played in tune and some out of tune. We did not forget to record your pick as it rattles around in the abyss of the guitar’s sound hole – and the satisfying sound of the guitar being smashed and destroyed. All the details you need to bring realism to your project.

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  • The Drawers & Cupboards SFX library is an essential collection for professionals seeking high-quality sound effects for their projects. This library features 63 meticulously recorded sounds of opening, closing, and rummaging through cupboards and drawers, making it perfect for game developers, animators, and filmmakers.

    This library offers a diverse range of sounds, including:

    • Opening and closing cupboard doors
    • Picking up glass bottles
    • Rummaging through various materials (glass, mixed materials, containers, plastic)
    • Metal and wooden drawers opening and closing
  • Car Sound Effects Broken Car Engine Play Track 5 sounds included, 28 mins total $27

    My car engine broke! As a result of making a huge costly mistake caused by accidentally skipping an oil change service from getting dates and miles mixed up (on top of being a higher milage car), my 2006 Volvo V50 T5’s engine starting making incredibly loud knocking, clicking and rattling sounds. Took it for one last drive before it was picked up by a junk yard, and recorded the process. I put a DPA 4061 and a Rode NT5 in the engine and drove it around the neighborhood, first on residential streets, then drove it harder on some faster streets (the engine was so loud you can’t hear any other cars in the recordings), abusing the manual mode for higher rpm recordings the whole time until it started overheating, smoking and dumping liquid (coolant I think? Oil? Both?). I Quickly took the DPA out because it was right near a section of the engine that was overheating, but I left the NT5 in. Satisfied with what I recorded but still a couple miles from home, after my car cooled a bit I continued to record my drive home, this time with the DPA inside the car to get an interior perspective (this drive is labeled “bonus drive” in the library).

    This library is just 5 files, totaling 27 minutes and 28 seconds, 24/96k, 956MB. Quality Soundminer metadata and UCS compliant. Recorded with a DPA 4061 and NT5 for starts, idles, off, revving, slow to moderate driving, harder faster driving, with lots of variation. One file is just the NT5 engine recording for an additional 5 and a half minute drive, and one is just the DPA for an interior perspective of that drive.

    I’ll miss that car a lot, but at least I got some great recordings out of it! I hope you find them useful.


   

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