Written by Paul Virostek
Are you a video editor that wants to quickly add sound clips to your trailer timeline? Perhaps you’re a music composer that needs to add tracks to an ad segment. Maybe you’re a sound editor who needs to sort through thousands of sound effects and add them to feature films daily. Ever wonder how to organize a growing sound library?
Soundly was created to solve these problems. It is a sound library manager for MacOS and Windows that helps sound pros add and organize sound effect collections, then find and send clips to editing apps or anywhere else in the OS. It does this – and many more tasks – completely free of charge (get Soundly – for free – for Windows here, and Mac here).
Let’s learn more about Soundly, and how it helps creators add sound to their projects.
If you want to take Soundly 2 for a spin, download it for free for Windows here, and Mac here.
An Overview of Soundly
Soundly was originally released to sound creators in autumn, 2015. It has since been used by countless sound pros worldwide. Recently, version 2.0 of the app was released with new features and a fresh, attractive design.
Soundly (Windows (XP+) and MacOS (10.6.8+), free) was designed to manage samples ranging from sound effects to music clips. It helps pros add sound collections to the app, browse them, find highly detailed search results, then transfer audio into other apps.
In addition to these core tasks, Soundly offers dozens of other valuable, specialized features:
- Multichannel support.
- Spot to Pro Tools timeline and bin.
- Sound library flexibility: 400 free cloud-based effects, access to the Freesound.org library, optional “Soundly Pro” subscription library, an in-app sound library store, sound library cloud storage.
- Metadata: read, batch edit, and write metadata.
- Propellerhead ReWire support for auditioning audio through custom hardware set ups.
There are many other cool features, too.
Let’s learn more.
This article will focus on highlights of the software. Later posts will explore each of these in more detail.
- Sound library management.
- Cloud sound library.
- Using sound libraries.
- Sound library metadata.
Soundly Sound Library Management
Use Soundly to add and manage sound clip collections. Simply drag and drop local folders of files onto the main Soundly window to add them to the app. Soundly Pro accommodates an unlimited amount of sound files, with the free Soundly version allowing adding up to 2,500 clips.
Clips can be organized in playlists which can be shared with others in the cloud. Individual favourite tracks can marked and saved in a special “Starred” playlist.
Sound libraries can be shared across local networks and can even be uploaded to your private space in the Soundly cloud.
That helps multi-user accounts share collections between editors in game studios or editing facilities.
Cloud Sound Library Access
In addition to adding your own sound library, Soundly allows access to online cloud-based sound libraries. Free users can access 400 clips from the Soundly Pro library. A subscription plan of $9.99 (24-hour access) or $14.99 (monthly) unlocks the entire Soundly Pro library of 10,000+ tracks. The library has a well-recorded blend of Foley, sound design, household, ambience, and many other tracks. There are also specialized selections such as military vehicles, cars, technology, and much more. In addition, every user has online access to the massive Freesound.org sound library.
The online libraries are auditioned smoothy directly from the cloud. Downloading tracks to local storage is swift and effortless.
Finally, Soundly has its own online store which offers instant downloads of a growing amount of sound fx collections from community field recordists and sound designers.
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Using Sound Libraries with Soundly
Soundly allows lightning-fast sound library searches. An auto-complete search field presents keywords to quickly find common sounds. Power users can use advanced search tools to locate precise clips. Results are displayed instantly with name and description as well as tech specs: duration, format and sound file resolution, and number of channels.
The sound waveform is displayed at the bottom of the app. The playback transport includes standard controls and duration stats, as well as bonus features: up to 8x faster or slower audition speed, reverse clip, invert stereo, normalize, and mono selection and conversion. Auditioning – even from the cloud – is silky smooth. Soundly also supports the ReWire audition standard to play audio through existing hardware set ups.
Portions of any clip can be chosen by dragging across the waveform. These selections can be transferred from Soundly to any other editing app, such as Reaper, Adobe Audition, Avid, and many more via simple drag-and-drop transfers. There’s a bonus for Pro Tools users, too: clips can be spotted to timeline directly to a cursor location or into the bin.
Sound Library Metadata
Soundly allows users to supercharge their existing collections with metadata. The app reads metadata in the ID3, BWAV, and iXML flavours of this bonus text. The extra fields of text accelerate searches with even more accurate results.
Want add metadata yourself? Soundly is designed to help sound librarians, too. It can edit BWAV metadata singly and in batches to enhance existing collections, then write metadata back to sound files to the common BWAV and iXML standards.
Sound Search Software for Pros
And there’s much more. Soundly packs dozens of other features into a tiny, easy-to-use app.
So, who can use Soundly?
Soundly’s free features allow new sound fx fans to start building, organizing, and using their collections in projects while avoiding the considerable investment paid apps demand. Its free cloud sound libraries give beginners a boost of popular clips to supplement their own collections.
The simplicity of Soundly’s interface helps professionals from related crafts find and use sound clips in multimedia projects with no learning curve. Video editors can use Soundly to sift through their sound libraries and drop clips into films, episodic television, ads, and trailers. Music supervisors and editors and musicians can use Soundly to organize songs, easily view track variations, and drop them swiftly into their projects.
Soundly allows career sound editors and sound designers to transfer sound fx into any professional editing software, including spot-to-bin and -timeline in Pro Tools. The 10,000+ clip Soundly Pro library will help fill the gaps in their existing sound collections. Even sound librarians will benefit from Soundly’s cataloging and metadata features.
Soundly offers unparalleled value and flexibility in managing and using sound collections. The cross-platform app works both as a powerful entry-level sound cataloging software and also advanced app of organizing sound libraries.
for Windows here, and Mac here.
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