With 2020 rapidly approaching, we'd like to honor 14 libraries that really caught the community's attention this year. For 2019's round-up (presented in no particular order), we see some familiar favorites as well as fresh new libraries that have taken the site by storm. But don't just take our word for it - be sure to check out their glowing reviews, too!
is a collaborative effort by Soundbytes Podcast
's Barney Oram and Derek Brown
. This library is an expressive sci-fi library with tangibly punchy sounds of metal, fire, mechanical devices, interface, creatures, footsteps, ambiences, Foley and much more! These sounds will take you back to your favorite films' thick, synthy atmospheres while giving you a fresh, inspiring new perspective on which to build your new world. All together you get 575 playful source sounds and 45 lovingly-crafted designed sounds.
Animal Hyperrealism Vol II
It has been quite the year for Mattia Cellotto
, and 'Animal Hyperrealism Vol II'
is another one of his creations that is worthy of your attention. In the words of reviewer Kai Paquin, "These libraries cover the quintessential animals you’d expect for classic creature design like lions, tigers, walruses, but go way beyond that by introducing animals that frankly have been inaccessible to most editors before like bats, hamsters, and tropical birds." If you're tired of scrolling through the same old animal sound libraries, let these 2,000+ sounds breathe new lift into your projects.
Vintage Anime SFX
'Vintage Anime SFX'
by Moon Echo Audio
is a new library that has become an instant favorite for its authenticity and playful nostalgia. Inspired by classic '80s and '90s Japanese cartoons, this collection will no doubt bring life to your anime with sounds of auras, beams, mecha blasters, atmospheres, magic spells, guns, sonic blasts and explosives. If you want to know more about how this library was made, be sure to check out our interview with Cooper Skinner
about his inspirations and the challenges of designing this collection.
is a mechanical library with so much variety that it will please newcomers and veterans alike. You'll hear over 2,500 palpable sounds of clicking, clanking, gears, metal, springs and more. This collection comes in 96kHz/24-bit or 192kHz/24-bit-quality so you can stretch these sounds to perfectly match the body of your intended machines. Plus, the extensive and intuitive metadata makes it a joy to explore. For versatile, flexible, clean mechanism sounds and sparkling reviews to back it up, you need not look any further!
High Tech Interface Sounds
'High Tech Interface Sounds'
by Lesser Vibes
has been a community favorite for years in a row, and it's easy to see why! This sound library offers you AAA-quality UI SFX that sound as clean as the shiny, high-tech environment in which they live. With 280 sounds, this collection covers a range of sonic information, from button presses and clicks to data processing and powering up/down. If you're not convinced from the demo, check out the free selection on Lesser Vibes' website
by Squeaky Fish
is a robust library that contains not just clean, sharp clangs of sword-on-sword and knife action but also a well-rounded selection of swooshes, vocals, and various surface hits! 'Swordfighter' packs a lot of punch in its modest price (and is currently on sale) and includes organized, detailed metadata, as well as a bonus pack of yells from an angry army as it charges forward! If you need even one part of what this library offers, you will find yourself exploring and re-using it for projects to come.
Gamemaster Pro Sound Collection
Over the years, 'Gamemaster Pro Sound Collection'
by Gamemaster Audio
has become known as one of the most useful libraries out there. With over 8,000 sounds, it packs in every one of Gamemaster Audio's 14 sound packs, ranging from footsteps and combative thuds to magical spells and 8-bit bloops. This bundle will assist you with just about any project you have, whether you are prototyping a first-person shooter, sweetening up a cinematic shoot out, or creating a mystical role-playing game.
was their first library, and since its release, it has become a consistent hit with the community. With sounds that are hard to find anywhere else, this library is so detailed and expertly made that it's impossible to not visualize the creatures it portrays in your imagination. It has everything from insects and birds to fairies and dragons, and with over 1,400 192kHz/24-bit files that make up its designed and source libraries, it will be a long time before you ever need another wing sound. This one definitely sets itself above the rest!
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by Airborne Sound
is another library that you find yourself putting into your project time and time again. Whether for film, animation, games or radio, whooshes are the cornerstone for building tangible movements. With 400+ sounds, this library will become a permanent favorite with its variety of whooshes. You'll hear ones that are breathy, hollow, strong, energetic, thin, punchy, full, smooth, subsonic, muted, plain, resonant, warbling, soft, thumping, shimmering, whistling - and on and on - at different speeds and pitches! And having been created by Paul Virostek, you know its metadata is top-notch.
Submersion - Underwater Library
'Submersion - Underwater Library'
is such a realistic sub-aquatic library that it will have you gasping for breath. This collection has over 1,800 sounds and covers diverse elements like bubbles, impacts, watery whooshes, ambiences, propellers sounds, lava, explosions and more! It was all captured with an Aquarians H2a Hydrophone in pools, rivers and from within props, and it includes a raw section as well as ready-to-use sounds that will add spectacle to your cinematics. If you are working on anything that involves water, you won't be disappointed with this purchase.
This year-end round up has a theme, featuring libraries that prove their usefulness year after year. 'Bullet Impacts'
by Diegetix Sound LLC
exemplifies this theme. This library includes shoot out scenarios and goes above and beyond to include impacts on cars, metal, walls, water and "bodies" made of pumpkins, meat, eggs and watermelon. It also has underwater passbys, ricochets and more! To bring a sense of space and realism to your gun fights, this is a library you will not regret adding to your collection.
Magic Elements Vol.1
'Magic Elements Vol.1'
by Articulated Sounds
is another consistent favorite that covers a huge range of magical situations and character abilities. With both designed and source sounds, you'll hear spells of earth, ice, air, black magic and more, as well as whooshes, impacts, atmospheres and projectiles at various intensities and speeds. You'll also get more wide-ranging sounds with which to build your mystic soundscape, such as choirs, dissonant metal, creatures, papers, debris, drones, cracks, textures, friction and LFE sub sweeteners. This is one that is hard to pass up!
is one of SoundBits
most popular libraries, and it's easy to hear why. With 820 gore-geous bone cracking, blood-soaked, sliced-and-diced sounds, this collection will make your audience wince and squeal. On top of your standard slasher sounds, you'll also get gurgling deaths, chainsaw revs and a construction kit to put it all together. And don't think that this library will only work for your horror projects - these sounds will fit right into your action series, thriller, monster movie, martial arts project, zombie game, fantastical world, or anywhere else your creativity takes you.
Fluorescent Bulbs - Close Proximity
Finally, for the best of 2019, we present 'Fluorescent Bulbs - Close Proximity'
by Pete's Shop
. This collection comes from someone with the insight from designing ambiences to know that a buzzing bulb can mean the difference between industrial atmosphere that's just "okay" to one that makes you feel the tension of dwelling in a dark, cold warehouse. This library includes six foundational fluorescent lights recorded with a much-loved DPS 4060M to offer you a sweet, subtle sound of each. If you design slums, horrifying hospitals, regular old office spaces, or hidden basements, be sure to check out its video demo.
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