An old metal screw is buried in the ground. Asbjoern Andersen


Happy 2019! Let's kick off the new year with these words of wisdom from legendary sound designer Randy Thom, reflecting on the sound tools we use - and how things change over time, as we sharpen our skills. This post originally appeared on his blog and has been republished here with his kind permission.
Written by Randy Thom
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In the early years of work we are obsessed, so obsessed with tools that they become the focus of our attention. The desire to acquire the best tools, to master them and use them drives us forward. So much so that we over use them. We over process sounds in order to make them “ours.” We pan too many sounds, use too much artificial reverb, remove so much of the noise that we take the life out of what isn’t noise.

It’s interesting, I think, that twenty or thirty years into our careers our obsession with tools has usually waned, especially those of us lucky enough to have become somewhat successful. We use fewer tools. We spend much less time thinking about them. No doubt part of the reason is that we eventually have assistants who can do our tool obsessing for us. But I think that’s a minor reason.

Maybe even more important, we get better at hearing the sounds coming from behind us. I’m not talking about the surrounds. I mean our clients, our collaborators.

The major reason is that our ears have learned to serve us better. Instead of being intent on controlling everything with our gadgets we get better at knowing what needs and doesn’t need to be manipulated. Maybe even more important, we get better at hearing the sounds coming from behind us. I’m not talking about the surrounds. I mean our clients, our collaborators. We hear more clearly what they say, and sense better what they don’t say but nevertheless feel, and want.

The ear is a tool worthy of obsession at every point in our careers.

 

A big thanks to Randy Thom for letting us share this insightful post from his blog here on A Sound Effect!

 

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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:
 
 
  • Trains Steam Trains Play Track 175 sounds included $40 $24

    The Steam Trains library delivers 175 sound effects of three different types of steam train engines, and the clatter, rattle, and grinding of wagons.

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    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.

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  • This sound collection covers a wide range of sounds produced by many different steam engines. In addition to the real engines there’s also a wide variety of Foley sounds which can be layered to make funny (steam) engines for cartoons for example. All sounds recorded with high end equipment – 24 bit and 96KHz (some in 48KHz)
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    Equipment:
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    • Sound Devices Mixpre 6
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  • Foley Angry Door 192 Play Track 1400+ sounds included, 103 mins total $42 $37.80

    The doors are very kind, but don't make them angry. They could lose their temper resulting in a very noisy bang.

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    18 door and gate objects, recorded in old, gloomy houses and a church
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    MOTOR FAN household edition features both Internal & External mechanical sound from household items.
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  • Igniter is the new industry standard for creating any real-world or sci-fi vehicle and engine sound effects with ease and at unbeatable value. Whether you work in audio post or game audio, Igniter enables you to design, perform and automate any complex vehicle behaviour directly in your DAW – from sports cars, motorbikes, planes, helicopters, spacecraft and other engine sounds to moving ambiences, textures, Foley or whatever sparks your imagination.

    Video Thumbnail

    Igniter is the only solution of its kind to come jam-packed with over 20 performable vehicles and 1,943 audio assets from vehicles including Aston Martin, Ferrari, Porsche, Tesla, Harley Davidson, Huey UH-1H, Agusta Westland 119x, CH-47D Chinook, Bombardier Challenger, Cessna 560XL, skids, sweeteners and much more. Recordings come from Watson Wu, The Recordist, Sounding Sweet, George Vlad, Echo Peak and Flysound.

    For vehicle fanatics, Igniter Full Tank comes with 75GB of additional library content including onboard recordings, ramps & static rev bands, Foley sounds, skids, slides and much more!

  • Igniter is the new industry standard for creating any real-world or sci-fi vehicle and engine sound effects with ease. Whether you work in audio post or game audio, Igniter enables you to design, perform and automate any complex vehicle behaviour directly in your DAW – from sports cars, motorbikes, planes, helicopters, spacecraft and other engine sounds to moving ambiences, textures, Foley or whatever sparks your imagination.

    Video Thumbnail

    Igniter is the only solution of its kind to come jam-packed with over 20 performable vehicles and 614 audio assets from vehicles including Aston Martin, Ferrari, Porsche, Tesla, Harley Davidson, Huey UH-1H, Agusta Westland 119x, CH-47D Chinook, Bombardier Challenger, Cessna 560XL, skids, sweeteners and much more. Recordings come from Watson Wu, The Recordist, Sounding Sweet, George Vlad, Echo Peak and Flysound.

  • Aircraft - Jet/Propeller Planes F16 Maneuvers Play Track 70 sounds included, 45 mins total $39 $27

    The F16 Maneuvers library features 36 recordings of F16 Fighter jets, captured at three different locations from the ground perspective. In addition to those, we included :

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    – 4 mixing sessions, combining ambient and contact mic recordings.

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