Thanks to a new crop of extremely high quality, reasonably priced, independent sound libraries (many of which have popped up as links in the GANG newsletters recently), there seems to be a rapidly growing 'sweet spot' for sound designers looking for specific "mini-libraries".
Veteran game sound designer, Chuck Russom (Call of Duty, God of War, Medal of Honor and many more) recently began offering his own, reasonably priced "mini-libraries", all with specific themes: "With my line of sound libraries, I wanted to create and release the type of libraries that I usually make for my own projects. When I'm on a project, and I need sounds, I'm usually after something very focused and specific, recorded a certain way, and with a lot of versions/variations. The libraries that I offer are created based on what I need and I'm sure that if I need these sounds there are others that could use them as well. Rather than release collections of pre-designed effects, my libraries contain the source to design your own sounds."
Chuck Russom's libraries include "Rocks", "Metal", "Handgun Foley" and "Skateboards" priced between $25-$50 per library. He even had a very limited "Fireworks" library that was available for a mere $5!
Film sound designer (for over 30 full length motion pictures), Tim Prebble, has several libraries offered from "Violent Vegetables" to "Swishes" to "Seals" to "Fireworks". He's only recently started offering the libraries and is already finding success, "HISSandaROAR has been running for five months and the response has been fantastic, both in terms of the libraries being bought and used by sound designers and post facilities for films and games..."
Tim offers his libraries in several tiers, from smaller, lower resolution (16 bit 44.1kHz) versions of his libraries, starting as low as $9, up to $99 for 24 bit, 192 kHz, MULTI channel, deluxe versions. Yes, MULTI channel sfx for under a hundred bucks! In comparison to the larger libraries, Tim says, "I compare HISSandaROAR to visiting a local delicatessen versus shopping at a supermarket." And he sees that he's possibly filling a need not met by commercial libraries "I develop individual libraries based on the context of use and provide a huge range of performances...I do not sell individual sounds because that is not how sound editors and designers do their best work."
Sound designer, Michael Raphael, who currently works in radio, and has previously worked with Rob Nokes for SoundDogs, recently released his first library, "Rockets", thru his own RabbitEarsaudio.com. "What I find exciting about these independent libraries is that we are all attacking our work with excitement and fresh ears. I recorded the Rockets over a period of two years, trying to find the right locations and the right high powered rockets to record. The collection is full of explosive take-off sounds recorded from a variety of perspectives."
Like many of the sound artists featured here, Michael has a blog, http://sepulchra.com/blog, where he posts his field recording experiments, and it felt like a natural progression to put some energy into an organized collection.
Expert field recordist/sound designer, Frank Bry, who has credits on such games as "Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock", "Monday Night Combat" and "Demigod", has several libraries available at TheRecordist.com, including his most recent entries "Ultimate Rockslides", which was recorded over the course of three years, and "Ultimate Ice" (which took 4 winters!). Discussing his motivation in creating the libraries, "As a sound designer for video games it is always a challenge to find, record, edit and master high quality sound effects. It takes a lot of time and effort to create sounds that are unique and have the character required for modern video games. I've been at this for a long time and decided a few years ago to offer some of my recordings and designed sound effects to other sound designers so they may feel inspired to create the best sounds they can."
It's also worth mentioning that this recent crop of new libraries is sprouting up, in no small part, to the growing twitter community between all of these sound artists. Audio implementer extraordinaire, Damian Kastbauer , noted in his recent blog, "...I can't help but feel that the community aspect of twitter has helped foster a positive growth environment for each of these during their development. The support I've witnessed between sound professionals during these online tweets has constantly reinforced the beauty that can exist between people who, it is safe to say, all have a profound respect for one another."
Below are the links to all of these fine libraries.
Chuck Russom (chuckrussomfx.com) is offering a 20% discount on his libraries, for GANG members only until Oct. 1st, Michael Raphael (RabbitEarsAudio.com) is offering 20% off of the Hi-Resolution set until Sept. 6th.
Chuck Russom: http://chuckrussomfx.com
20% off of any library until Oct. 1st use checkout code: GANG20
Damiam Kastbauer's blog on audio implementation/sound design: http://blog.lostchocolatelab.com/
Written by Dren McDonald
inspired by Damian Kastbauer's blog post "Content is King: Rise of Independent Sound Library"