I've read countless emails and posts inquiring
where to find royalty free music and Foley effects. There are
numerous companies producing royalty free audio, some fair, some
good and some excellent. Then there are applications such as
Soundtrack Pro, Garage Band and Sonic Fire, which is a hybrid
of sorts, that enables you to create your own music and effects.
Soundtrack Pro and Garage Band are quite good but demand a feel
for music and rhythm as well as a great deal of time in order
to produce the right cut for your project.
Having been referred to the Sound
Ideas website I found yet another company producing royalty free
effects and music. They have a very large and seemingly limitless
library of different music forms and effects to choose from so,
this time, I focused on the Foley effects rather than the music.
Being a diver I chose their 'Underwater' series package to evaluate,
but keep in mind that quality in one series is usually indicative
of quality throughout a companies productions.
The Sound Ideas 'Underwater Series'
falls into their specialty sound effects collections and consists
of 3 CDs and 1 DVD bearing with them roughly 500 different sound
effects relating to the water. In this vast collection you will
find an abundance of Foley FXs of a variety of scuba sounds,
diving and swimming, boating, sinking ships and underwater avalanches.
There is also plenty of audio of watery ambiance, caves, lava
and explosions, waterfalls, sonar, beach and ice sounds and household
appliances like bathtubs, toilets, washing machines and various
water pours. If you want a clip of someone screaming underwater,
that's here too.
According to the information on
the Sound Ideas website, the majority of these sound effects
were recorded from an underwater perspective using a pair of
state-of-the-art B&K hydrophones and the collection also
includes a DVD version of the CD content, offered in broadcast
WAV format that has been embedded with a full set search metadata.
All the files have been mastered so that the sound effect descriptions,
categories and other library information is stored within the
file, making it visible and ready for immediate use in many different
software applications in both the PC and Apple platforms. These
16 bit 44.1 K BWF files can also be played on any conventional
WAV media player.
Foley FX CDs and DVDs are not hard
to come by as many companies do produce them. It has been my
experience that they are all far from equal. Even many of the
sound FX in Soundtrack Pro and Garage Band sound, to me, as if
they have little bass support.
Some collections sound good, some
great and some, downright cheesy. For those familiar with Howard
and Michelle Halls' brilliant IMAX production "Isle of the
Sharks", Foley effects were used generously throughout the
film. I thought each effect used in this film sounded wonderful.
As I scrolled through many of the royalty free sound effects
in the Underwater Series collection I was pleased that each of
the audio effects' sounded rich and full. They reminded me of
Howard and Michelle's film. There was a good spread throughout
the frequency range with a strong bottom end where and when it
was needed. While I can't state that I sat and listened to each
and every effect, I heard none of the whiny tinniness that I
have often heard in a great many other collections.
My bottom line is that, while this
is the first collection from Sound Ideas I have heard, I look
forward to previewing many of their others. The Underwater Series
is not cheap but then quality rarely is.
Douglas is a certified Apple Pro for Final Cut Pro 6 and
underwater videographer. A winner of the 1999 Pacific Coast Underwater
Film Competition, 2003 IVIE competition, 2004 Los Angeles Underwater
Photographic competition, and the prestigious 2005 International
Beneath the Sea Film Competition, where he also won the Stan
Waterman Award for Excellence in Underwater Videography and 'Diver
of the Year', Steve was a safety diver on the feature film "The
Deep Blue Sea", contributed footage to the Seaworld Park's
Atlantis production, the History channel's MegaDisaster show
and other networks. Steve is one of the founding organizers of
the San Diego UnderSea Film Exhibition and leads both underwater
filming expeditions and African safaris with upcoming excursions
to Indonesia and the Coco Islands, Costa Rica in 2008, Kenyan
safari in Africa and the Red Sea for 2009, and Truk Lagoon in
Micronesia for 2010. Feel free to contact him if you are interested
in joining Steve on any of these exciting trips. www.worldfilmsandtravel.com
copyright © Steve
first appeared on www.kenstone.net and is reprinted here
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