Sound Effects Series (Volumes 1-5)
Format: 5 CD-ROMs (44.1kHz/16-bit WAV)
Every studio needs a good sound effects collection, and these five volumes (drawn from Sony’s never-ending audio archives) offer a lot. We’ll cover the big picture; for a listing of each volume’s effects and durations, surf to mediasoftware.sony pictures
Categories include Animals, Natural Elements (rain, waterfalls, and so on), Backgrounds (mostly ambient city sounds), Home and Office (doors, appliances, phones, clocks), Impacts (bottle breaks, footsteps, and my next kick drum: “Impact Body Heavy”), Weapons and Explosions, Sports and Recreation (fairly lackluster), Vintage Cartoon (Pay dirt! Work these into your next dance mix), Vocals and Wallas (babies, crowds, laughing), and Vehicles.
The emphasis is quality over quantity. Although samples like comedy “boings” are naturally short, many backgrounds clock in at over a minute so you can lay down a decent bed without detectable repetition. Instead of a zillion sounds, you get a more limited number — but there’s zero filler.
I’m surprised Sony elected to do a box set, as all five CDs would have fit on a DVD-ROM, even with 24-bit resolution. Perhaps they plan to break out individual volumes someday. In any event, this series brings major league sound effects within the reach of real-world studios. —Craig Anderton