Happy Birthday x5

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Another year has passed & now we are five!

Unlike a lot of other companies we only have one sale per year – I stopped buying Waves products a few years ago because it seemed like as soon as I bought anything, a week or three later it would be on sale for a tiny fraction of what I’d just paid for it!?! Sooner or later you start to wonder what the true monetary value of it is… But I do appreciate sales serve a purpose…Some people simply never buy anything unless it is on sale, and for tighter budgets it can make resources available that otherwise might not be…

Many, many years ago – probably after having to rebuy ProTools for the second or third time – I realised that my sound library was actually the most important creative asset I owned. Apps and plugins that I loved came & went (remember Turbosynth? Hyperprism?) – if I had to, I could cut & manipulate sound on anything, including 1/4″ tape or using apps I would prefer to never touch. But without source material, it doesn’t matter how good your app or plugins are… And if that source material is great, rather than good, the chances of creating something extraordinary becomes even more likely.

I also seemed to reach a threshold after a dozen or more years of working on films (& relentlessly recording a lot of new material) where my sound libraries scale & depth meant I could create pretty much anything from it. I love recording but often the most efficient way of approaching sound design is to be able to dive straight into the most complex elements of design & create at least a good & interesting version using existing material. Taking this approach rapidly identifies what your library does not cover, and clearly motivates & prioritises future recording sessions… Twenty years of doing that & the holes start to get smaller… But something else starts to become apparent:

There are certain sounds that are useful beyond their immediate obvious context – malleable sounds, sounds that contribute magic by not being in the foreground… I love that kind of sound & I am constantly seeking them. Those sounds also mean that the way I manipulate them is unique to me – I have zero interest in using pre-designed sounds. Years ago one company released a library of ‘signature’ sounds, but you have to wonder exactly who’s signature & why would it be on my work? Relatedly a year or two ago someone gave me a copy of their recently released scifi library – I was intrigued to hear it, but after spending an hour listening I came to the conclusion that there wasn’t a single sound in the library that I would use – it was all overly processed with no untouched source material. If I got hired to design sound for a scifi project its so I can contribute my aesthetics and ideas, in collaboration with the director & sound team – not so I can use sound pre-designed by someone else (& sounds that anyone could use. As with all art, the more of ‘you’ – your life experience & unique ideas – you put into your work the better! Ideally that means your sound library contains a LOT of your own recordings, dating back to your first experiences… Augmented with interesting, clean and unprocessed field recordings from others, your library continually grows and becomes more & more valuable…

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Looking forward to our sixth year of work, I’ve already got at least half a dozen new libraries underway & a LOT of new ideas I want to pursue… Sound really is infinite! But in the meantime you have a one week window to grab a copy of ANY of our libraries with a 50% discount. The sale started this morning, and finishes midnight on August 13th. To access the discount use the code ‘zap50‘ when you checkout – the only restrictions are that the discount doesn’t apply to COMPLETE (its already discounted) or to site licenses.

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Here is a list of our most recent releases, but our early libraries are also as valuable now as the day they were released
SD024 QUADCOPTER UAV DRONE – unique airborne movement sounds
SD023 SWISH TWO – huge collection of organic dopplers & whooshes
SD022 MECHANISM – a unique collection of motors, machines, tools & rhythms
SD021 HEAVY METAL IMPACTS – large scale metal hits, booms & crashes
SD020 WIND INSTRUMENTS – organic source for animation & your gran(ular)
SD019 TORTURED WOOD – splits, breaks, hits, impacts, drops, throws, crashes…

AMB008 RIVERS AND STREAMS – from a trickle to a roar, and almost drinkable
AMB007 LAKES – pristine New Zealand lakes, captured with multiple perspectives
AMB006 BIG SURF – truly a hiss and a ROAR!

check ALL our SOUND EFFECTS Libraries HERE
check ALL our AMBIENCE Libraries HERE

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Thanks for all the support & encouragement – its been amazing to see how indie sound library resources have grown over the last five years, and like any one obsessed with sound I also buy libraries if I have a need for a project or see a new release that immediately inspires. A number of people have contacted me over the years, researching whether they could also get their own recordings online and one piece of advice I always offer is this:

Doing it all yourself takes considerable effort, research & learning. But if you are skilled at recording & editing etc then you likely have the technical ability to cope with everything that is required – it just takes time to learn. Whether you have the significant free time to invest in that learning is a personal consideration – like anything people get the best results when they do what they love or at least enjoy, so if it sounds like a chore then it may not be for you. Which leads to the second option, having your sounds hosted & sold via others. And here is the most important advice I can offer on that subject.

Having great sounds is one thing, reaching an audience or market is another. If you are going to sell your sounds via a third party then unless they offer something VERY attractive there is NO benefit in being exclusive. If you have your sounds on X reseller, why not also have them at Y and Z? There is an old saying that the best place to fish is where the fish are, but another aspect of being non-exclusive is that of being able to compare results. If you have your sounds with 3 or 4 resellers you can rapidly see who gets the best results for your work. Talk is easy, results matter. So if you are with Sonniss or ASoundEffect, why wouldn’t you also be at SoundDogs and ProSoundEffects and any/every other reseller? Only then can you know if the cut they take for hosting and marketing actually equates to sales & a return to you… ie YMMV!

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