Dec 23
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Alan’s Audio Avalanche

Over the last month or two, our site founder Alan has been busy producing all kinds of sound effects to add to our growing collection. The total has been growing so fast I’ve barely been able to keep up, but now that things are winding down for Christmas, I can draw level again and walk through all the new stuff that’s available. Well when I say walk through it all, there are over 680 new offerings so I’ll do my little best.

Whooshing you a Merry Christmas

As you may know if you follow us on Twitter or have read Alan’s last blog entry, he got himself an early Christmas present that’s great for making whooshes, which is handy really because it’s called…Whoosh. Well like anyone with a new gadget he’s been going crazy with it and has been churning out whooshes by the dozen. I can say with absolute honesty though that the quantity and speed with which they’re pouring out onto the site in no way means a lack of quality.

I remember my excitement when I purchased the Complete Hollywood Edge sound library several years ago. One of my favorite collections was the Sound Designer Toolkit volumes 1 and 2.

Yes I know they’re not 192 KHz 24-bit multi-channel files, but they sound really good, good enough that they’re still used. You’ll hear them in series such as “Supernatural” and “a Haunting”. Quite a few of these whooshes remind me of those. Some also remind me of whooshes by Soundbits, another one of my favorite cinematic sound designers. This whoosh, for example, particularly the swell, could claim a cousin relationship to this one.

So these whooshes are right up there among my favorites. Many of the whooshes are short and snappy, making them ideal for game developers or for fast-paced scenes, where sounds that pack punch but get out of the way fast to make room for whatever is going to happen next are needed. There are some with longer duration though, including some large spaceship pass-bys. There are plenty of composite whooshes that work as stingers, since they include impacts or have more complex shapes.

There are organic whooshes featuring animal growls, fast zooming whooshes and airy, howling whooshes.

Some of the slower, gentler whooshes would layer really nicely with twinkles that comprise part of this latest batch like this one to make magic spell effects. In short, whether you just need a transition to illustrate time passing or a change in camera perspective, or whether your needs tend more towards horror or sci-fi, there should definitely be something for you here and there’s always the rest of our Cinematic category to check out as well.

Game and UI

Another area of sound design that this batch explores well is game an UI sounds. There are too many bleeps, tinkles, chimes, piano twiddles, trills, clicks, chirps and so on to count. You’ll find assets that would serve as coin collection sounds, ring tones, message notifications and software interface sound. Here are a couple that caught my ear.

https://www.zapsplat.com/music/game-tone-bright-positive-good-for-gain-award-extra-life-etc-16/
https://www.zapsplat.com/music/game-sound-high-pitched-beep-chirp/

As well as using a variety of instruments and synthesis, this collection includes retro and more modern sounding game sounds. For less bleep and bloop heavy games, there are also a couple of sounds of a small bag of gems being set down, which may work well, particularly for a fantasy game.

Foley

There is a very interesting array of Foley sounds here as well as a range of impacts. What I like about the Foley Alan records is that it goes far beyond the essential.

For example, your sound library probably boasts a multitude of chopping sound effects. Someone in a scene is preparing a meal? What’s the first sound you think of that the scene might need? Three types of sound spring to my mind – cooking, stirring or chopping. These sound are certainly the best represented kitchen Foley in my collection. But how many examples do you have of that same kitchen knife the cook’s just used being set down? there are several examples here as well as onions and courgettes being put down.

In case you’re short of chopping sounds though, there are sounds of courgettes and cabbages being chopped as well as onions at various speeds. Also, we have the sound of cabbage leaves being handled and scrunched.

The files are descriptively named, making it easy to choose the right sound to accompany the right visuals where necessary, even including the material from which the chopping-board is made

Likewise, you may well have plenty of sounds of someone writing with chalk on a blackboard. You may even have nails scraping on a blackboard. But how many sounds do you have of chalk sticks being moved around. There are sounds here to fill that gap. Sticking with the classroom theme, there’s also a sticky tape gun and some great Lego car sounds as well as a large remote control car being played with.

Adding to the category of sounds being put down or moved around, we have a small brick being set down on wood, plastic and metal, variations of a key being placed on a table and, most obscurely, a Nicotine gum box with accompanying sounds of the foil being handled. For those whose vices are of the more liquid variety who want to stock up on Christmas cheer, there are sounds of a box of beer bottles being slid around and set down. Also in the Christmas spirit, you can find packaging and carrier bag sound effects.

The more obscure sounds that Alan comes out with from time to time really intrigue me. As well as the example above, there is a screw-driver hitting a metal door, a hairbrush scraping a wall and a polystyrene strip scraping over things. These sounds make for great source material.

Sports fans may be pleased to know that tennis is well represented here. You’ll find several tennis racket swooshes as well as the string being plucked and strummed. There are also tennis and hand-ball bounces and, my personal favorite, a small sample of Frisbee sounds.

There are footsteps on slushy snow and some interesting grab sound effects including raincoat grabs and grabbing a sports bag. Additionally, there’s some money Foley – dollar bills being grabbed, coins and bills being set down and plenty of wallet/purse Foley – zips, Velcro etc.

All the Rest

The collection is rounded out with some squeaky hinges, some meaty metal impacts and a particularly characterful drawer, which is described as modern, but sounds as if it sticks, perhaps, as it says in the description, because it is over-full. It produces sounds reminiscent of a certain Star Wars character.

There are also spa bath sounds, which inspired Alan to make a small submarine sound, which I thought was pretty cool.

All these and many more can be found by going to Alan’s contributor area.

That’s it for now. Back soon to round up some new sounds from Fox Audio and Free to Use Sounds.

About The Author

Justin Macleod is a sound designer based in the UK who runs SkyClad Sound. You can check out his sound effects here at zapsplat.com and follow him on Twitter @SkycladSound