Looking Behind and Looking Ahead
It’s the time of year when everyone looks back on how the previous year went and looks forward to what they hope to achieve in the coming year and Zapsplat’s no exception. In this article, we want to share a few highlights from 2018 as well as our goals for the coming year, how we’d like to reach out and help more people to an even greater extent and how you can get involved if you’d like.
2018 was a great year for us with the addition of 11,000 new sound effects, which took us past the 31,000 mark. We were able to fulfill a number of requests for particular sound effects from you guys as well, which is always really rewarding. These include some bullet whizzes, some female computer vocalizations, a scary lullaby contributed by Scott Lawlor and lots more.
We’ve received some great feedback from members using our sounds, which is really helpful because it lets us know that we’re providing what our members need. It’s also great to see the sounds used in context and we love the opportunity to promote the projects you guys are involved in!
We’ve expanded our blog to include interviews and reviews as well as “how to” guides. I love doing the interviews. It’s great to reach out to fellow sound designers, talk about their latest creations and find out about their process and workflow. Getting interviews with the likes of Stosh Tuszynski of Collected Transients following the explosive release of his latest library “Combustion” and Saro Sahihi of SoundBits following the release of his “Antiques” library were two personal high-points of the year for me! We hope you’ve found our blog to be a place to point you in the direction of other quality sound resources as well as somewhere to get tips, insights and generally to get to know us better.
The best thing about 2018 for me though has to be the eleven new sound effects and royalty-free music contributors we welcomed. It’s true that we produce many sounds in-house, but having such a large variety of really talented professionals volunteer their creations for you guys to use is what makes working for Zapsplat so special for me. So many different sound designers means that you get so many different perspectives, different techniques, different subjects, different approaches.
Here’s a list of the new contributors of 2018 with a sound from each.
On top of this, we’ve had a great influx of sounds from old friends such as Audio Hero and FreetoUseSounds over the year. Getting to know each contributor and their personal style has been a real privilege and we really look forward to working with them much more in the future.
The year wouldn’t be complete without offering us a few challenges of course. The site’s needed some development and adjusting to make sure it can do all the things we want it to and to improve the experience for everyone. We’ve worked on the accessibility for visually impaired audio professionals and enthusiasts and, most notably, improved our news space so we can point you in the direction of more resources you might find useful including sound libraries on sale, sound effects subscription services etc.
Perhaps the biggest challenge has been the untimely deaths of both my field recorders and my laptop, the three pillars on which my sound design is based. Fortunately, I have been able to replace the laptop, the search for replacement field recorders is ongoing.
Over the coming year, I hope to produce a lot more reviews, not only of sound libraries that catch my attention, but also of plugins that will help anyone in the audio industry. As 2018 drew to a close, I began exploring the development of partnerships with leading plugin manufacturers and sound designers. These will bear fruit this year so we have some exciting surprises in store for you. We’re also exploring relationships with pod-casters, which could open up a whole host of new possibilities.
Crucially, we would like to partner with more companies that offer services you would find useful. We want to invite more advertisers to the site so that we can get more revenue for development and site growth, but we are keen that all the ads should be worthwhile for our users rather than intrusive and irritating. Therefore, we’d love to hear from you. What brings you to Zapsplat? What kinds of things are you looking for from us, in terms of sounds and what other resources would you find useful. We’ll use this information to tailor what we provide more closely to you. This includes our social media content, how we work with contributors to ensure they get the promotion and exposure they so richly deserve and the partnerships we form to offer you exclusive discounts and information.
We’re always looking for new sound effects or royalty-free music contributors. We’ve already been lucky enough to welcome two more this year and hope to work with many more. Working with other audio professionals – composers and sound designers really is at the core of what we’re all about – making sounds and music affordable for all while promoting the people who put the hard work into producing them. If you have some sounds you’d like to use to showcase your talent with us, do get in touch.
Following the site tweaks last year, we’re in the middle of a big site redesign, which, as well as improving the user experience directly, should open the way for us to implement lots more improvements and new features in the near future. We’re looking forward to a faster, richer, more flexible site.
We’re also looking forward to introducing and expanding ways to thank our gold members. Running and maintaining a site, traveling to record rare sounds such as the tank sound effects we were lucky enough to get the opportunity to capture at the end of last year, maintaining and improving recording equipment and processing tools to ensure we keep to the quality standards you’ve come to expect are pretty costly. We couldn’t do it without you gold members and your support for what we do. This is a great time to say a big thank you for all your help keeping us going. So a big focus this year will be producing more exclusive content for gold members by way of thanks. We have a fair few ideas and will certainly be greatly increasing the number of gold sounds and music tracks, but we’d love to hear from you if there are particular rewards you’d like to see for gold members.
So in short, this year we hope to do more – produce more content with more variety, form more partnerships with contributors and other people in the industry, write more articles, give more rewards and, above all, learn more about what the community wants, what more we can do for you guys. It promises to be an exciting new year and we look forward to meeting all the opportunities it presents along with you.