In the Pro Tools Expert 10th Anniversary Competition, we offered the chance of winning a SoundBits Everything Bundle worth around $2,000, as one of 18 great prizes on offer worth over $28,000 in total. We can announce that Claire Marquess is the lucky winner.
SoundBits is run by Benjamin-Saro Sahihi and he is based in Germany. In the main SoundBits is a one person business which takes up around 80% of his time, recording & editing sound effects, creating libraries, marketing, networking, website updates, procrastinating on Facebook and Twitter... The other 30% (yes we know it doesn't add up) go into different sound design gigs, teaching at SAE Institute (Postproduction, Sound Design, Synthesizers, Effects and others), and Workshops.
We interviewed Saro a while back about his journey and how he came to setup SoundBits.
PTE: Tell us a bit about your company and the products you produce?
Saro: Well, SoundBits is a one-man show. Sometimes I work with others on a specific project. For example, recently I collaborated with Ana Monte from Monte Sound for the Abstract Ambiences Library or it might just be to have a helping hand when recording in the field or for pre-editing large amounts of sounds.
80% of my time is spent on SoundBits, meaning sound effects recording editing, creating libraries, marketing, networking, website updates, procrastinating on Facebook and Twitter... The other 30% ( ;-) ) goes into other jobs like different sound design gigs, teaching at SAE Institute (Postproduction, Sound Design, Synthesizers, Effects and others), Workshops and giving interviews of course :-D
PTE: What challenges are you facing at the moment?
Saro: The very fast growing - or better exploding - independent sound effects market. One has to be fast and focused. But I like it. It's challenging, yes but it's also an enrichment to the whole business. It's never been so easy to find the right sound effect or pack for your production. There is so much variety. There is no longer any need to use the same sounds over and over again from production to production.
Another challenge is that days only have 24 hours, I am alone most of the time and there are so many ideas for new libraries and projects but not enough time. I have such a by-myself-optimized workflow that it would be very hard to bring in one or two sound people. Not only sound people but also the marketing, social media stuff and all that additional library work like metadata, info texts and so on kills lots of time. But as SoundBits grows I think I will have to go down that road in near future.
PTE: What plans do you have for the future that you can share with the community?
Saro: There are more sound effect libraries coming of course. I'll keep optimizing workflows to become even faster, upgrading equipment and never lose the fun of working in this business. Also expanding my network and I really would like to remaster some my first libraries and refurbishing my website.
PTE: What is your favourite audio tool (excluding any of your own products)?
Saro: The by far most important tool for me is RX5 Advanced from iZotope. Even though it still misses some features in my humble opinion, which I already sent them of course :) but I couldn't imagine editing sound effects without this app. Especially the direct exchange between Pro Tools (and Nuendo in my case) and RX is an incredibly fast workflow.
I also really like RX Final Mix from iZotope. The Limiter is super clean and the Dynamic EQ gives maximum control over each sound. I would also like to mention the Fabfilter Pro-Q 2 EQ plug-in and The Multiband Envelope Shaper in Nuendo 7. When working in other DAWs I rebuild this by using the Blue Cat Audio MB-7 with an instance of NI Transient Master in each band.
Regarding general Sound Libraries, I'm a big fan of the Hybrid Library (and its extensions) by Pro Sound Effects. For sound effects management, it's Nuendo's Media Bay and Soundly.
Well, that escalated a bit but these are all tools which are very important for my daily work and have to be mentioned all in one breath.
PTE: What one thing gets you annoyed about the audio business?
Saro: I like ranting but, well, I don't now. Not much. Most people I meet from all over the world (in person or digitally) are wonderful, no matter what their origin, religion etc. There are lots of great communities. I mean just look at Pro Tools Expert, I think you have a very honest and kind business. Sure there is competitiveness but it's very fair in most cases.
Everyone helps each other out.
The only things which annoy me a bit are the obstinacy of some people regarding what hardware and software to use. But I don't get too excited about that since in most cases it's people who never even tried the other opportunities and just repeat what they've learned.
PTE: Is there anything else you would like to share with the Pro Tools Expert community?
Saro: Listen and repeat after me "SoundBits Sound Effects are awesome... :-)". But seriously, stay that great community you are, spread the word and be thankful for being able to do what you love.
In this video review, Mike Thornton takes a whistle-stop tour around some of the sound effects libraries from SoundBits. He takes a look at a number of libraries that have filled some gaps in this 50,000+ sound effects collection.
Starting with the Collected Ambiences bundle. There are 7 volumes so far which you can get individually or as a bundle. there are 33 files in each bundle and as with all good ambience tracks, they are nice and long. Each volume has a different selection of ambiences, so let's take a quick listen to some.
Cinematic Hits And Transitions
Moving onto two collections that I am so pleased to have in my library - Cinematic Hits & Transitions volumes 1 & 2.
These are designed to dramatically spice up your trailers, cutscenes and movies. From heavy jump scare impacts to slow and haunting transition sounds, from very deep earthshaking hits to brutally distorted and mangled impacts. Some dry, some with extra huge reverbs. Some with instant attack some with a build up for that extra tension.
Next is a library that has filled a real hole in my sound effects collection and that is Handwriting. All I had was a couple of recordings I had made myself for specific bits of foley for some radio dramas.
This library from SoundBits is very comprehensive and you get 841 files containing 2000+ of different handwriting sounds from different pens, pencils, crayons, chalk on a blackboard, felt pens, markers, yes even brushes and writing in sand or carving in stone. All this in many variations from writing words and sentences, strokes, periods and doodling.
Finally in this personal and quick tour of just a few of the libraries from SoundBits is the Electro-Mechanics ToolKit. This Collection features a wide range of electric and some mechanic motors, engines, tools and toys, including different grinders, drills, screwdrivers, buzz saws, sanders, kitchen tools, electric and mechanic toys, CD-drives, doors, and much more. But don’t just take these literally, they can be cut up, layered, edited and mangled with FX to become spaceship engines, robot movements, sci-fi doors, weapon mechanics, in fact, anything that moves by electricity.
Saro has worked very hard at planning, recording and packaging these sound effects collections, for me the collections that I have selected in this review will be so useful in what I do, and fill a number of gaps I had in my sound effects collection, but do go and check out all the libraries Saro has on the SoundBits site and see what you have been missing.
Claire Marquess Wins Every SoundBits Sound Effects Library Worth At Least $2,000
In the Pro Tools Expert 10th Anniversary Competition we offered the chance to win one of 18 great prizes worth over $28,000 in total. Claire Marquess is the winner of the Every SoundBits Sound Effects Library Worth At Least $2,000.
I’m an experienced sound engineer with a degree in Music Technology and I’ve been working in the post-production industry since I graduated. These days I’m based in Ka-Boom in Belfast where no two days are the same. I could be working on sound design for radio and TV commercials, recording ADR for clients such as Disney, HBO and SYFY or re-recording for TV and film.
I’m delighted to win the SoundBits Everything Bundle as we already have some of their libraries in our database and it’s brilliant to be able to complete the collection. Being a sound effects nerd with a passion for sound design - you can never have too many sound effects and these ones will bring an edge to our selections for our future sound design projects.
If you would like to win a prize like the SoundBits Everything Bundle then go over to our Win Page and see what prizes we have on offer.