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SoundScalpel announces massive expansion of sound fx archives

SoundScalpel

SoundScalpel has announced an acquisition deal which will make it one of the largest libraries of its kind in the world.

SoundScalpel has recently added 30,000 sound effects from BBC productions, increasing its library to 80,000 effects as well as royalty free music for its international and UK customers.

The acquisition is part of an expansion plan which will see the company swell its archive to 150,000 by mid summer. The extended library now includes sound effects created by some of Hollywood’s leading sound designers with effects that have been created specifically for films including Hollywood blockbuster Avatar, through to TV programmes like Eastenders.

“The industry has changed a great deal over the past decade when sound effects CDs used to be the norm,” says Alan McKinney MD of SoundScalpel. “When we first launched the site in 2005 we had only 3,000 effects. This latest expansion means we are able to offer 50 times that number which our customers are able to listen to and decide to download instantly.”

The company now attracts around 40,000 visits per week to its website and is popular with many markets around the world outside of the film and TV industry. Education, theatre, mobile phone apps, websites and game makers are amongst the many industries that have a regular requirement for sound effects which can be instantly downloaded from the company’s website at the click of a mouse.

“As well as the dramatic increase in sound effects available, we now have over 9,000 royalty free music tracks available for the first time which already have been used for film trailers, corporate videos and adverts,” adds Alan.

More information: SoundScalpel

Pro Sound Effects announces distribution of BBC Sound Effects Archive

BBC Sound Effects Archive @ Pro Sound Effects

Pro Sound Effects has announced that the BBC Sound Effects Archive is now available to purchase from its website.

The BBC Sound Effects Library is one of the most vast and respected sound effects libraries in the world. The BBC Sound Effects Library has the largest, most global and diverse selection of animal sound effects and historical sound effects currently available.

Pro Sound Effects (PSE) works with the BBC Information & Archives to make the BBC Sound Effects Library available both digitally and on sound effects hard drives with search engine software.

BBC Sound Effects available from Pro Sound Effects

  • Five libraries including the BBC Complete Sound Effects Library with 33,000 sounds.
  • Re-release of the BBC Original 1 – 60 Sound Effects Library with updated metadata.
  • Search Software included free.
  • Delivered pre-digitized on hard drive with 3 year data replacement policy.
  • Embedded metadata, compatible with NetMix, Soundminer, Basehead and more.

More information: Pro Sound Effects

Haunted House Records announces Electronic Critters 3: The Creaturephonic Workshop

Haunted House Records Electronic Critters 3: The Creaturephonic Workshop

Haunted House Records has announced Electronic Critters 3: The Creaturephonic Workshop, the latest sound library in the Electronic Critters series.

The sounds in this library are inspired by the early work of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop and features raw sounds like field recordings, radio interferance, ultrasound and theramins reprocessed and chopped up to create electronic sounds that sound out of this world.

The Creaturephonic Workshop is ideal for Film and TV sound design aswell as all types of electronic music production.

Electronic Critters 3: The Creaturephonic Workshop features

  • All sounds are high quality 24bit 44khz wave files and this library contains over 4gig of material.
  • Ambient Textures — The ambient textures section contains 103 sound effects split into 22 different groups. These textures will be familiar in style to anyone who has used a previous Electronic Critters sound library.
  • Loops — This section contains 126 loops split over 3 different bpm ranges (100bpm, 125bpm, and 140bpm). The loops are rythmic and work well on their own or under drum tracks and can really lift your music productions and get people talking.
  • Musical Phrases and Sound Beds — This section contains smalll musical phrases and ambient sound beds that are perfect as a starting point for music in TV and Film. There are 140 sound samples split over 29 groups. Each phrase or sound bed comes as a full mix and seperate track submixes so you can use any part of the track. This offers you greater flexibility as you can pick and choose which parts of the mix you can use.
  • Source Material — This folder contains the source material used in the construction of this disc. We have included the source material as we hope you are inspired to create some sound effects yourself. There are 313 sounds included in this section split into the following sections:
    • Field Recordings
    • Outside Ambience, Household Objects, and a Thumb Piano
    • Radio Frequency Scanner Samples
    • Theramin Phrases
    • Ultrasound Doppler

Electronic Critters 3: The Creaturephonic Workshop is available for pre-order on DVD for £19.99 GBP plus postage (regular price £24.99 GBP). It will also be available as a digital download from Sounds/To/Sample shortly.

A collection of 11 samples from this release is available as a free download from the product page.

Visit Haunted House Records for more information and audio demos.

Is stealing wireless wrong?

Related: , , , , , , Posted in random posts on Aug 24, 2007 - comment 4 comments

BBC News Magazine reports about the case where a man has been arrested after being spotted allegedly sitting in a street with a laptop using someone else’s unsecured wireless connection.

BBC News Magazine Wifi hack article

The discussion in this article is pretty interesting. A lot of people seem to think it’s OK to borrow some of this wireless internet since it wasn’t secured.

Ken from Evesham writes:

If you leave your wireless connection unsecured then it is your own fault. Just as you wouldn’t leave your front door unlocked, neither should you leave your wireless connection open.

To a certain extend I agree with Ken. It’s generally a bad idea to leave your front door unlocked, likewise you should secure your wireless internet *IF* you don’t want anybody walking in/using your internet connection. Now most people probably don’t want their house to be invaded by perfect strangers, but is it the same with their wireless connection? Do people really care? Do they even know their connection is left open for others to use?

In many cases, I think not. Many times I’ve experienced people’s total surprise when they find out their newly installed wireless router is open for use by anyone within broadcast range. They just don’t know how these things work. Computers have moved from the kingdom of geeks to your everyday family, but these new users generally don’t even know how to tell a legitimate email from a phishing scam email, let alone what WEP or WPA means.

However, I do believe it simply should NOT be possible to get punished for using someone else’s unsecured wireless network, simply because an unsecured network kind of implies it’s open to use. This is not the same as walking into a house, which is someone’s property.

Gerard from Naarden (Holland) writes:

I have not asked, nor do I particularly want to be irradiated by the wireless networks from my neighbours – I can pick up about a dozen. If it enters my house, I should be able to do with it what I want. Don’t like it? Get wired!

But alas, if you’re planning on cancelling your internet service and start using a free connection instead, there are already laws forbidding this. (at least in the UK).

The Communications Act 2003 says a “person who (a) dishonestly obtains an electronic communications service, and (b) does so with intent to avoid payment of a charge applicable to the provision of that service, is guilty of an offence”.

If I am travelling and I borrow a connection from an open network to spend 2 minutes on the internet, is that an offence because I could’ve bought a calling card to use with my mobile phone? When exactly does it become stealing?

Adrian from Manchester (UK) writes:

I don’t really see how it can be “stealing” if the person who paid still has all of what they paid for. In that respect, it’s not like your example of taking an apple from the overhanging branch of a tree.

Hmmm, this reminds me of copyright violation. When I download a movie or commercial computer game, I’m not stealing because I didn’t physically remove anything from anyone, right? Many people seem to justify downloading whatever they want with this type of reasoning.

Back to the wireless networks though… Microsoft Windows even attempts to connect to any unsecured networks it finds. Would it be a criminal offence if you’re unlucky enough to have some open networks in your vicinity?

Perhaps manufacturers need to make sure their wireless products come with security enabled by default, where users should explicitly configure the device to work in unsecured mode, and thereby waive the right to charge anyone with stealing their internet.

But hey, do you really want to leave your wireless network open for people to (ab)use. People commit crimes online you know…

Short links for August 14th, 2007

Some interesting things I bookmarked on del.icio.us on August 14th, 2007:

The Simpsons: I don’t know who they are, but I like them

Related: , , , , , Posted in random posts on Jul 30, 2007 - comment 0 comments

BBC News has an article on Kenyan soapstone carvers in western Kenya. These people don’t really know who the Simpsons are, but they like them because the new Simpsons film will likely see demand for their work soar.

Pauline Kemunto and her husband work with the Simpsons team in Tabaka; he carves the figures and she smoothes the soapstone afterwards.

Simpsons carved models
Pauline Kemunto: “I don’t know who they are, but I like them because I earn from them.”

From the article:

Soapstone carving is a traditional craft passed down from generation to generation, and the Abagusii tribe is renowned for their carving prowess. So when Twentieth Century Fox designated the Tabaka soapstone carvings as official Simpsons merchandise in July 2006, their lives improved overnight.

Link via Boing Boing

BBC iPlayer Beta – a first look

Related: , , , , , Posted in random posts on Jul 27, 2007 - comment 0 comments

Mashable takes a look at BBC’s iPlayer (formerly known as iMP -Integrated Media Player or Interactive Media Player- and MyBBCPlayer), the new Windows-only P2P TV service.

It seems many Brits aren’t too happy the requirements to watch TV shows on iPlayer: Windows XP, Internet Explorer, Windows Media Player and approve more than one security update (or rather DRM) before you can even get started.

BBC iPlayer
BBC iPlayer – view the last 7 days of BBC Television

Pete Cashmore writes:

The download is fairly small (around 4 megs), but you’ll have to spend at least 5-10 minutes clicking through these various “security checks”. After the license acquisition fails (and it will), you can then optionally set up a PIN to stop your kids getting to the content rated “Guidance”. Watch out: it will also try to suck up resources by launching at Windows startup if you don’t uncheck a box in the settings. Also remember to run the ActiveX control or nothing will happen: this is non-obvious. The last step is to register a BBC.co.uk account if you don’t already have one. Total time spent on installation: 20 mins.

Read more on Mashable.