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Review: Soundiron Glass Beach sound library for Kontakt

I count Soundiron among some of the most interesting sound library developers I know.

Whether it’s the 30-voice male chorus of epic choir library Mars, M1 Garand’s rifle sound fx, a tear-jerking Emotional Piano, or the Bronze Bin percussive sounds made with a trash can, Soundiron seems to be able to take any sound source for a proper deep sampling session and turn it into something beautiful and useful.

So how about a bunch of glass pebbles on a beach? Enter Glass Beach.

Soundiron Glass Beach
Glass pebbles at “Glass Beach”, MacKerricher State Park (Fort Bragg, CA)

For this sample library Mike Peaslee went on a trip to record sounds at a place that was once used to dump refuse.

From the City of Fort Bragg website:

Beginning in 1949, the area around Glass Beach became a public dump. It is hard to imagine this happening today, but back then people dumped all kinds of refuse straight into the ocean, including old cars, and their household garbage, which of course included lots of glass.

By the early sixties, some attempts were made to control what was dumped, and dumping of any toxic items was banned. Finally in 1967, the North Coast Water Quality Board realized what a mistake it was and plans were begun for a new dump away from the ocean.

Now, over 30 years later, Mother Nature has reclaimed this beach. Years of pounding wave action have deposited tons of polished glass onto the beach. You’ll still see the occasional reminder of its earlier life, such as a rusted spark plug, but for the most part what you’ll see is millions of pieces of glass sparkling in the sun.

In 50 years we’ll probably be saying the same thing about some of the things we do in this day and age, but… what were they thinking?!

The Glass Beach library includes 225 samples (24bit/44kHz, non-encrypted PCM wav files), which are used in 31 Kontakt patches in three categories.

The percussion section includes various pebble sounds (hit, scrape, bounce, etc.) and some individual footsteps. These are mostly high pitched click-type sounds, great for adding some interesting glitchy elements to your music, or you can use them as a support or main part in your percussion. Using these sounds with the included “Uberarpeggiator” Kontakt script is easy and fun.

Soundiron Glass Beach Uberarpeggiator
The Glass Beach Grain Hit patch with the “Uberarpeggiator”

The ambient soundscapes category includes sounds of waves crashing on the shore and in a tide pool, a waterfall trickling down a sea cave, and some sounds of man and his best companion walking through the sea glass sand and the pebbles on the beach.

Since these samples were recorded in an outdoor location you might also notice some “unintended” sounds, most audibly some sea birds (I guess). One of the presets actually includes a flock of geese flying over. The lengthy ambience samples can be set to start at a random position with the “Random” control to achieve a kind of round-robin effect.

Lastly, there’s the special fx section. Here we find a number of designed instruments, including some synth and pad type sounds, creative percussion, sound fx and more. Quite a lot of processing is going on with most of these, and in some instances unrelated samples are used as well (e.g. the Glass Piano). These are not necessarily typical for Glass Beach. However, they are a nice addition to the palette of sounds and they work exceptionally well with the other content in Glass Beach.

The Kontakt instruments include a number of performance controls (controls vary per instrument), the Tone/FX panel with various effects, and there’s the custom “Uberarpeggiator” script mentioned earlier.

A collection of 40+ convolution impulse responses is included as well. These are readily available in the reverb section of the Tone/FX tab for some instruments, or you can use a 3rd party software of your choice.

Check Mike Peaslee’s video below for a quick tour of the Glass Beach library.

So what do I think?

Product: Glass Beach by Soundiron
Format: Kontakt 3.5+ (unlocked), 24bit/44kHz samples
Price: $9.99 USD
Like: authentic & original, well designed sounds, value for money
Don’t like: –
Verdict: 9/10

Glass Beach is found in Soundiron’s “Experimental” category of instruments — and rightly so. It’s basically a mixture of field recordings and designed instruments which match the character/vibe of the location. Obviously this library is not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. To me, the sounds of Glass Beach are quite beautiful, evocative and inspiring.

The glass pebble sounds have a unique quality, great for creating glitchy rhythms. I reckon the ambiences will appeal to soundtrack composers, for film/tv/games, or perhaps for use in music productions that just need that soothing quality of sea and beach sounds. The included “special fx” patches are well designed and a valuable addition to the library, bringing greater diversity of sounds. I absolutely love some of the delicate, dreamy and hauntingly beautiful tonal patches.

Soundiron is selling this library for $9.99 USD, a real bargain if you ask me. Glass Beach is packed with unique sounds, it is well produced, and — true to Soundiron’s mission — it feels like a proper labor of love.

More information: Soundiron / Glass Beach

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HISS and a ROAR releases AMB002 Beaches sample library

Hiss and a Roar has released Beaches, a new ambience sound library.

HISS and a ROAR AMB002 Beaches

If you’ve ever had to sync waves to picture then you will appreciate the need for a collection of cleanly recorded waves of various scales; from gentle idyllic waterlaps to more turbulent surf. Each location in this new library was recorded to six tracks, capturing a narrow & coherent stereo image with a Sanken CSS5 microphone, a dynamic & exciting pointillistic image using a pair of Sennheiser MKH70s, and a more diffuse, brighter image using a pair of omni-directional DPA 6040 microphones.

Each ambience in the library contains a minimum of three minutes duration for each of the three sets of stereo mics, in all fourteen beach locations, along with a photo to clearly identify the setting, and GPS coordinates incase you’d like to visit on Google Earth. This library aims to provide sound editors with the ability to easily choose which location and recording/s best match the perspective and point of view of your footage. Alternatively if you need a micro-nap, hit play & transport yourself to a pristine Pacific beach, far far away…

AMB002 Beaches is available to purchase for $49 USD.

More information: HISS and a ROAR / Beaches

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HISS and a ROAR releases SD007 Water Foley sound fx library

HISS and a ROAR has announced the release of Water Foley, a new sound fx sample library.

Hiss and a Roar Water Foley

Creating convincing water foley and movement can be difficult on even the best foley stages, but that’s where this new library comes in.

This library was recorded in two exterior swimming pools, one interior pool, a sandy beach at low tide, a river, a stream, a rock pool at low tide and a swamp. Apart from human movement, footsteps and splashing I also used kelp and seaweed to emulate the more complex sound of tentacles, which along with some of the mud suction sounds are very useful components for creature design.

In all cases I have minimised background ambiences as much as humanly possible; through microphone choice and placement along with time of day & tide movement. The two exterior pools were recorded multichannel, using two MKH70s and a stereo Sanken CSS5.

SD007 Water Foley includes 1,664 sounds (24bit/96kHz, 3.1GB content) and is available to purchase for $49 USD.

More information: HISS and a ROAR / Water Foley

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QESounds releases Aqueous sample library for Kontakt

QESounds Aqueous

QESounds has released Aqueous, a sample library for Native Instruments Kontakt.

Featuring 2659 sounds, Aqueous is a library based solely on water based source sounds. There are straight water sounds, pitch shifted water sounds, time stretched water sounds and heavily processed water sounds. Drips, plops, container hits, gurgles, water pouring – acoustic and hydrophone recordings.

Doing sound design for a water planet, dark/wet dungeon, dripping wet dark adventure, something that needs that wet and over-the-edge texture? Aqueous has probably got what you are looking for!

Aqueous for Kontakt is available to purchase for $89.95 USD (24-bit) / $59.95 USD (16-bit).

More information: QESounds / Aqueous

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Rabbit Ears Audio releases REA007 Brooks Streams Waterfalls

Rabbit Ears Audio Brooks Streams Waterfalls

Rabbit Ears Audio has released REA007 Brooks Streams Waterfalls, a sound fx library.

REA 007 is a celebration of moving water in nature. From small trickles to rushing torrents, Brooks Streams Waterfalls is for those who need a variety of water movement in their library.

Locations were chosen based on their variety of elements. Water sounds most unique when it has something to pass through that changes its flow. The brooks and streams in this collection feature currents that are shaped by rocks, boulders, and downed trees. The waterfalls chosen range from small falls fed by babbling mountain brooks to large rushing waterfalls fed by strong relentless currents.

Brooks Streams Waterfalls features

  • 45 files that clock in at 68 minutes.
  • Tracked on a Sound Devices 744T with a Cooper CS-104 as the front end. Both Schoeps (MK4/MK8) and Sennheiser MKH (30/40) Mid-Side pairs were used. The Schoeps were the “go to” pair, but the MKH’s got a workout as well.
  • 24 Bit 96 kHz, 2.66 GB download, 3.77 GB unrar’d.

REA007 Brooks Streams Waterfalls is available to purchase for $50 USD.

More information: Rabbit Ears Audio / REA007 Brooks Streams Waterfalls

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Detunized releases DTS027 – Just Water Live Pack + 3 Pack Subscription

Detunized Just Water

Detunized has released DTS027 – Just Water, a new sample pack for Ableton Live.

Just Water is a voluminous collection of water recordings in different kinds of motion.
It includes 90 scenes in 7 categories:

Bridge and Tube, Creek, Drops and Rain, Indoor, Melting Ice Floes, Ocean and Sea, River

Ranging from the small raindrop to the powerful surf of the ocean this library shows up as an inspiring toolbox for creative sound design, film scoring or art installations. For maximum flexibility each scene is configured as separate instrument. This allows for chromatic pitching and realtime sequencing in any kind of timeline or clip based composition.

DTS027 – Just Water is available to purchase for the introductory price of 5.50 EUR.

Detunized has also announced a limited time 3 Pack subscription offer.

Until end of June Detunized offers expanded downloads for new subscribers. Each new subscription contains the latest 3 instead of normally 2 Live Packs. This month each new subscription includes DTS027 – Just Water, DTS026 – Kathie´s Revenge and DTS025 – Shak2.

More information: Detunized

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New Sound Lab releases Pacific Ocean & Chorus Echo 501 sample packs

New Sound Lab has released NSL005 Pacific Ocean and NSL006 Chorus Echo 501, two new sample libraries.

New Sound Lab Pacific Ocean

NSL005 Pacific Ocean features recordings of the Pacific Ocean at various locations along the beach within Refugio State Park.

The incoming waves collide with large rock formations, creating great wave impacts and rushing water through small channels and hollow rocks. A variety of mic placements at various distances from the ocean were used, from directly over the water to larger distances, recording ambience behind massive rock walls and inside natural beach caves. In addition, a hydrophone captured underwater currents from waves splashing into small tide pools on the rocks.

NSL005 Pacific Ocean features

  • 55 Broadcast Wave files at 24bit 96khz (38 stereo and 17 mono).
  • Library size is 2.24 GB.
  • All files are organized and tagged with metadata, compatible with Pro Tools, Audiofinder, Soundminer and other sound library management software.
  • Metadata PDF included.
New Sound Lab Chorus Echo 501

NSL006 Chorus Echo 501 features the classic 1980′s era Roland Chorus Echo RE 501 captured in 24bit 192khz HD format.

This library features 217 sounds processed by a mint condition Chorus Echo RE-501, including metal impacts, church bells, chainsaws, voices, and water. In addition, self-oscillation sounds from the RE-501 are included. All of these sounds can be used in a wide variety of ways and work well for both sound design and music production. The combination of the 192khz high resolution sample rate and the tape saturation/warmth from the Chorus Echo make these samples sound great when pitch shifted and/or time stretched, even at extreme settings.

NSL006 Chorus Echo 501 features

  • 217 Mono Broadcast Wave files at 24bit 192khz.
  • Library size is 859 MB.
  • All files are organized and tagged with metadata compatible with Pro Tools, Audiofinder, Soundminer.
  • Metadata PDF included.

Both libraries are available to purchase for $25 USD each.

More information: New Sound Lab

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