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As New York audio post people know, Sound One, a staple audio post house, is in danger of closing. It got me thinking that with the number of freelance sound editors/designers growing, I should try to put together a sound effects library through Pro Sound Effects geared towards independent sound engineers who don't have access to massive libraries the big studios do.

Between downloading individual sounds to a large collection on a hard drive, or a yearly fee vs. buyout, I'd love to hear your thoughts and wishes about what would work for you. We have a huge resource that is underutilized by my fellow independent sound editors, and I'd love to remedy that.

Take a sec to fill out the form (and get a $25 voucher for our online library) and feel free to email or post your thoughts as well. The form is here. Danke!

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Laura, let me tell you why your library actually defeats its purpose.

First of all, price. Do you know how many boutique sound effects libraries I can get for $1500? And even if I can't get 56k sound effects, I can get exactly what I need, without having to make a hole in my budget.

Most of the times, a freelancer such as myself will also have several decent mics with which they can record basic sound effects like whooshes, impacts, bubbles, screeches or what have you. So what I/they will actually need is specific sounds that can't be accessed and recorded easily.

Secondly, it's huge. And we all know how much ballast accumulates with huge libraries.

Lastly, it looks like an extensively thought out marketing exercise. I have come to dislike anything that is packed as colorful and eye catching as your library. Plus, it's got all the psychological small tricks that sales people think only they know, such as the Units Left countdown, offer expiring shortly but hey we decided to extend it, apply for freelancer pricing that in the end everybody gets, etc.

What I can definitely say is that the Pro Sound Effects™Hybrid Library is not what me or most of the sound designers hanging around in this community are after. I'm not sure if you even took into account the opinions of the people taking your poll. But one thing is clear: you should stick to catering to big studios with big budgets and lots of users, instead of trying to go for the smaller fish. There already are plenty of choices for us, some of them included in this list:

http://designingsound.org/sfx-independence/

  • just to clarify, do you actually own this at the time of posting? – georgi Jan 20 '13 at 15:45
  • No I don't, for the reasons that I already explained. – Cat Jan 21 '13 at 6:45
  • On price (first) - spending $1500 (cost of a decent laptop) on a bunch of general libraries on a hard drive isn't bad. You spend money on levelling the playing field against companies that have them or similar (probably bought on CDs for much more $). On size - it's a portable hard drive. The files will probably fit on your smartphone next year. Lastly, if you feel this is not aimed towards you, that may not be the same with the others here. It's a product oriented towards time-poor people, and they're everywhere to be found in freelance....... We shouldn't hate the effort. – georgi Jan 21 '13 at 11:57
  • Hi George, Thank you for your comments. This is a tiny industry and We take feedback seriously. There isn't enough room in the comment box for me to fully reply, so I will comment via the "Answer" route (I hope this is allowed). See below. – laura sinnott Feb 7 '13 at 20:11
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@George,

Though this reply will most likely come off as defensive, I still would like to offer my response and I welcome further discussion.

I can understand why one might feel annoyed at the marketing tactics we employed to spread the word about the Hybrid; I used to feel distaste for marketing and advertising industries myself, equating them to kings of manipulation. However, I now think that pretty packaging and marketing "tricks" serve a valid purpose, and in fact these days I see branding and marketing as an important representation of a company whether I'm a customer or the business owner. This is of course an individual's decision, and we as a company choose to place importance on it (and feel no shame for it).

The Hybrid Library is absolutely thought-out. We spent a good deal of the last quarter of 2012 coming up with and marketing the idea. The survey results were key to the pricing and number of sounds. Of course, we obviously hope to make money. But everyone working at PSE is a sound editor, recording engineer, university professor, etc. when not working at PSE, our publishers as well, and we believe in our products and ultimately want to 'share the wealth' in a way that is a win-win situation. Freelancers get a great deal on a robust library; we keep innovating while trying to build up our brand.

We are not selling the Hybrid to just anyone which is why we require an application, and we have turned down many inquiries. The pricing is strictly for freelancers. Freelancers, myself being an example (I work on indie films in NYC), simply cannot afford the retail price of large sound effects libraries. The smaller, independent sound effects recordists produce high quality and nicely priced libraries, but when you are sound designing for film, you need a variety of searchable sounds at your fingertips. It's not efficient to go out and record sounds all the time. Even though I live in NYC I've rarely gone out to record NYC street ambience because it will take quadruple the time (or more) than to pull it from a sound effects library. Now a freelance sound installation artist will not have the same needs as a sound editor for indie films, so if you can acquire all your sounds with boutique libraries and capturing them yourself, that is awesome and makes me jealous : )

Yes - it's a huge, library. Even a library this large will not cover all of a sound designer's needs. But it's a good start.

Ultimately, this is an experiment for us, and a risk. We don't know the long term impact of releasing the hybrid. One thing is certain, though, which is the positive feedback from happy customers is genuine, and we simply feel good about that.

Thanks for reading. Comments welcomed.

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    Good luck with your business/product model. There's no need to criticize something that works as intended. There are many options for those that the model or product doesn't appeal to, but this product obviously has it's own specific target group, which the critics may not belong to. – Internet Human Feb 7 '13 at 21:11
  • Thank you for your detailed reply, Laura. I'm glad to hear you've got great feedback on the library, and I'm sure sound editors for film will find it a lot more useful than I would. – Cat Feb 8 '13 at 6:23
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Hi all. Not sure any of you responded to the survey, but we did get tons of responses, and we came up with the Pro Sound Effects™Hybrid Library!

It's a combination of 56,000 sound effects on a Hard Drive plus Online Access to over 120,000+ sounds. To support freelancers on tighter budgets, we've set aside 100 units of the Hybrid Library at a super low price. You can see more info and demos on our site: http://www.prosoundeffects.com/hybrid-library-for-freelance-sound-designers.html#hybrid_library_details

cheers!

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Hey all, the Hybrid Library has taken off and there are only a handful left. Apply for freelancer pricing before the end of January.

After much discussion internally and with current and potential clients, we will continue the hybrid library post-Jan. but the price will not stay as low as it is now.

Happy New Year!

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