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I'm looking to get a new general sound library and am interested in the new General HD library from Sound Ideas. Does this replace the old General 6000 plus extensions? It would be great to get a new library to cover as much ground as the old General, but with new recordings at a higher fidelity.

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Just adding my voice to confirm what others have pointed out already. I've been using the General HD for about a month now (the beta version), and yes - it's generally nicely recorded, and it covers a lot, but it lacks strangely at some places. There's also lots of sounds that I can't really imagine I will ever need so many of (like plenty of Curling sfx, lots of different music boxes, typewriters/adding machines... I mean it's cool, but very specific, so I'd rather have a had a little less variation in those and more variation in the bog standard fx).

Still, I'm very happy to have this as a library, there really is a lot of good stuff on it. And what it definitely has over 6000 is consistency in recording quality. There's still the trademark SI produced/designed sound to some of the fx though, but in 9 out of 10 cases it's not over-done and the sounds remain useful and easy to manipulate.

I also think that some sounds have been recorded with mics extending above 20kHz, because pitching down sounds sublime on those.

Ah, and kudos to SI for not reproducing the dreaded electricity sound fx from 6000 that I hear in every videogame, tv series and film! Maybe finally we can all move on and create our own electricity fx now? It really only takes some boring crackling and zapping noise and funky filters with LFO's/envelope followers... ;)

All in all I would say: if you want a large 96kHz library, this is currently the best you can get. I demoed Sonopedia (they have a nice system for that online if you show interest in the library), and I didn't like it as much, as it contains a lot of synthesized fx, and not a lot of variations on recorded sounds either (at least that was my impression).

Just fill up the blanks with specialist libraries from the well known boutique SFX companies (Tim Prebble, The Recordist, Chuck Russom, Rabbit Ears, Boom, Tonsturm, etc etc) and your own material of course, and forget about Series 6000! :)

  • Yes, why does it need so many curling sounds! – Chuck Russom Jun 28 '11 at 22:24
  • Sound Ideas is a Canadian Company. For some reason many many Canadians love curling, especially in the rural areas. I bet one or two of the recordist was an avid curler and got out his mics at a bonspiel (Curling tournament). Actually there are a lot of curling based productions here in Canada, so there will be uses for the sounds up in the north. Curling gets better ratings up here then basketball or baseball, I live in the city and have never curled or even seen a place where one could curl, but in the country - curling rules them all (except hockey of coarse) – AzimuthAudio Jun 28 '11 at 22:49
  • I have the beta too, and I needed curling SFX for an ad the other day. I thought I'd be out of luck, and I could hardly believe it when a whole selection turned up in my search results! – James Bryant Jun 29 '11 at 23:34
  • What's all this "curling" business? Never heard of it. – Syndicate Synthetique Jun 30 '11 at 1:38
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The quality of the sounds are very nice. It's refreshing to have new material that hasn't been used in a billion projects already. And I am happy to have it as part of my collection.

I don't feel that it covers nearly as much ground as the 6000 series stuff. Variety and variations seem pretty limited, though, I've only worked with it a short time now. When I find a sound that I like, say a rock impact, there are usually only a couple of takes of that sound to work with. It also doesn't seem to cover a wide spectrum of sounds. For example, I think there are only a couple of different cars in the whole library. I don't usually need cars, but it is something I noticed and was surprised about.

A couple of issues with the organization of the files; The sounds are fully embedded with descriptive metadata but the filenames are not too descriptive. So if you are not using a app like Soundminer or Basehead, then the library may be difficult to use. Also, the entire library is in ONE folder on the drive. So if you try to view/preview the sounds directly in the folder, it can cause issues/slowdowns with Finder (on Mac). Again, if you are using Soundminer/Basehead/etc to preview, then this isn't an issue.

I believe the library is still in BETA (at least I haven't received the "FINAL" version yet) so I don't know how much will be changed once they release the "FINAL" version.

  • All in one folder? That's weird. Sounds like a good library, but perhaps not "the" general purpose library to start with. Thanks for the response! – Viktor Phoenix Jun 29 '11 at 17:27
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I can second most of what @chuckRussom said already. I still have the beta as well, I think the final is supposed to come out in a few weeks.

This collection CAN NOT replace the general 6000. It is a pretty nice addition though. Other things it is missing are animal vocalizations. I am working on an animated series that has a bear and a monkey and there are zero sounds for either animal in the General HD. Thats just an example of the various holes in the collection but it does have lots of great stuff as well, but by no means can you get this collection and then just ignore the 6000 series. You will have to think of it as an addition not a replacement.

One thing that is a little different I have found is the ambience tracks are mastered extremely loudly. Even the quiet sounds are really hot as you audition them. They are not clipping or anything but I have found I have to turn the output of Soundminer way down when searching for ambiences in order to get a proper feel for how they would play in a project.

  • We're getting a bunch of animal vocalization libraries separately, so that doesn't worry me too much. – Viktor Phoenix Jun 29 '11 at 17:30
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What about the Sonopedia 2.0?

I have no idea what the price points are between the SoundIdeas and Sonopedia, but it might be worth looking into.

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It sounds like my hope of having the General HD be my new general purpose library may have been a bit optimistic, but it does sound like it's a good library. I'd love to really dig into to get a better feel for the breadth and the quality.

The reason for my question is that I'm building a library from scratch at my new job at a new studio. It's been an interesting experience. What I've learned in researching this is:

1) It just isn't reasonable to assume that there is a one-size-fits all general purpose library out there. I've spent a long time building my personal library and the sounds that I use are from several different libraries, not just one, so that's not too surprising.

2) It's expensive to hit the ground running. Again; "duh."

3) I'd rather have "construction kit" libraries that are recorded at decent levels, consistently mastered, not overly designed, include a BARE MINIMUM of synth effects, and with LOTS AND LOTS of variations.

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What we've decided to do, after all of the great feedback here, is to wait on dropping the money on one general purpose library, purchase a number of libraries we want from the boutique shops since they are reasonably priced and sound great (including Chuck Russom's GUN HANDLING SOUND LIBRARY), some of the specific libraries from Sound Ideas and Hollywood Edge that we know well (impacts, foley, etc.), and fill in the rest with individual sound effects purchased from Sound Dogs (and our own recordings, of course) until we decide on a general purpose library.

Thanks for the feedback everyone!

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