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Sonopedia: The Encyclopedia of Sound Effects

BlastWave FX sound FX on hard drive By Kevin McAuliffe

A while back, I took a look at Sound Ideas Ultimate SFX Collection on Hard Drive, and I liked it. On the heels of that review, I was contacted by a representative at Blastwave FX who had read my review, and they let me know that they have their own sound effects collection called Sonopedia (The Encyclopedia of Sound Effects) on hard drive, and wanted to know if I was interested in taking a look. I said "absolutely", and in no time flat, I was powering it up to give it a spin. Let's see how things went.

What you get
We're going to do this review a little differently by looking at what you get, before we look at the actual installation of the Sound Effects Library. Described by Blastwave FX as the "Encyclopedia of Sound Effects" (which it even states on the hard drive itself), Sonopedia boasts 20,000 royalty-free, HD sound effects. I'm not exactly sure what is meant by 'HD sound effects'. I can only assume that they are referring to the fact that all the sound effects were recorded in 24-bit, 96K, and are delivered on the hard drive in 24/96, 24/48, and 16/44.1 broadcast WAV files, with low quality MP3 reference tracks as a bonus. All files also have embedded metadata for quick, efficient searching using applications such as Soundminer and even iTunes. Here are the categories that are included in the library:

  * Ambience
  * Animals
  * Cartoon
  * Emergency
  * Fire
  * Foley
  * Foley Footsteps
  * Horror
  * Household
  * Humans
  * Impacts
  * Industry
  * Musical
  * Office
  * Production Elements
  * Science Fiction
  * Sports
  * Technology
  * Transportation Aircraft
  * Transportation Automobile
  * Transportation Trains
  * Transportation Watercraft
  * Warfare
  * Water
  * Weather

All 154G of sound effects ship on a 250G hard drive with USB, FW400/800 and E-SATA ports to handle any type of configuration.

I have to say that I was a little surprised at the size of the drive. To me, it almost seemed like a hard drive from the late 1990's, and it was a little bit loud (louder than my Lacie drives) which surprised me, considering the website boasts the hard drive to have "Ultra-quiet operation."


When the drive arrived at my house, I was a little surprised by the size of the box.

Much like any other hard drive, the unpackaging and setup was quick and easy.

Inside the box, you will find not only the hard drive, but FW400 & FW800 cables and a Quick Start reference leaflet.

Once you plug the hard drive's power in, and attach the connection of choice (mine was FW800), the drive will immediately appear on your desktop.

Once you double click on it, you are greeted by a neat, well organized folder structure that makes finding the search application, the SFX and any other documentation very easy.

I figured the best way to see how things worked was to simply navigate to the Blastwave FX Search Engine Folder, double click on the search engine for Mac, and see what happens.

How it works

In the end, I really liked the process that Blastwave FX has given us to source sound effects. The application is great and simple to use, it's free (huge bonus), and if you don't like it, just use iTunes.

Value for your dollar
This was probably my main issue with Sonopedia. For me, $3999 US for 20,000 sound effects is fairly steep, considering the competition is offering 122,000 sound effects for $12,995. Doing the simple math, you will realize that the Sonopedia (in my opinion) is a little overpriced for what you get. I think that a price of $2000-$2500 would be more reasonable for this product, and make it a better value for your dollar. If this is supposed to be the sound effects encyclopedia, I'm a little confused as to why Blastwave FX did not include their entire lineup of sound effects on this hard drive. Their biggest collection is the Blast Drive with 31,700 sound effects, and that is $6000, which is still a little steep.


  • Blastwave FX search engine rocks!
  • Excellent search tool for sourcing your sound effects
  • Drag and drop from the tool to your desktop/hard drive is awesome
  • Sound effects sound good and "believable"
  • Multiple connections (USB, etc) for all users


  • Hard drive seems a bit outdated
  • Price is a too high
  • No 5.1 sound effects (the inclusion of the Revolver 5.1 Production Elements would have been nice!)

Purchase Recommendation: The price outweighs what you get

In the end, I really liked the Sonopedia sound effects library, but unfortunately, the $3999 price tag, puts it out of reach to make it a purchase recommendation.  If you are interested in checking out Sonopedia, The Encyclopedia of Sound Effects or any other sound effects library that Blastwave FX offers, you can check them out at .

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Kevin P McAuliffe is currently a Senior Video Editor working in HD post production in Toronto, Canada. He has been in the television industry for 12 years, and spends his days onlining on a Final Cut Pro HD. Kevin's high definition onlining credit list includes concerts for Coldplay, Sarah McLachlan, Barenaked Ladies, Snow Patrol, Sum41, Paul Anka, Il Divo and Pussycat Dolls, to name a few. Also, Kevin is an instructor of Advanced Final Cut Studio 2 at the Toronto Film College. If you have any questions or comments, you can drop him a line at

Related Keywords:sound effects library, audio editing, audio production


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