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Sound Ideas Ultimate SFX Collection On Hard Drive

By Kevin McAuliffe

As editors know, half of completing your show is the video, and more and more, sound design is becoming a huge part of small to full size productions. In the good old days, editors used to have to sift through tons and tons of CDs, and a very large catalogue to find just the right sound for an element in the show they are working on. Thankfully, the days of spending minutes (and sometimes hours) looking for the right sound effect(s) are over. Sound Ideas, world renowned for their massive sound effects CD libraries, have now started releasing them on hard drives. Let's take a look at its premiere hard drive, Ultimate SFX Collection (USFXC) on Hard Drive.

What you get
We're going to do this review a little differently this time, because what you get is probably the most important part of this bundle. Basically, the easiest way to sum up what you get is with one word. Everything. Every sound effect that Sound Ideas offers is included on this hard drive. You are actually looking at over 122,000 sound effects in total. Below are all the libraries that are included.

Series 1000-14000 (including all extensions)
Amadeus SFX Library (+ Saul Zaentz)
The Art of Foley    
Audience Reactions I&2
BBC Sound Effects Library
The Big Drone
The Big Whoosh 1-5
Cartoon Express
Club Elements
Crash & Burn
Dark Elements
The Dark Side of Sound
Designer Sound Library
Dimension SFX Library
Disney Ideas
Elements Café 1-10
Emergency Series
Hanna-Barbera Lost Treasures
Imaging Accents
Immersion Ambience Library
Impact Effects 1-3
International SFX Library
Jurassic Dinosaurs
Just Birds & Animals 1&2
Just Boom Trax
Just Noise
L2 Sound Effects Library
Larger Than Life
Latin Elements
The Library
Metropolis Sci Fi Toolkit 1&2
Mix III Imaging Elements
Mix VIII Imaging Elements
Monsters and Creatures
The Original Fart Collection
Power Distortion 1 492 PDE 250.00
PowerSurge 1&2
Production Elements Toolkit Vol 1-4
Rocky & Bullwinkle
Science Fiction SFX Library
The SFX Kit by Tommy Tallarico Studios
Special FX
Speed 2
Sports Music & Elements
Thrillers, Fantasies & Hauntings
Thunder Series
Turner Entertainment Co.
Twentieth Century Fox
Underwater Series
Universal Studios
Warner Bros.
Wild World of Animals
World Series of Sound

You also get a license key and a copy of SoundMiner, an audio asset management application (AAMP), that has a retail value of $599 U.S. I wish I could tell you a little more about SoundMiner, but unfortunately they gave me no end of grief when I tried to get a press copy of the application, but at the end of the day, it's included with the USFXC, so even if it is not great, it doesn't really matter.

Installation and how it works
When I originally contacted Sound Ideas, they had suggested that I come into their facility (they are located in Toronto, Canada), and take a look at the unit there. I told them that I wanted to have the "customer experience," and they told me that they needed some information first (which is what you, the customer, will need to provide as well.)

They wanted to know:

Which platform? PC or Mac
Which Sample Rate do I want?  16 bit / 44.1 kHz, 16 bit / 48 kHz, or 24 bit / 48 kHz

Once I let them know, they shipped me a unit, and when I got it, you would never have known it was from Sound Ideas, as it arrived in an Avastor box, which is the company that makes the hard drive.

Upon opening the box, I was now greeted by a very flashy looking Sound Ideas plastic case that housed the hard drive and cables.

Once I popped the case open, the first thing that I saw was the Copying or Re-Recording Rights and Limitations and sample license agreement. Yes, I said license agreement.

Something that is important for me to mention here is that just because you bought the USFXC, it doesn't mean that you can take it and copy it onto your local intranet at your post facility and have everyone access it. When you buy it, you have a license for five users (or stations). If you want more than five users (stations) to have access, you need to contact Sound Ideas about a Multi User Site License. The MUSL is $100 per year per five extra workstations up to a maximum of 25. This is only really relevant if you work for a large corporation. Individual users will be able to hook the drive up to their computer, and just access the SFX on a need them/use them basis. There is no copying required. As I said, there is a complete write up in the case. Trust me, you can't miss it.

After removing the documents, I now see the nice, shiny hard drive, and a complete set of cables. The hard drive has USB, FW400 and FW800 connections, so no matter what your computer has, you will be covered.


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