Company: Fox Audio
Product: Space Racer Pass-bys
Our Rating: 4/5
Today we have the pleasure of reviewing a recent library from newcomer Fox Audio, an ambitious product to launch their brand into the sample library universe.
Racing To Open
We were very eager to open this one up and have a tinker into it's hyper-drive sound engine. The 'Pod Racer' being heavily featured in the libraries sound list gave us flashbacks of a classic film scene that everyone should know about. The presentation of this library gets a 5* from us, great graphics and 'film trailer' style voice overs give the product high production value - and it sounds great.
Upon opening, it was clear that the files were named appropriately and accurately. Unfortunately we also discovered that the majority of sounds were in fact 'Pod Racer' and only a minority were based on other would be vehicles of the future. While this is not a problem as these sounds can be used universally, it does leave the Sound Editor feeling like there is limited scope before even auditioning sounds. The sounds are delivered in 96 kHz 24 Bit and have metadata.
Just Passing By
You are probably wondering, which scenarios will this library work for?
It works exactly as described, any Sci-Fi scene with vehicle chases, pod races, Wipeout style speeders and the like will benefit from this extra colour in their design pallet. The Sound's are beefy and complex, not quite as processed and huge as libraries that cost 10 times more, but the rawness often works better when tracklaying - offering a wider flexibility to users.
When tested against the classic Pod Racer scene from Star Wars, these sounds hold up, which is a massive achievement. The variety of sounds on offer with light, medium, heavy and Turbodrive pass-bys really do make the workflow much easier. I also like that some sounds use a more complex stereo movement which offers a bit of variety over simple L to R passes. The price is pretty impressive for the content on offer, this library could either be a great layer to your current arsenal or stand on its own to get you past a tight spot on a fast deadline.
An Empty Space
One of the reasons we couldn't award this library a higher rating was due to some really obvious omissions. We know that it is priced extremely well and it does say 'Pass-bys' in the title, but engine idle, startup and shutdown sounds would have been the icing on the cake, even if it was priced 20-30% higher. Fox Audio assure us that these are coming in a future product, soon you'll have a more complete toolkit to build your Sci-Fi scene, engines and all. The other slight issue for us was the fact that the editing wasn't as perfect as we'd have hoped for. Most sounds are edited and mixed beautifully, but a couple fell short where their panning felt unnatural combined with their modulation, or there were missing fades that irked slightly on some layers.
The Bottom Line
If you need pass by sounds for a design heavy Sci-Fi film, game or commercial, these sounds will fill that void, and sound great while doing it. The theme was matched excellently and any gaps will be filled with a new product coming soon, keep an eye out for Fox Audio!