PRODUCT REVIEW: Badlands Sound - Retro Vacuum
Company: Badlands Sound
Product: Retro Vacuum
Our Rating: 4.6/5
Dust clouds plaguing your carpet? Kitchen floor starting to get dirty? Badlands Sound have the solution with Retro Vacuum. Get it now for just $20. Retro Fabulous.
Opening Our Copy
Everything here is neat and tidy, carefully packaged into 4 categories (Activity, Exterior, Foley, Onboard), Lots of coverage, captured in 24 Bit 96kHz WAV format. Badlands Sound libraries are always a well packaged treat, lets start 'er up.
Zap That Dust
Badlands have shown a real progression with this library in terms of content and consistency, they are experts in choosing a theme that no one ever dares to try, no matter how mundane the source material.
Each category on offer has a distinctive vibe and character:
Activity offers distant and close perspectives of various movements on different surfaces. This proves useful for extended scenes and is easy to edit, due to the noise based nature of the vacuum. Exterior offers up sounds reminiscent of vehicle libraries, with multiple pass bys that impressively omit any of the recordist's footsteps. Both of these sections have a more distant and 'roomy' quality, allowing them to blend into a retro living room in a pinch!
Foley offers up some useful auxilliary samples, from the vacuum, and are a great way to get those authentic plasticky bag grabs, button hits and squeaks. Onboard hillariously gives you the dry onboard sounds of the vacuum, much like an interior car engine library - great for worldizing vacuums in your film spaces. We would definitely use the Onboard sounds for Spaceship and vehicle design too. Both of these sections have a 'closer' quality with less room reflections.
One thing that struck us about this library compared with other Badlands products was that it feels EQ'ed. You can definitely hear which files were recorded with the RODE NTG3, yet its 'boominess' seems to be less present than we're used to. It feels like it has been balanced by EQ or recording distance, which doesn't hurt the library but is worth mentioning.
The focus here is on functionality, and there is a drag and drop quality to a lot of the sounds. The performance aspect, the lack of footstep noises, and the overall coverage make this library a winner for $20.
Empty The Bag
The overall sound is quite varied. Categories 1 and 2 have a much roomier, and reflective sound, that sometimes feels phasey. 3 and 4 are up close and personal. While this allows for use in multiple situations, don't expect all categories to blend seamlessly without processing.
Some of the Foley sounds could have also had more tail, cutting them shorter makes it tough for the Sound Editor to tracklay effectively.
Overall, a small price to pay for the amount of content and the detailed coverage of the overall theme.
The Bottom Line
If you need vacuum sounds, you don't have an old vacuum at your disposal or you're short on time, this one is for you. The onboard category provides a tone that will work with new and old vacuum models alike in your projects.