PRODUCT REVIEW: Sound Ex Machina - Scratches
Company: Sound Ex Machina
Our Rating: 4.8/5
Sound Ex Machina have released their latest library Scratches, offering bone-chilling audio elements which many a Sound Designer will want to experiment with.
Scratching The Surface
The library is organised by into 10 material folders (concrete, glass, marble etc.) and was recorded close miked in an acoustically treated environment. There is also a thank you note included which brings the users closer to the brand, a nice touch. The audio files are delivered in 24 Bit 96 kHz WAV and have Soundminer Metadata. Everything looks well structured and user friendly, the artwork represents the content well. There are more than enough audio assets to get your teeth stuck into, with 700+ files totalling over 2GB.
The theme of this library lends itself mainly to the interaction of materials, and so has lots of scope for effects which are often missing from general effects libraries. Most Sound Designers have a need for these sounds - creating Stingers in Horror Films, Sci-Fi Films and more. Of course there is also a more straight forward use which is using them for accenting Foley and Spot Effects in your projects.
The Sound Effects have a balanced frequency response, which feels like it has had some corrective EQ, the highs are subdued and clean, and the lows aren't as overbearing as you would expect from certain objects, which makes the product more instantly usable. The close miked sound really allows the user to 'dig deep' with Sound Design. Some of our personal favourites are from the 'Metal' folder!
The opportunities here are massive for those of you who like to play with source material. Many of the recordings have a definite 'musical' quality, that lends itself well to abstract audio elements and creature vocal shrieks. For those who just need some interaction sounds, Scratches will be a great accent to doors, switches, vehicle foley, machinery and even gore sounds. We can see a lot of this being used in a dystopian environment such as the Fallout series.
Scratches is the perfect library to trigger those nasty Misophonia responses, when you need Sound Effects to convey downright terror.
It is very hard to fault considering the price and the variety of files available. The only thing we can say is that some files have a slightly thinner sound, likely due to the huge array of tools used to create friction. By no means does this reduce it's usability and we will certainly be using this on future projects!