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Manchester Based Audio Studio. Sound Design | Voice Over/ADR | Foley | 5.1 Mixing | Pro Tools | Education | Sound Effects Libraries
Manchester Based Audio Studio. Sound Design | Voice Over/ADR | Foley | 5.1 Mixing | Pro Tools | Education | Sound Effects Libraries

REVIEW: Pro Sound Effects - CORE 5 Standard

Updated: Oct 27, 2023


Pro Sound Effects CORE Bundles. 5 options to cover any needs.

Company: Pro Sound Effects

Product: CORE 5 Standard Bundle

Price: $1,999 (Currently on sale $1,499) for Freelancers.

Our Rating: 4.9/5


Pro Sound Effects latest release brings together some of their most iconic libraries. Including recordings from the personal collections of a number of award winning recordists, CORE 5 Standard is one of 5 options that offers general library bundles for a variety of budgets and experience ranges.


OVERVIEW:


CORE 5 Standard bundle is a compilation of 41 libraries from Pro Sound Effects, 6 of these released in the last year. Inside, you’ll find over 180,000 sounds, covering more than 560 USC categories. Some taken from the personal collections of sound design pioneers, such as; Ann Kroeber, Alan Splet, Mark Mangini, Richard L. Anderson and Richard King over their decades spanning careers. With a total file size of 900GB, there are 3 delivery options available; SoundQ, sound library workflow software developed by Pro Sound Effects themselves, granting instant cloud access to files. Local Download, using a dedicated download manager and your own internet connection. Or finally, A 1TB Hard Drive which is covered by a 3 year warranty. It’s worth noting that, should you choose the physical Hard Drive, you will gain access to SoundQ and Local Download for immediate use of sounds.


Legendary Sound Designers Ann Kroeber & Alan Splet

EXPLORING DEEPER


The 45,000+ WAV files within CORE 5 Standard, boast royalty free sound effects in a combination of Mono, Stereo, LCR, Quad, 5.1 and 7.1. File formats vary between libraries, but include 16/48, 24/48, 24/96 and 24/192. We suspect the inclusion of 16bit is most probably due to technological limitations at the time of recording.


A large number of these libraries were compiled from sounds captured for specific projects (usually with a Hollywood budget at their disposal), by legendary sound designers. Or curated from their private collections accumulated over the years, and you can certainly hear it. Whether it was an intrigued ‘ohhhh’, or gritting of the teeth, as we listened through the content of CORE 5, we found ourselves having audible, and emotional responses frequently. No doubt due to the love and attention that went into creating these sounds. The variety of intensities, and perspective in recordings will make incorporating them into your workflow incredibly fast, with minimal need for processing or manipulation to achieve the tone your project requires.


Some standout additions are the generous amount of Alan Splet & Ann Kroeber's archive, Ann’s Animals and Cinematic Winds being our favourites. Along with the weird and wonderful Interference by Jason Strawley & Andrew Garraway, including a tonne of great sound design elements. And finally, Sonomar Collection: Bass Machine, abstract recordings of a custom built contraption by Martin Pinsonnault and the team at Sonomar.


Sound library workflow software SoundQ, developed by Pro Sound Effects.


For this review we used both SoundQ (free version), and the physical hard drive to explore CORE 5. Navigation of this huge collection of sounds via SoundQ was incredibly easy and straightforward. Just select the library you want and away you go. The ability to sort libraries or search results through channel number, bit depth, sample rate etc makes searching quicker and easier. Since the introduction of cloud sound libraries, and at large, the industries shift into subscription based business models, it’s comforting to see such a respected company still offering physical versions of their products.


Make sure to read our ‘Categories of Irresistible Effects’ section below for our detailed analysis of each library. Please note, we have previously reviewed 2 libraries included in CORE 5 Standard bundle; The Odyssey Collection: Essentials, and Colossal.



Pushing It Further


The content of CORE 5 itself is amazing. Looking to future releases however, it would be great to see more consistency in the length of Ambience sounds. We noticed a lot of the featured ambiences were under 2 minutes (sometimes less than 1 minute), which doesn’t render these sounds unusable thanks to the 1,100+ Ambience files that are over 3 minutes.


Some small areas for improvement relating only to the physical hard drive, would be folder structure. Some libraries have files separated into dedicated category folders, whilst others only include 1 ‘Sounds’ folder with all content inside. Due to the bundled nature of the product, it would also be great to have a master sound list included. Some libraries include a .XLSX metadata file that could be converted, but this isn’t the case for all of them.



The Bottom Line

Whether you’re an experienced sound designer looking to combine one of the CORE 5 bundles with your existing libraries, or at the earlier stage of your career looking to utilise them as a starting point for your first general library, there isn’t much that the Standard bundle would leave you wanting. Being captured for project specific needs means the variety of tone and character captured in these libraries will cover most projects you’ll come across.


For more from Pro Sound Effects and purchase information for CORE 5 bundles, visit these links:

CORE 5 Standard - https://bit.ly/470jwlZ

CORE 5 Bundles - https://bit.ly/45DGLkE

Pro Sound Effects - https://bit.ly/45FoenX

Categories of Irresistible Effects

Check out our verdict of each library, so that you know what to expect:


General Libraries:


King Collection: Vol. 1 - 3,400 files, 113GB, 196 Categories: A collection of 15,000+ sounds from the private collection of Academy Award Winner, Richard King. File formats include 24/48, 24/96 and 24/192. Great variation of perspective throughout, especially with the metal destruction sounds. A nice selection of crowd and designed surround recordings is also a welcome addition.


Sound Mountain Collection: Vol. 1 - 1,610 files, 37GB: One of many inclusions curated from the private archives of industry legends Ann Krober & Alan Splet. Captured throughout their decades spanning careers, some recordings in this library could be over 40 years old! And for the most part, they were captured so well that you wouldn’t be able to tell. Aside from some sub 1 minute ambiences, everything here is great content to have access and sounds incredible.


Gen Collection: Vol. 1 - 10,480 files, 208GB, 360+ categories, 16/48, 24/48, 24/96: A collection of 37,000+ sounds captured by recordists at Pro Sound Effects within the last 5-10 years. File formats include 16/48, 24/48 and 24/96. The modern gear used to capture sounds included here would be great to compliment any older libraries or sound which were limited by available technology at the time of recording. Covers a great amount of categories. However, it was surprising to see 16 bit files included in a modern library.


Gen Collection: Vol. 2 - 3,216 files, 168GB, 220+ categories, 24/48, 24/96, 24/192, 32/192: While working on a number of award-winning film and TV projects, Martin Pinsonnault and the team at Sonomar identified sounds that were most needed, but frequently missing from other libraries and set out to fill some of these gaps. Some nice variations of sounds you will have heard covered in other commercial libraries, our stand out inclusions were a good selection of Police station, Cat vocalisations and boat sounds.


Gen Collection: Vol. 3 - 2,276 files, 65.86GB, 170+ categories, 24/48, 24/96, 24/192: The last General Library in CORE 5 Standard. A broad range of sounds. Covering common, everyday sounds whilst hitting some more obscure gems. The bonus addition of 6 impulse responses to create your own reverbs is a great surprise.


Odyssey Collection: Essentials:

Read our full, in-depth analysis of Odyssey Collection: Essentials here.


Specialty Libraries:


Ambient Moods - 180 files, 6.15GB, 24/48:

Created with a different emotion in mind for each track, Tim O’Keefe (As I Lay Dying, The Sound Of Fury) crafted 31 fascinating tracks (delivered with 149 stems for maximum flexibility) that blur the lines between music and sound design.


Anime - 657 files, 4.8GB, 24/48, 24/96:

Great collection of sounds that nail the classic anime tone the team set out to achieve. You’ll find 468 unique files, with 189 duplicates which were mastered to tape. Some content included would be great sound design material for not just anime, but games, sci-fi, horror/thriller and more experimental projects.


Ann’s Animals - 115 files, 1.69GB, 24/48:

Recorded by sound design pioneer Ann Kroeber, this library is a fantastic collection of animal vocalisations, spanning Gators to Mice, Elephants to Frogs, and lots between. You can hear the love that went into capturing these sounds. The only downside would be the technological limitations at the time means no 96kHz or above files.


Canines - 648 files, 11GB, 24/192: 10 breeds of dog were used to cover a variety of sizes and sounds. Incredibly in-depth and well recorded library. Multiple microphones were used to ensure a great selection of perspectives for the barking sounds.


Cinematic Winds - 98 files, 3.3GB, 24/48:

Another library of legendary sounds, from duo Ann Kroeber & Alan Splet. 3 hours of iconic wind recordings, covering 5 categories. Everything included here is beautiful, and ready to drag and drop into your DAW with zero processing needed.


Colossal -

Read our full, in-depth analysis of Colossal here.


Detonate - 84 files, 2.44GB, 24/96: A nice collection of both designed, and real explosions curated from the private collections of award winners, Mark Mangini & Richard L. Anderson. 42 unique files are delivered in stereo and 5.1 to suit whatever your project needs. We are huge fans of this. Captured and made extremely well, allowing you to have plenty of variety to design your own explosions, or the option to drag and drop pre-designed sounds straight into your sessions if you lack time.


Doors - 125 files, 803MB, 24/48:

Taken from Richard King’s private collection. As expected, the variety in perspectives, speeds, and intensities is great. It would have been lovely to see some metal doors included. Aside from that, most door types you would need are covered.


Ember - 79 files, 2.29GB, 24/48:

Another addition that was curated from Richard King’s archives. This is a beautiful library. Aside from more extreme design work, this inclusion could easily be the only fire library you would need. There’s something for everyone here. From small, crackling campfires, to roaring infernos.


Foley Essentials - 93 files, 400MB, 24/48, 24/96:

Recorded by Mark Mangini & Richard L. Anderson to fill out temp mixes before the traditional foley process takes place. This library aims to cover general foley sounds that may happen off screen, or don’t require synced performance. Being able to cover less important aspects of the foley tracklay is great to allow the artist(s) and mixer(s) more time to give finesse and character to the story driving aspects, without compromising on the level of detail.


Footsteps - 1,499 files, 2.4GB, 16/48, 24/44.1, 24/48:

Features a huge selection of footwear, on both interior and exterior surfaces. If you don’t have the budget or access to a dedicated Foley team, having this library at your disposal would no doubt save you some headaches.


Gators - 75 files, 520MB, 24/96, 24/192:

Recorded over the span of 7 years by recordist Colin Hart. Gators is a truly unique library, and immense tool for any sound designer. The pristinely captured sounds are complemented well by the inclusion of hydrophone recordings. Giving users great flexibility for layering and manipulation.


Industrial Sounds with Soul - 42 files, 638MB, 24/48:

Another addition from Ann Kroeber & Alan Splet. An interesting collection of industrial recordings. Includes some classic machine/mechanical sounds, but seems like it would get more use today as sound design source material.


Interference - 641 files, 10.24GB, 24/96, 24/192:

Using a SOMA labs Ether recorder, then manipulating with a range of modern and vintage synthesisers and instruments. Jason Strawley & Andrew Garraway created a fascinating collection of sounds. Along with the usual suspects you’d find in an Interference library, you’ll find great sound design elements for vehicles, explosions and weapons just to name a few.


Kinetic - 32 files, 40MB, 24/48:

A collection of Woosh, pass-by, and flutter effects custom-designed by Mark Mangini. Steering clear of the generic wooshes you’d find in other commercial libraries, Kinetic focuses on a more abstract, designed style of sounds. Great for projects you might not have as much time as you’d prefer.


Liminal Void - 100 files, 4.49GB, 24/96:

A collection of designed ambiences, rumbles, drones and pulses by Ann Kroeber & Alan Splet. Great to see a library focused more on designed sounds from this duo, and even better to see files in 24/96, granting sound designers more potential for manipulation. If this library doesn’t include the sound you’re looking for, it will certainly include the inspiration you need to go and create it.


NYC Ambisonics - 53 files, 43GB, 24/96:

Beautifully captured using a Soundfield Ambisonic microphone, this library includes all 53 recordings in both stereo and B-Format. Provided your DAW of choice supports Quad tracks, the included SurroundZone 2 plugin allows you to manipulate recordings by pointing ‘virtual microphones’ in any direction. No matter which version of the sounds you chose, you’ll find each location bursting with personality and clarity.


Odyssey Collection: Design Elements - 253 files, 1.61GB, 16/48, 24/48:

Created in collaboration between Mark Mangini & Richard L. Anderson, you’ll find design elements spanning 17 different categories of sounds (Creatures, Weapons, Sci-Fi to name a few). It was a little disappointing to discover some categories only included 1 or 2 sounds, whilst others contained great variety. However, Creatures, Swooshes, and Metal included some wonderful effects.


Pass Bys - 50 files, 381MB, 24/48, 24/96:

Another collection curated from Richard King’s private collection. Packed to the brim with Car (Electric and Petrol), Truck, Bus, and Motorbike pass bys, all captured pristinely. Captured outdoors with no noise or background issues within build ups or tails of sounds. Minimal processing would be needed to make this fit seamlessly into your projects.


Print - 50 files, 2.2GB, 24/96:

An in-depth collection of Printer recordings. Capturing each separate action and component, from multiple perspectives allowed the team behind this to get a range of high detail sounds, with huge potential for manipulation. As a bonus, you’ll also find some pre-designed sounds in both stereo, and surround to show what this versatile library is capable of.


Rain - 165 files, 13.47GB, 24/48, 24/96:

With a range of multichannel microphone set ups, and a custom-built rainshield, Mark Mangini painstakingly captured this library with the goal of avoiding rains that sound like white noise. And boy, did he achieve it. Rain is bursting with character. The unique textures that the impact, and movement of rain in each different location creates shines through in every recording. The inclusion of surround formats adds an extra layer of realism and immersion.


Sonomar Collection: Bass Machine - 720 files, 15GB, 24/96, 24/192:

Martin Pinsonnault and the team at Sonomar built a custom contraption to create this library. Captured using contact microphones and guitar pickups, then experimenting with editing, and manipulation techniques, they managed to bring to life one of the most unique, and inspiring libraries in this bundle.


Sonomar Collection: Crowds - 421 files, 31GB, 24/48, 24/96:

A fantastic collection of ambiences featuring an impressive variety of internal and external locations, from around the world. The inclusion of group walla, in various languages and locations makes this an incredibly useful library to have access too.


Sonomar Collection: Crystal Sing - 46 files, 790MB, 24/192:

Another great addition from Martin Pinsonnault and the Sonomar team. Created using 6 different types of glass, and a pair of Sennheiser MKH-8040 microphones. This could very well be the only library to cover this very distinct sound, not to mention how useful it would be as sound design elements.


Tires - 276 files, 9.25GB, 24/96:

Taken from the world-class Richard King Vehicle series, Tires includes not only external recordings of pass bys, stops, starts and skids, both with great detail and focus on the tire. But on board recordings with minimal engine interference due to great microphone placement.


Urban Elements - 344 files, 1.71GB, 24/48:

Recorded in Los Angeles by Eric A. Norris (Ford V Ferrari, Spiderman: Homecoming).The focus of this collection is bringing the immense level of detail that backgrounds need for maximum immersion. To capture iconic elements of the L.A/U.S soundscape, so cleanly, with such quality is a fantastic achievement.


Useful Interface = 753 files, 420MB, 16/48:

A collection of User Interface elements. Most sounds included are ready to use out of the box or as a layer in your sound design. Having these sounds in 24/96 or above for better quality manipulation would add more usability to this library.


Vault Door - 59 files, 2.01GB, 24/96, 24/192:

Captured by Chris Diebold (Spiderman: No Way Home) & Tobias Poppe (Jojo Rabbit). Being surrounded by concrete in the process gave the duo both isolation from unwanted noise, and massive sounding, natural reverbs. Resulting in a great sounding collection of huge metal recordings including doors, chains, gear rotations and more.


Vehicle Workup: 2001 Saleen Mustang - 11 files, 1.61GB, 24/48:

Every part of the Mustang you could need, was captured by Mark Mangini & Richard L. Anderson, in every perspective you could want for this in-depth library. With the unique sounds these cars make, the only downside to this addition being it’s the only car library to go into such detail included.


Water Flow - 40 files, 1.8GB, 24/48:

A stunning collection of flowing water through both internal and exterior locations. Yet another pristinely captured library from Martin Pinsonnault and the Sonomar team. Every single recording is the highest quality and suffers no issues with noise, even from pesky birds.


Waterphone - 27 files, 420.81MB, 24/96, 24/192:

Captured by Robert Kellough (Dune, Ant Man), this collection of instantly recognisable sounds come from the unusual instruments known as the Waterphone. Perfect for horror/thriller projects, or anything that needs some eerie sound design or tension build ups.


Waves, Wind, Water - 92 files, 21GB, 24/96:

Delivered in both Quad and Stereo to suit whatever your workflow, these carefully recorded sounds captured such great levels of detail, your audience will be transported beach side in an instant.


Wildlife Collection: Bengal Tiger - 150 files, 3GB, 24/192:

Recorded using multi microphone setups, including the Sanken CO-100K (Frequency response of 20Hz-100kHz) enabled Chris Diebold and the rest of the team to capture these sounds in incredible detail. Delivering a full, in-tact frequency spectrum for any sound design you may want to use these for. All the included effects sound amazing just dragging and dropping. Look no further for a Tiger library.


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