Company: Pro Sound Effects Product: Hybrid Library 2018
Price: $995 for Freelancers - Ends Dec 17th
$3,995 for Companies. Our Rating: 4.9/5
The seminal general sound effects library for a new wave of Sound Designers and Audio Post Production Studios. The Hybrid Library is the best way to get a head start building your sound library now to compete with larger studios. We listened through over 65,000 effects to bring you our most comprehensive review ever.
The Hybrid Library by Pro Sound Effects (PSE) is an extensive general sound effects library aimed at freelancers and post sound studios. The package is mailed out to you, and you are provided with an online account to take an advantage of the included extras.
When our review copy arrived at 344 HQ from New York, it was quite an exciting moment. Knowing the quality of some of the other products, it was a nice feeling to load the drive in and start browsing the wide range of effects.
The library contains 65,000+ sounds totalling 400GB provided on a 1TB hard drive formatted for Windows and Mac, which is included in the price (covered by a 3 year failure warranty). Files are provided in a variety of formats ranging from 16Bit 44.1kHz to 24Bit 96kHz Broadcast WAV. There are mono, stereo and 5.1 effects included in many categories. The library includes extensive metadata and is organised into folders for your convenience.
Other benefits include access to a web based version of the Hybrid Library, which contains most of the sound effects, so that if you are working from another studio, you can open it up and get started downloading right away. This web store search allows an easy to use, 'download all selected' feature for grabbing effects in bulk and at speed. This leaves much to be desired from competitors.
There is an included $100 voucher, which can be spent as part of a purchase, it can be spread across multiple purchases, or it can be used to add to your library over time through their online web store which contains over 250,000 sound effects. We recommend investing this into their The Odyssey Collection: Vehicles Basic to help bolster the vehicle workups available to you.
You also have access to a 90 day trial of Basehead, a useful sound effects search software which allows you to organise and navigate your offline libraries, with metadata search functions. It’s likely you’ll already own a search software if you are making this purchase, but our go-to option is Soundly.
Freelancers are offered special pricing for the library (usually $1,995) with studios paying ($3995). The most exciting thing to discuss in this review is that you can currently purchase PSE Hybrid Library for $995 as a Freelancer (ends Dec 16th) - the lowest price EVER, which is frankly a no brainer. The best value for money ever in a general library of this size, and a great tool for increasing productivity.
Quality vs. Quantity
We promised an extensive review, and we delivered. We listened through every category of sounds in this library and almost covered the entire file selection over a number of days. The result of this can be found in our Categories of Irresistible Effects section at the bottom of the page, where we logged our initial thoughts (unedited) so that you can get a genuine feel for what is included and it’s quality from a professional user. As a general note, this library surprised us in some ways. It has a lot of content and the quality of each sound effect is great. Even though sounds are pulled from a variety of sources and recordists, there is a good cross section of perspectives and frequency responses in the effects, to make them as usable as possible in multiple scenarios. For example, the Guns section includes realistic, transient like effects, as well as covering larger than life distorted sounds for that Hollywood vibe. The coverage is more than enough to get you started, and if you had to, this library could be the last thing you ever purchased, which could be accented with personal recordings and design. All general libraries have their weaknesses, But thankfully PSE update the library from time to time to help alleviate any of these.
The inclusion of 5.1 effects is really a winner too, with mature choices made instead of recording in 5.1 to tick boxes. PSE recorded 5.1 effects that will really benefit your tracklay, demonstrating their knowledge and experience in sound effects editing. Something which is also important to mention, is the overall look and feel of this product strikes us as the start of a new age of general effects libraries, which help the independent sound designers and studios by offering affordable ways to compete with industry giants. There is a quality to a lot of the effects here (particularly those recorded by Blastwave) that inspire further design, and ignite those audio brainwaves that inspire us day by day in our pursuits of flawless sound. Furthermore, there is an attention to detail, things like aircraft turbulence add that professional edge to otherwise empty scenes. There are included sounds that are hard to find even in independent boutique libraries.
PSE Hybrid Library just screams 'hollywood' as you listen through, and it sounds so good that each effect feels designed and destined for it's intended use. Using this library stills make a film sound unique, unlike general libraries of the past, which are recognisable even to the general public. It will ignite the inner sound designer within you, and give you creative starting points for custom design. Quality AND quantity.
Some nice inclusions for the future would be to have a complete offline search software included. With PSE's development of so many new libraries and a huge online database, perhaps they could create an offline version of their website's search engine for all purchasers.
There were also a couple of categories that needed more variety in the library. No doubt with upcoming additions that PSE provide these will be fleshed out. Make sure you read below to get our first impression of every section.
The Bottom Line
The ultimate sound effects library for the 21st century sound designer/sound effects editor. It will get you out of a lot of tight spots, and cover you when those unrealistic deadlines hit on the most demanding of projects.
Categories of Irresistible Effects
Check out our verdict of each category in the library, so that you know what to expect:
Acid - Burning melting acid.
Air - Those tasty, cinematic air bursts.
Helicopters - A very good variety of movements and vehicles.
Jets - Very good for distant airplane pass by effects.
Misc - The turbulence in this section screams 'Snakes on a Plane'.
Prop Planes - A little less of an extreme speed than the jets.
Alarms - All of the common alarms you would expect/need for a film.
Battle - These really put you into the space, including a 5.1 effect.
Exotic - Needs more content, but this is fleshed out in the 'birds’ section.
Industrial - Think Star Wars Episode II Geonosis factory in 5.1!
Jungle - Some useful effects, more would be nice.
Misc - Mostly designed/abstract effects.
Nautical - Quite useful.
Public Places - Good filler for many scenes.
Roomtone - A nice selection, with some in 5.1, very good.
Rural - Some very unique moments have been captured here.
Suburban - Lacking some general residential FX like those from BBC library.
Technical - Useful sounds of auto repair shops, factories and computer rooms.
Urban - Great city backdrops.
Walla - Lacks a little substance, although the included sound very natural.
Animals - Has some very well isolated sounds of frogs, the bullfrogs sound very interesting and exotic - definitely some of the best frog sounds we've heard. But why are these the only animals? Perhaps this section should be Amphibians, as there is also a Birds and Mammals section.
Arrows - Has some excellent pass bys that could be use for magic or sci fi design elements.
Beeps - Excellent UI sounds, pretty much everything beep related you'll need.
Bells - Same note as previous, very extensive.
Exotic - Has a nice variety or creepy/abstract bird sounds perfect for alien planets or unknown island jungles.
Land - Whip bird, excellent moments captured.