A COLLABORATIVE POST WITH INTRODUCTION BY
ASSISTANT EDITOR, BOOM BOX POST
Today's blog post is a spotlight on audio tools. I'm using the word "tool" in a broad sense, to mean anything used in conjunction with a set of skills to accomplish work or goals. I've asked several Boom Box Post editors to tell me about their favorite tools used when working with audio. This could be a plug-in, a collection of sound effects, a microphone or even a technique they have learned or developed.
Design-wise, I love Melted Sounds Whoosh. That one is great. You can do a lot with it, create a lot of useful custom whooshes. You can give a lot of character to the action on the screen using custom whooshes and effects like this. Soundminer is obviously invaluable. I used to cut out of the workspace, and Soundminer has increased my speed and efficiency tenfold! As a general tool, having a personal SFX library, which you can always be adding to and building on, is really important. I’m constantly adding to and building my library, I love it.
The Soundmorph sound effects are my favorite, everything they make is really solid. If there’s a sound available from Soundmorph, then that’s the one I’m using. One of my favorite tools for sound designing is a granulator. I use Omnisphere 2, you can custom load any sample, you can granulate, attach LFOs, play sounds like a keyboard, modulate and have complete control over pretty much any parameter, which is great. I also love using Altiverb. I’m a reverb fanatic, so any time i get to bust out a nice convolution reverb is great. I really enjoy the cave IR samples that came with Altiverb, I love how they sound!
I rarely do anything crazy like bust out Reaktor or anything like that, but I use Var-fi a lot, I think it gets taken for granted. I use it all of the time, especially with cars, I have to slow things down and speed things up quite often. I also like the Waves Soundshifter Graphic plugin. That’s normally used for cartoony moments, to manipulate pitch, but I do use it for car engines sometimes. I also use it to add suspense, to help something build up over time. I also use the random LFO in Kontakt a lot. If I need to use variations of a sound a lot, I'll randomize it in Kontakt.
I haven’t been using them lately but I really like reverbs for sound design purposes, I have TL Space at home and I really dig Altiverb, for sound design type purposes. I use reverb to add coloring, make things sound huge, create reverse effects, stuff like that. I also like to fatten things up with the L2 limiter, to add some heat and make it sound loud. R-Bass is also good for beefy-ness. Those are my main utility ones, and also reverse, kind of lame but I use it all the time. Also EQ filters, I use them everyday to clean up and tweak SFX I pull from the library. I sometimes like the Waves Doubler, just to play around. Actually for doing like computer-y weird stuff, I enjoy the basic Sci-Fi plug-in. You can create distorted weird, computer telemetry like stuff, and nice textures.