Category Archives: Blog Post

Holiday Freebies

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Co-host Timothy’s son ready to go for his first outdoor skate of the season!

It is that time of year again! When lots of SFX libraries make available free samples or entire collections at no cost.  All this to give back to the online Audio Pro community.  This is a great way to either jump start a new SFX library on your hard drive or beef up the the personal library you have been living with for years.

Check back regularly as we will try to keep adding to this list as we hear about more and more releases.  Participating in holiday freebies is becoming a bit of a annual tradition for many SFX providers and recordists.  So let us know if we missed anything or you are doing a give away yourself.

  • Airbourne Sound has a great library (30 sound files) of Jet Passes up right now.  Available as 96 kHz, 24-bit stereo WAV files.
  • ASoundEffect has an extra large free SFX pack of 1044 sounds.  The fine folks at  AntisampleDigital Rain Lab and Soundbits have teamed up to make it happen. (newsletter sign up required)
  • Alexander Ahura has a free library called Keys and Locks up currently.  This collection has got 144 sounds in 24 files, recorded in 24 bit/48 Khz.
  • has a cool set of giveaways going on all month.  This one is a little different from the others listed here.  You have to win the freebies – but it costs nothing to “enter”.  You just have to take part in their Designing Sound Exchange community forum.  And since it is an awesome resource you really should be a part of it already anyway!
  • The great folks at BOOM Library will be doing their annual Advent Calendar again this year.  Each leading up to the 25th of December they release something cool.  Sometimes it is a free mini library, other days it is special discounts, while other days feature special content like gear reviews or sound design work flow blogs.
  • Friend of our podcast and the man behind Mindful Audio, George Vlad, has just made a nice long recording of a thunder storm hitting Johannesburg.  Downloads are enabled on the soundcloud player for the clip.  You can go get it from his blog post featuring the story of how he recorded the storm.
  • The fine people at Boom Box Post have a cool new blog post about the best practices for recording water sound.  They have very kindly made a little library available for download featuring 10 examples of cool water recordings at 96k/24bit.
  • Our own René Coronado has let loose air traffic control centre SFX to celebrate his 17th anniversary working at Dallas Audio Post.  Get it here fast (won’t be there for long!)
  • Here is a note from Tim at Sonniss-The Sonniss Christmas Wishlist!’.  Simply head on over to our website and add a couple of items to your wishlist for your chance to win a free sound library this Christmas!     How to get involved:  1) Signup for an account on Sonniss if you don’t already have one.  2) Choose up to 3 items from our catalog and then add them to your wishlist. (You can find this functionality on each of the individual product pages).   3) Check your inbox on December 25th to see if you have won.  Pretty simple right? Winners will be randomly selected on Christmas day and gifts will be manually picked and personally sent out by yours truly.  Offer limited to 50 people. Good luck!
  • Not really a holiday thing – but still free….   Sergey Eybog from Lesser Vibes has a new library called “Artificial Life”.  It is a fun packed of raw and designed non-organic lifeforms, alien machinery and abstract expressive articulations.  There is a free sample version of the library with some really cool sounds.  Find it here at the bottom of the page.
  • Olivia Oliffka has made a recording of the Electromagnetic waves of an Internet Router available for free download.  Cool distortions and glitches.
  • Here is one that is not SFX but software.  DMG Audio has just released a useful plugin called Track Control and it is free right now.  All you have to do is set up an account with their site (also free)
  • Another bit of free Software is Sound Chopper II.  Thumbs up to Italian sound designer MATTEO CERQUONE for making this free after all the hard work he put into creating it.  There is a donate button on the site if you feel you want to kick a few bucks his way.
  • Audio Mangler has made a ton of cool SFX (over 4 gig) available for the holiday season.  Featuring a small selection of their forth coming sound libraries.  These sounds are cool but lack a lot of metadata – so you will have to do some work to get these all set up in your sound search app. (UPDATE: The folks at Audio Mangler reached out to clarify that they rushed the sound files to get them out for the Xmas holidays.  Meaning the metadata is not there yet because it is not ready.  They will be releasing a CVS file once they are set allowing you can merge it with the audio files)
  • Chuck Russom and his awesome Sound Effects Monkey SFX company are giving away a free collection featuring super high quality recordings of an M4 Carbine Assault Rifle.  Only available until New Years.
  • Native Instruments is giving away a cool virtual instrument based around the concept of antique toys.  Go get it here.
  • Chris Procopiou has put out this great mini library of distant jet passes.
  • The great and talented Frank Bry has made some gun recordings available for free download.  They were recorded with the SoundField ST450 MKII Ambisonic Microphone, and the download includes Stereo, 5.1 and Format B (if you want to decode the files into some other format of your choice)  This will be fun to play around with!
  • Out of Argentina Matias has put out a free sampler of his library releases from 2016.  Get it here.
  • Joshua Jay released a free set of drum samples he created. In this download there are pre-made drum racks for all you sound designers.
  • The folks at SampleTracks have released SineDust for free.  It contains 100 samples and 15 Kontakt Instruments based in the Photosynthesis engine. (email sign up required)
  • 344 Audio have released an ambiance recording of the interior of auto chop shop with all sorts of tools and machines happening at various times though out.  Check it out on SoundCloud as downloads are enabled.   It is labled as SOUND OF THE WEEK, so follow their Soundcloud account as there might be more stuff each week?
  • Listener of the our podcast Alex Thomas has made a great collection of mechanical sounds available to here.  It is a collection of recordings of an old ‘Paymaster’ adding machine.
  • Head over to SOUND EX MACHINA‘s site and sign up for their mailing list and you will get a bunch of links to pull down free “lite” versions of many of their libraries!
  • If you own the Hybrid Library from Pro Sound Effects make sure you grab the free update for owners that has 53 gig and great new sounds from Big Room Audio.
  • George at Mindful Audio has just put out an amazing free collection of some of his recordings from 2016.  This collection reflects his travels over the last 12 months and has recordings from South Africa, Scotland and Romania!  Get it here.
  • You might be too late if you were not already on the mailing list for Hiss and a Roar, but Tim Prebble has released a great collection of sounds to say thanks for the great year he has had.  If you head over to the HaaR site and sign up to the mailing list, you might be able to get the latest collection?  Not sure.
  • The folks at have made their Estey Reed Organ, a 1.8GB sampled 19th century pedal organ for Kontact available for FREE until Dec. 31st.  Get it here, then add it to your cart and use the coupon code: ESTEYFREE
  • Andreas Usenbenz is an active member of the online sound community and his SoundCatcher site has tons of cool SFX libraries.  One of them he has made available for free until the end of the year.  Go here, and add the Electric Cash Register to your cart and use the coupon code chrstms2016 at check out.
  • Frank Bry at The Recordist has released another free selection of great recordings made with his new Ambisonic mic.  There are format B and surround versions of each sound.  Get it here.
  • The fine folks at Collected Transients have made a cool library called Ice in a Vice available for free.  The name pretty much tells the story here.  Get it at their site.

Stay tuned for more as they are announced…….

Tell Us Your Story of Audio Glory – To Celebrate our 50th Episode!



UPDATE:  The deadline has passed and we got some really cool stories submitted by our awesome listeners.  Stay tuned for the 50th episode (coming soon!) to hear all their stories.  Thanks to all those who participated!! 

We have some great announcements for our up coming crowd sourcing episode.  We recently announced that we have asked our listeners to send us in their stories of times they have done the seeming impossible with the sound for a project.  If you missed the original announcement, you can read all the details here.

We have had a few requests to extend the deadline, so we are now moving it back to November 20th.  So you have a 5 more days to get in your two cents.

The best news, for anyone planning on contributing, is we have some fantastic prizes that only people who contribute to this episode will be eligible to win.  Everyone who enters WILL WIN a collection of Sound Effects from the personal SFX recordings of co-hosts Timothy Muirhead and René Coronado.  PLUS they will be entered to win one of the following:

Pro Sound Effects Urban Ambisonics Bundle


A super cool library.  Featuring Ambisonic recordings on Ambiences from New York City, Chicago and Tokyo.  This bundle also includes the software to decode all 134 of these recordings to mono, stereo, 5.1, 7.1 and beyond.

The Suppressed Weapons HD Pro Library from


This is super unique library of guns with suppressors recorded with up to 10 mics in various perspectives.  Recorded by Frank Bry one of the guests on our Firearms Recording episode.

A Code for 50 free downloads from Pro Sound Effects


Pick the 50 awesome sounds you want from the massive PSE on-line library of over 175,000 Sounds!

****We are hoping there will still be more prizes to give away but we are waiting on confirmation.  So stay tuned!******

Finally all of your submissions will make up what will be Tonebenders 50th episode!  We wanted to celebrate this humble milestone by getting our listeners involved and focusing on the positives of our work.

So get out your mics and tell us about your best day on the job.  Get some free sounds for your effort, and help us celebrate over four years and 50 episodes of The Tonebenders Sound Design Podcast!


Here’s how to participate:

1.  Grab a mic.

2.  Collect your thoughts.  (srsly, don’t skip this)

4.  Introduce yourself (name, where you are in the world, twitter handle or your website if you want)

5.  Tell your story for about 5-10 minutes.  This is both a long and a short length of time, so get to the heart of the issue quickly and dive in.

6.  Email a link to

Submission deadline is midnight on November 20th.  (We reserve the right to edit submissions for length or to exclude submissions.)

Rene and I will play to your clips and then talk about what you were able to do in an upcoming episode of Tonebenders.

So show us what you got.  This will be fun!

Have you ever pulled off the impossible with audio? Tell us about it…..

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Update #2: Prizes have been announced and the deadline extended to November 20th.  Full details here.

Update: We have got some great prizes for people who contribute a story to this.  Cool SFX Libraries will be up for grabs, some of which are worth hundreds of dollars!  So send us your story of audio glory by Nov. 15th.

Have you ever managed to pull off an audio magic trick?  By that I don’t mean an act of clever misdirection where the audience is fooled, although that is always a great thing.  More like when you get a project that has a particular challenge and you have no idea how you are going to solve it.  Then with some hard work, experimentation and a bit of luck you manage pull a rabbit out of the hat and make a beautiful soundtrack moment.   It is one of the greatest, if not thee greatest, moments you can come across in the audio post profession.

About 15 years ago I was working on a nature documentary series that was narrated by a character actor who was very busy with a budding film career.  This meant his availability to come in and record the narration for each new episode was a scheduling nightmare.  We were recording late at night, or on weekends all the time.  He was a great guy and easy to work with, once you got him in the booth, so for the most part this was no big deal.  As the series came to a close, the actor was cast in a film being shot in a remote part of Africa.  To allow him to be a part of this other project, our production agreed to record the last three episodes all together in one mega session.  This would allow him to leave the continent without our show having to find a new narrator to finish off the season.  The record session went great and he was off on his trek across the planet.

But then…….

Some one had made a mistake in one of the scripts! The episode about underwater animals mistakenly had one of the creatures, identified by an incorrect term.  This was a reputable show and it was important to get the facts correct, so we had to fix it.  With our narrator unreachable, the producer came to me with the task of finding a way to magically make the narration say the phrase “Sea Anemone”.  It also would have to cut cut in mid sentence with out it sounding out of place with the rest of the narration.  Also nothing much was happening in the shot this line was to sit over.  There was no big music or SFX build to hide these edits in.  I told the producer that this was going to be a really tall task, and I was not sure what could be done.  I also warned them that even if we did find a solution it might be an ugly one.

On the plus side, I had 12 other episodes worth of our actors narration to try to pull words/syllables/sounds from.  So I went digging into all the previous material we had recorded over the past 5 or 6 months.  Since I had engineered all those sessions I had easy access to both the final takes used in the show, and all the unused takes as well.  So I got to work.  After many hours of trying what seemed like endless combinations I had created a new perfect take.  In creating “Sea Anemone” from scratch, I was able to grab a “See” from one episode, the beginning of an “and” from another and then I stole the word “enemy” from a third show.  By playing with a bunch of different takes of all of these, I somehow managed to build a Frankenstein line that did not sound like it had been cobbled together at all.  It also matched up with the rest of the sentence really well.

I was amazed how well it worked.  I never thought I would be able to build anything nearly as good as this turned out.  I played it for the client and they were even happier with the fix then I was.  One of the producers actually gave me a spontaneous high five!?  It was a great feeling to be the hero of the production.

So here is my question to you – Have you ever pulled off the impossible with audio?  If you have let us know.  Record yourself telling your tales of sound  miracles and send the audio file to us for use in a future Tonebenders episode.  For bonus points you can even include clips (before and after maybe?) of what you achieved.  It can be an amazing dialog clean up that saved a scene that was shot in a loud environment (RX to the rescue!).  Or sound design for some crazy device that doesn’t actually exist, or how you used sound to fix a major continuity problem in the picture.    I am sure there are a million different versions of how sound can save the day, so lets hear yours!

Here’s how to participate:

1.  Grab a mic.

2.  Collect your thoughts.  (srsly, don’t skip this)

4.  Introduce yourself (name, where you are in the world, twitter handle or your website if you want)

5.  Tell your story for about 5-10 minutes.  This is both a long and a short length of time, so get to the heart of the issue quickly and dive in.

6.  Email a link to

Submission deadline is midnight on November 15th.  (We reserve the right to edit submissions for length or to exclude submissions.)

Rene and I will play to your clips and then talk about what you were able to do in an upcoming episode of Tonebenders.

So show us what you got.  This will be fun!



Batman SLap
Not sure where this comic frame came from, it popped up my twitter feed years ago, but it always makes me laugh!

Over the last 4 years, whenever we have pitched potential guests to join us on an episode of the podcast, we have always told them “we have the best listeners around”. At the beginning we only suspected this to be true, but as time has gone on, it has been proven over and over again.

In episode 44 we asked if any listeners would be interested in volunteering some time to help us edit future episodes.  Basically we have been doing all the work to put out the podcast for free (to be honest the podcast runs a financial deficit for us), as a labour of love, and we were asking for a some help. We were a little nervous because we really had no idea what the response from listeners would be. Asking for assistance with out much to offer in return is not exactly an attractive proposition. There was a very real possibility that the response would be a deafening silence. If that was the case would have still continued on, but it would have been a bit deflating for our morale.

Amazingly that did not happen at all. Since the episode went live we have been receiving a steady flow of emails from listeners telling us they are more then willing to throw their hats in the ring to help out. People from all over the world have contacted us to volunteer – and that is not hyperbole. Literally all over the world! Volunteers have reached out from Australia, South Africa, Finland, Brasil, U.S.A., U.K., Japan and many other points around the globe. So far no one has stepped up from Antarctica though…… c’mon Antarctica, where you at?

This is a much bigger response to our call for help then we were expecting. We can not tell you how much we appreciate everyone who has volunteered. The other great thing about all this has been all the kind words and enthusiasm for the podcast people have expressed. Most of the people who contacted us included a brief outline of the work they are doing in sound. It is so great to hear all the various jobs and roles our listeners have in sound design, audio post, location and field recording. Some of you are just getting your careers started while others are long established pros who have worked on huge games,  film or TV projects.

We can’t tell you enough how amazing it is that we can talk into our microphones in our hometowns and people in all corners of this planet are listening. It really is overwhelming.

Now I think we have enough volunteers to proceed moving forward. If you still want to volunteer, feel free, but it might be a while before we get to you. Our plan is to go down the list of volunteers in the order we received them. Some episodes will have to be edited by René or I,  just because of the nature of their content, while others will be perfect to get help with. Given the response we might even try some different ideas out for the podcast, maybe try a few assignments to see what people come up with. Who knows where this might lead? This is an experiment, and we are not sure how it will turn out. There is a very real chance that farming edits out to volunteers ends up being more difficult then we thought. We will see.

However this turns out we just wanted to send out a huge thanks to all our listeners. Once again you have proved, beyond a doubt, our listeners are the best.

the impostor syndrome episode prep

The imposter syndrome is real, and we’re here to talk about it.

I’d like to put out a call to all sound designers who want to contribute some thoughts to the next episode dealing with the imposter syndrome.

Here’s how to participate:

  1.  Choose a topic:
  • how industry or company culture influence creative insecurities
  • how attempts to avoid failure affect the odds of failure
  • comparing your own work to that of people with much more/less experience than you

2.  Grab a mic

3.  Collect your thoughts.  (srsly, don’t skip this)

4.  Introduce yourself

5.  Discuss for about 5-10 minutes.  This is both a long and a short length of time, so get to the heart of the issue quickly and dive in.

6.  email a link to

Submission deadline is midnight on March 31st.  (We reserve the right to edit submissions for length or to exclude submissions.)

I’ll make my own contribution and then create a compilation episode out of what we get from you guys.

This is a real opportunity to get right into something that we all struggle with.  Pick the subject that is the most difficult to discuss, and make your weakness into a strength!