Benchmark:Fresh Music Library Fresh Produce Production Elements and Sound Effects Library
A Foley Artist in a Can



Fresh Produce Production Elements and Sound Effects Library

($295)

Fresh Music Library

34 South Main St.

Hanover, NH 03755

(800) 545-0688

www.freshmusic.com

In a film or video, it’s the little things that make a difference. One of these little things is the sound that accompanies visual images. While hobbyist videographers might be content with the ambient sounds they get from the locations where they shoot, more advanced videographers like to take charge of the audio environments in their productions. The Fresh Produce and Production Elements and Sound Effects Library gives the advanced videographer a bevy of natural and synthetic sounds to add to his or her production. This buyout sound effects library is priced comparatively with other sound effects libraries, so it is the quality of the effects that make the difference.

Cause and Effect

The Fresh Produce Production Elements and Sound Effects Library comes on six separate CDs. Each 99-track disc contains approximately 50 production elements and 50 sound effects. The production elements are categorized into logos, sci-fi/scary, bells/textures, horribleness, soundscapes/textures, drones/pulses, pulse, produced transitions, guitar transitions/tags, bass riffs/tags, tension/drama cues, piano/organ elements, bell/xylophone elements, stabs/zaps, percussion elements, sweepers and miscellaneous musical elements. The sound effects are categorized into ambiences, animals, miscellaneous synth effects, water, sports, human, impacts, transportation, produced s/fx, machines, nature and explosions/wind. While the production elements categories are grouped on the six discs, some of the sound effects categories are split between two discs (with categories such as more impacts, more transportation, more humans and more household filling up volumes five and six).

The CDs have high production value, with clear sound. They also use innovative stereo effects on some of the sound effects. For example, when you play the "single skier by" sound effect, the skier clearly starts on the right speaker, and moves along to the left speaker. Most of the sound effects sound like they were recorded in live settings, except for the miscellaneous synth effects, which sound like they came from a keyboard.

A Rave Review

If there is a weak link in the Fresh Produce Production Elements and Sound Effects Library, it is that some of the production elements sound highly synthetic. This works alright for the soundscapes/textures and drone/pulse categories. We expect them to sound canned, like techno-rave music. However, with guitar transitions/tags, we’re hoping to hear the clean woody sound of a guitar, not a heavily processed, synthesized guitar-like keyboard sound.

The wide variety of sound effects that the library covers balances all worries about the synthetic sound of some of the production elements. There are short logos, sweepers for transitions and other short musical bits. Most of the production elements run about 10 seconds, plenty long for quick transitions. It is important to remember that this isn’t a buyout music disc; it’s a buyout sound effects and production elements disc. If you are looking for longer bits of music, then you’ll have to look elsewhere.

Freshen Up

One other mildly annoying thing about the library: the producers occasionally stacked several short effects on the same track. For example, there might be three 3-second drum cuts on the same track. This is due to the CD format’s maximum of 99 tracks per disc. The producers didn’t want to create a seven-disc library of shorter discs, so they stacked some of the really short tracks together. This could make cueing one of these stacked effects frustrating for the video editor, especially if you have to manually fast-forward through two effects to get to the one you want on a particular track.

The Fresh Produce Production Elements and Sound Effects Library is a valuable tool for advanced videographers who want to take their video productions to the next level with the addition of sound effects. The discs also contain a variety of short musical blurbs and longer ambience keyboard compositions to add to any production. If you’re in the market for a sound effects library, and want to get some musical elements while you’re at it, the Fresh Produce Production Elements and Sound Effects Library is worth a listen. On their Web site, you can order a free sample disc, or listen to sample tracks in QuickTime.

Tech Specs: Fresh Produce Production Elements and Sound Effects Library (Volumes one through six)

Total time: 327 minutes, 3 seconds

Total tracks: 594

strengths

  • Well-organized
  • Use of stereo effects
  • Impressive variety

weaknesses

  • Music sounds synthetic
  • Use of multiple "takes" on a single track

summary: An extensive six CD library that has great sound effects, but overly-digital, synthetic-sounding music tracks.

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