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Product Review: Tommy Tallarico Studios' SFX Kit

Sound Ideas has released a new sound effects library designed specifically for the game and interactive entertainment industries, and it's pretty darned good. The SFX Kit, created by Tommy Tallarico Studios, boasts seven CDs comprising 19,655 game-relevant .WAV sound effects, arranged in 110 categories with an included searchable database for both Macintosh and PC. This collection's highlight is its utility - practically every sound effect can be plugged straight into a game off the shelf, either as a one-shot or ready-made loop.

Sound Ideas has released a new sound effects library designed specifically for the game and interactive entertainment industries, and it's pretty darned good. The SFX Kit, created by Tommy Tallarico Studios, boasts seven CDs comprising 19,655 game-relevant .WAV sound effects, arranged in 110 categories with an included searchable database for both Macintosh and PC. This collection's highlight is its utility - practically every sound effect can be plugged straight into a game off the shelf, either as a one-shot or ready-made loop. The library even comes packaged in a nice leather pouch for convenient portability.

Sound categories are far-reaching and grouped logically on each disk, ranging from aircraft, vehicles, and machinery to human sounds and footsteps, monsters and magic, sports, weapons, and sounds of destruction. Plenty of original sounds make production in any game genre topnotch. The eighth CD is the data disk, containing files in Excel format, comma-separated text, tab-delimited text, and a fully functional, searchable version of FileMaker Pro 5. With these, you can import the sound lists into current search software, or easily import any previous sound effects database into FileMaker.

For years, game sound designers who use the many film sound libraries available on the market have had to do so with a lot of extra work. Most libraries are released as audio CDs, and for game guys, ripping files between audio and .WAV formats can be cumbersome. With The SFX Kit, you can examine individual sounds right from the editor, and open it directly or save it to your hard drive. It's quick, painless, and saves a tremendous amount of time with a large project. This feature is by far the biggest selling point for me, so my hat's off to Tommy and his crew for making game audio professionals' lives easier.

But what good is a sound library unless it sounds good? The SFX Kit is professional grade both in quality of the sounds and the creativity behind them. I was able to listen to almost every sound in the library while working on a recent project, and except for a few overmodulated files and a limited amount of stereo files, the 44.1 kHz, 16-bit files sounded excellent. Joey Kuras, the creator of most of this library, is known in the industry for his sound design talent, and it is a treat to have his creations available for use.

Any discriminating sound designer knows you are only as good as your tools. With this set, you'll sound professional whether the sounds are used out-of-the-box or for use in making fresh, innovative sounds. At $695, this set is great for anyone in the videogame business who is serious about making their sounds stand out.

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