Today we will be reviewing a small giant of a sound effects library from Best Service named Studio Mark III. Since I haven’t heard of this pack before I was very interested in what it has to offer. Let us have a peek.
Studio Mark III is available via download or if you desire so, via mail in a nice little Best Service box. Inside the relatively big box you will find a small USB key where all of the 30 GB files will be waiting for you to play with.
There are literary tens of thousands of samples here and most can be used for any occasion but one might find an issue with that. Quantity VS quality or worse, quantity over quality. Well, to answer that we have to examine who will use this kind of pack. Anyone needing samples for every occasion would be the correct answer but I don’t think that will be the case. First of all, sound designers might feel left out a bit since the quality of the samples is set to be a CD standard (44KHz / 16 bit) and in some cases broadcast standard 48 KHz 24 bit. Now, we might be spoiled here a bit since most libraries today ship in 192 KHz 24 bit. Rates and hertz aside, I think many production houses and video game developers might find this sort of library easy to afford and useful.
Don’t get me wrong, the library isn’t bad and surely it is rich on the content. The whole library consists of 4 main categories. The categories are as follows:
1. Cinema + Game
All of the main categories are then split into various parts. Since there are so many, I will skip the listing of the categories. You can however check them out by clicking the following link. Click here for full list of sounds. As I have stated there is no shortage of content in Studio Mark III but let us see how it compares to the quality of the samples.
I have mixed feelings about the quality. There are plenty of samples that are well recorded, namely in the “Nature” category. Lots of cool stuff in the “Technical” category as well but “Cinema and Game” and “Human” have some samples that I found a bit useless. Not many but just enough to make me cringe a little bit. That said, I think Studio Mark III is a good source or one stop for general purpose library. The overall quality is decent but not ground breaking. You have to remember that editing possibilities will be a bit limited in terms of stretching the files but can work really well for layering with other samples.
Value vs Price
Studio Mark III will cost you 399 EUROS which certainly isn’t cheap but you have to understand that you are buying an all-purpose library and not a niche library. Sure, a niche library offers more specific recordings and at a better sample rate but it may also lack in content and variety.
The questions is; does Studio Mark III justify its price? If you are a sound designer looking for an all-purpose library to have and to be able to use royalty free at a reasonable price, then yes. If you are a video game designer without a sound designer (not a really good option but it happens) and looking for some sounds, then yes.
Personally, I think that Studio Mark III is a good investment if you need a general purpose library but if you want more options (in terms of editing) then you’re better off searching for an alternative.
Studio Mark III isn’t ground breaking and it has its flaws but the price is fairly good for an all purpose sound library and it contains some great and rare sounds.
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