Grant Borland

Composer for Television, Film, Trailers, & more

Composer for Film, Television, Advertisements 

The Top 5 Trailer Libraries Under $100

Looking for modern sounding trailer libraries that won’t break the budget? Here’s my top five libraries I’d recommend all under $100.

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If you’re anything like me you’ll know that the search for great sounding trailer SFX libraries never really ends and that can get expensive for most composers today. While it’s hard to ignore the companies that put out great products on what feels like a daily basis, realistically there’s no way anyone wants to get caught up spending thousands of dollars chasing that modern sound. So what can we do? Creating our own sounds is probably the best method, but with tight deadlines approaching and lack of fresh, inspiring sounds, we find ourselves reaching into our wallets to find that perfect sample.


In this article I want to share some of my favorite libraries/soundpacks that not only saved my tracks, but also my bank account!


  1. AVA Music Group - INSTINCT ($99)

Starting off at number one, i’d like to talk about this sample library called “Instinct”.

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Instinct is a trailer SFX library that came out about a year ago. The sounds within it are specifically aimed at trailer production including various hits, whooshes, risers, phrases, braaams, drones, loops, etc…. The reason a lot of composers will recommend this library is because of the high quality samples compressed into this sound pack. This library contains 100 samples which could be argued isn’t that much, but every single one of these samples is worth its weight in gold. Odds are you won’t be wasting time cycling through hundreds of patches finding a usable sound - with Instinct, you’re bound to find an extremely inspiring sound within a few clicks.

PERSONAL FAVORITE PATCH: Whoosh Bangs

It’s extremely hard to choose a favorite patch because I use them all so frequently, but there is something about the whoosh bangs that really stands out to me as opposed to other libraries. QUICK TIP: If you’re finding that it’s hard to get the whoosh bang to line up on time with the rest of your track, bounce the whoosh bang to a WAV. file and drop it into your track. In doing this you will be able to see the samples’ transient which makes it easy to line up on the grid. Hope that helps some of you guys!

If you’re unsure about buying this library they offer a FREE version of it that consists of 20 samples extracted from the full library so you can test it out for yourself!

BUY THE LIBRARY HERE: https://products.avamusicgroup.com/instinct#section--61545

A quick look at INSTINCT below


2. Sampletraxx - Braams ($53)

The best way to find quick hook sounds, and larger than life braams.

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To be honest, I wish I had heard of sampletraxx sooner. Braams was one of the first sample libraries I purchased from them, and It was love at first sound. I’d say more often than not, Braams is one of the first libraries I pull up when starting a new trailer track. There is just something that’s so right about the sounds in this pack. It’s like an instant “hook sound” Library to me, especially the designed braams patch. At $53 you really can’t go wrong. This library could be twice the price and i’d still highly recommend it to other composers. Ever since I started using Braams I’ve became a loyal customer of Sampletraxx, and have picked up many libraries from them (all of which are insanely affordable).

An additional bonus to this library is that it features an extra folder of single hit/impact, whoosh, passbys which are great to layer in your own sound design!

Personal Favorite Patch: BRAAMS_DESIGNED
While all the sounds in this library are phenomenal, the designed patch is by far my personal favorite. The sound design slaps you in the face, and is instantly ready for the big screen. The Braams Bass Patch is another honorable mention. Both of those are my go to patches when starting a track.

FEATURES:

Formant: WAV + Kontakt 5.5 Full version required (FREE PLAYER NOT SUPPORTED)

Content: 820mb - 130 WAV files 24bit 96k with pitch information

7 Kontakt instruments dedicated kontakt GUI via Photosynthesis Engine

BUY BRAAMS: http://www.sampletraxx.com/release/braams

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3. Sampletraxx - Bleed ($54)

Complete sound design madness - A trailer composers paradise!

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Like Sampletraxx’s library “Braams”, Bleed is a sound design library that is ran through the photosynthesis engine designed for the full version on Kontakt. Where Braams’ focus is on deep brass sounds, bleed takes the route of sci-fi sound design which features hi-tech hits and impacts, stingers, sophisticated transition and passbys, visceral stutters, risers, etc…. I really enjoy this library because it’s an instant inspiration machine for me. In similar ways to braams, Bleed is a go to library when i’m first starting a trailer track. There’s just something about it that sets the tone for a lot of my tracks. This library has 9 different patches within it and is made up of 270 samples all recorded at 96k/24bit. (The size of the library is around 1.5gb)

Personal Favorite Patch: LARSEN

I think the Larsen patch is my favorite patch in Bleed because the sound design is so unique. The sounds within it are so nasty, but in the most beautiful way possible. If you’re looking to add some eerie sci-fi grit to your tracks this patch is made for you. It’s incredibly inspiring, and i’m positive you’ll hear it start to work its way into your trailer templates (if you’re into that kind of thing). PRO TIP: if you purchase this library DO NOT OVERLOOK THE HITDESIGN PATCH (I love using that patch almost as much as Larsen).

BUY BLEED HERE: http://www.sampletraxx.com/release/bleed

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4. Epic Stock Media - Asylum ($69)

A sound pack aimed at all things horror!

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While most of the products Epic Stock Media creates is aimed at sound design for video games, I found myself fairly surprised at how useful their library “Asylum” was for trailer music. They don’t market this sound pack as a “trailer sound pack”, and in a lot of ways this library really isn’t your typical hits/riser/braam type library, but I do think that it has been somewhat difficult to find really good horror sounds to incorporate in my horror-styled trailer tracks. This library features 504 samples all recorded at 192k/24bit. Some of the sound files include, “ Screeches, Drones, Stingers, Impacts, Dynamic Risers, Whooshes, Groans, Creaks, Psychotic Textures and Movements, eerie tones and so much more! At $69 you could consider this library a steal - Like all the libraries i’ve mentioned in this article, they’re a source of instant inspiration for the composer looking to save a little money.

One thing to be aware of is that this is a sound pack as opposed to a sample library, so it won’t run in an engine like Kontakt or UVI Workstation. When you download this you will have a folder with sounds you can drag and drop into your tracks. That being said, my favorite “Patch” or “Folder Category” would be the Textures folder. All those sounds are completely terrifying, and you can be assured that it will make any track you’re working on absolutely horrifying!

BUY ASYLUM HERE: https://epicstockmedia.com/product/asylum/

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5. Keepforest AizerX Free Try Pack ($0)

Without a doubt the best free sound pack to ever exist.

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Keepforest’s AizerX Free Try Pack is an absolute no brainer. These sounds are absolutely incredible and the quality of these samples is extremely high. If you want a modern trailer sound, get this free sound pack. If you’re a composer who is interested in getting into trailer music, start off with this set of samples, and you’ll definitely be able to get the sounds you’re looking for without having to spend hundreds of dollars with startup libraries. Keepforest has a series called AizerX which consists of 3 different libraries (at the time of writing this article) aimed at modern trailer sound design - these libraries are fantastic, but are over the $100 price point so won’t be mentioned here. However, 100+ of those AizerX samples have been bundled together in this “Free Try Pack” to use as a demo into the upgraded versions. Best part is all of these free try pack samples are royalty free!

The Free Try Pack consists of two independent parts: the Kontakt Library and WAV files to work with the samples directly. The Kontakt library might be a good place to start if you’re thinking of upgrading to the full versions because you can get a feel for how the AizerX engine works.

Favorite Patch: Tonal

Although I strictly use the WAV’s when I use this library, my favorite thing to do to is explore keep forest’s tonal samples - I’ve been using these a lot in my recent trailer tracks, and it’s a refreshing sound to me! Also…. the hits are massive in this pack, just saying! It won’t take too much layering to get those hits just the way you want them - beefy and cutting edge!

PICK UP THIS FREE SOUNDPACK: https://keep-forest.com/aizerx-free.html

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Closing Thoughts

While it’s great to use samples from various sound designers always keep in mind that the sound design you create from scratch really gives you an advantage when it comes to developing your own sound. A lot of composers are using the same samples so it’s very common that certain sample libraries will go “out of date” after a couple of years because publishers and editors are always looking for new sounds. Using these sample packs are great for tight deadlines, but if you have some time try creating your own signature sounds to use in your future tracks. You’ll be more proud and happier with those tracks because you’ll have sounds no one else has!

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