Sampletraxx Custom Tools Review: Spine-Tingling Sounds For Your Next Cinematic Masterpiece

Sampletraxx have developed a reputation for delivering really hard hitting, cutting edge sounds for media composers, with a focus on trailer sound design. I was introduced to them via their Braams pack which is an incredibly useful collection of monstrous braams (as the name suggests – wait, you might wonder what the hell are these braams?), and have been a fan since. Here they are with a brand new library, Custom Tools – eerie, high tech sounds for the modern Composer & Sound Designer.

Custom Tools – What’s Inside?

Probably the first thing I noticed when opening up the folder was that there were no Kontakt files – which is fairly common with this company, and I know it is the preference of many composers (including mine) to drag WAV files directly into their DAW, however I was so impressed with the sounds from Custom Tools that I wish I could break them up and use elements of the sound instead of just the baked in final version (ie a braam with a hit in it). The way things are, it’s definitely harder to mess with the sound and disguise it, but it’s not a deal breaker for me as the sounds (over 500 .Wavs) are just really good and there’s plenty of variety.

Custom Tools – The Sound

These sounds tend to be on the Sci-Fi / Horror side of things – there’s creepy high pitched feedback sounds, risers (up to 90 sec), big metallic twisted impacts, eerie reverses, braams and heaps more. I really like the pings and impacts in particular, and I’m sure in just a few months we are going to start to hear many of these sounds in trailers. I want to see this pack do well, of course – but at the same time, I secretly wish I had this library to myself!

The sounds here are instantly usable, sinister, and larger than life. If you liked previous Sampletraxx libraries such as the above-mentioned Braams and Torsion, you will know exactly what to expect here.

This video and the playlist below give you a pretty good idea of the type of cue you can create with this pack:

Custom Tools – Who’s It For?

As a trailer composer, I think you can never have too many FX libraries. There are definitely some sound designers out there shaking their heads, but for those of us (like me) who lack in the sound design department, or just need some fresh material, libraries like this are an absolute gem…And I know other composers agree because I hear Sampletraxx in plenty of trailers.

I would recommend this library to anyone looking for an expansion to their palette, especially in regards to reverses, creepy high pitched squeaks, braams, pings and otherwise industrial, hard-hitting sounds. I wouldn’t recommend it as a starting SFX library, or as a base library — their “Braams” library is definitely a go-to for that department, but otherwise I would recommend this as an addition to a collection. Newcomers looking for the best bang for their buck might want to look at Keepforest’s Evolution series, or for more control, the AizerX kits.

I secretly wish I had this library to myself!

Custom Tools – Final Call

Custom Tools is a great addition to any trailer composers collection, but the sounds are also highly usable for film & video game settings, and there are even some foley type sounds in there too. I wish there was more control over some of the sounds, even just more separation in the WAVs, but still – this is a great library with loads of high quality, spine-tingling sounds for your next cinematic masterpiece (well, it might be with these sounds). Pure out of the box gold.

Right now, Custom tools is available for €99 and includes your choice of a free Sampletraxx soundpack!

Written by Chris Hurn
Chris Hurn is a composer from New Zealand. He writes for several trailer and production music libraries, and is currently working on a couple of video game scores. His website is http://www.chrishurn.com.

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