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MotionPulse BlackBox for Mac Review

A 24-bit collection of 2,000 FX samples that promises big impact. Does it live up to the hype?


Compatibility • OS X with 24-bit WAV/MP3 support (Compatible with most A/V apps) • Adobe Premiere/After Effects/Audition • Final Cut Pro, Logic Pro, Pro Tools • 6.6 GB HD install

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Price: £88.35/$149.95 (£117.81/$149.95 with ShockWave)

MotionPulse BlackBox is a new library of sound effects from the team at Video Copilot. Positioned alongside visual products such as particle visualiser ShockWave, BlackBox is very much a complementary bundle for aspiring sound editors – comprising some 2,000 samples over five packs. Encoded as 320kbs MP3s and the full-quality 24-bit, 96KHz WAV equivalents, you’ll need a good 7GB of storage to unpack the whole collection.

Although previewing both format sets is easy in OS X, you’ll want asset management tools like Adobe’s Bridge to integrate it quicker into a creative workflow. Files are arranged neatly enough and classes of sound total over 250 varieties and permutations over 35 categories. Sounds typically span metallic locking effects, gloopy fluids, big bass- laden impact noises, digital distortion, computer signal beeps, ominous whooshes and beyond. The breadth is startling and you really do contextualise each one very quickly.

Effects are so vivid and hyper- realistic that they instantly feel recognisable for the ideal types of usage. It’s slightly cliché but MotionPulse BlackBox succeeds in being a resource that inspires, providing a springboard for motion design rather than just supporting it. This is still specialist app territory though, as few will see enough value from the odd amateur project. However, BlackBox does straddle the intermediate to professional space rather well, delivering the kinds of sounds the big-budget production guys are already using to the envy of all below. BlackBox may succeed most in wowing hobbyists, college courses and advertising agencies.

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While it’s the norm for Hollywood film and trailer- makers to record bespoke HD samples, if you want that kind of quality and impact without crushing tin cans in a studio then this is it. Given the WAV/ MP3 provisions, support for A/V editing software is virtually universal. The latter probably only applies to those wanting the native WAV resolutions within say iMovie, but in truth most Mac- based editing will be via Final Cut or the Adobe suites. Versatility is further enhanced by a ‘Toolkit’ folder of component sounds. Add this to the sheer quality of this commercially savvy compilation and MotionPulse BlackBox offers ample bang for your buck.

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Pros Professional-grade quality, range of high-impact samples

Cons Specialist product, may not appeal in price, or to novices

Orange 4 Stars