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MotionPulse BlackBox review – get hyper-realistic HD sound effects

The MotionPulse BlackBox sound library contains 2000 24-bit FX samples – but is it a sound investment?


Works with:

  • Final Cut Pro & Logic Pro
  • Adobe Premiere, After Effects & Audition
  • Avid Pro Tools


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 designers – 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.

MotionPulseThere’s no application or installation process here, and 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. The files are arranged neatly enough, however, sorted primarily by Impact, Machine, Organic, Signal and Velocity libraries. Classes of sound are then grouped below this, totalling 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 application 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 bug-budget production guys are already using to the envy of all below. So while advanced sound editors may admire the affordability of effects available here without necessarily using them, BlackBox may succeed most in wowing hobbyists, college courses and advertising agencies. 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 and certainly nothing a swift AIFF conversion won’t fix. The latter probably only applies to those wanting the native WAV resolutions within say iMovie, but in truth most professional Mac-based editing will be via Final Cut or the Adobe suites. Versatility is further enhanced by a ‘Toolkit’ folder of component sounds, inviting a remixing of the default samples where desired. Add this to the sheer quality of this commercially savvy compilation and MotionPulse BlackBox offers ample bang for your buck.

Buy now?

Pros: Professional-grade sample quality, broad range of high-impact commercial samples

Cons: Specialist product, may not appeal in price or genre for novice applications

4 stars

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