Sound Design izotope-iris2-featured

Published on June 3rd, 2015 | by David Forshee

Sound Design With Iris 2 + The Hybrid Library

As a sound designer for inde­pen­dent film, I look for tools that get the job done quickly while not hin­der­ing the cre­ative work­flow that is at the core of what I do.

With Iris 2, iZo­tope has improved upon what was already one of my favorite tools for sound design. There are a num­ber of rea­sons why I use Iris in almost all of my sound design projects:

1. It’s intuitive.

While the ele­ments of Iris are not unique (I was already doing spec­tral fil­ter­ing in RX and sam­pling in Struc­ture when Iris came along), the fact that it brings together so many tools into one very approach­able and sim­ple pack­age makes it one of the most use­ful sound design tools on the mar­ket. Iris is greater than the sum of its parts. It’s very easy to get started (and has some very nice pre­sets), yet it’s incred­i­bly pow­er­ful and flexible.

izotope iris2 presets 620 Sound Design With Iris 2 + The Hybrid Library

Iris 2 pre­sets (click to expand)

2. It allows for rapid experimentation.

Once I’ve loaded a few sounds from my sound effects library, I can quickly audi­tion how the sounds work together. I can hear what it’s like to iso­late the low fre­quen­cies from one sound effect and blend it together with the mids and highs from sev­eral oth­ers with just a few clicks. Get­ting the same results in a tra­di­tional DAW is much more time-consuming, but I can take a “rapid-prototyping” approach with Iris. Once I find sounds and para­me­ters that are in the ball­park of what I’m look­ing for, I begin record­ing the Iris out­put in Pro Tools. This allows me to play with para­me­ters with my MIDI con­troller in real time. It’s a very hands on and sat­is­fy­ing way to design sounds.

izotope iris2 sample layering 620 Sound Design With Iris 2 + The Hybrid Library

Iris 2 sam­ple lay­er­ing & key­board mapping

3. Most impor­tantly, it sounds incredible!

No mat­ter what I throw at Iris, I can sculpt the sounds into some­thing unique and inter­est­ing. In fact, one of my favorite exer­cises when I’m look­ing for inspi­ra­tion is to choose four ran­dom sound effects from my library and sculpt them into some­thing unique with Iris. The built-in dis­tor­tion, cho­rus, reverb, and delay effects returns are sim­ple, yet flex­i­ble and very high qual­ity. 99% of the time I can get exactly what I’m look­ing for directly from the built-in effects.

izotope iris2 mix 620 Sound Design With Iris 2 + The Hybrid Library

Iris 2 sam­ple lay­er­ing & mixing

Hybrid Library Sound Effects Hard Drive 2014 300x245 Sound Design With Iris 2 + The Hybrid Library

While Iris can pro­duce incred­i­ble results with nearly any sounds you throw at it (includ­ing some really nice pre­sets), Iris truly shines with a sound library like the Pro Sound Effects Hybrid Library.

Full dis­clo­sure, I’m prob­a­bly a lit­tle biased, but the Hybrid Library has been my go-to resource and the best library for its depth (56,047 sound effects) and price ($2,500). No mat­ter what the sound design chal­lenge, with the Hybrid Library and Iris 2, I have a mas­sive block of sounds and an ideal sonic ham­mer and chisel to sculpt some really unique and amaz­ing sounds.


david forshee Sound Design With Iris 2 + The Hybrid Library

David For­shee 
I’m a sound designer/editor and long-time Pro Tools user liv­ing and work­ing in New York City. I’m also the sound effects librar­ian and cura­tor of the Pro Sound Effects library.

Be sure to keep up with PSE on Twit­ter, Face­book, & LinkedIn for indus­try news, user edi­to­ri­als, library releases & more!


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