Yes and no with a “it depends” in the middle. There is a lot of mysticism and emotional opinions regarding this topic for over a decade. Obviously from the point of view of a sample library company the answer seems skwed right? Well, we at foleysoft are also foley artists and sound designers and thanks to the parallel industry of filmscoring we will try to provide a few clarifications and neutral answers.

First of all is the “sound”. If the question is “Does it sound as good as a foley artist?” then the answer is YES and maybe better than 90% of foley artists out there. The reason is pretty simple; the focus of the recording is different. A foleyt artist and engineer will work towards a specific scene while a sample library focus is to worktowards fidelity and braoder sonic footprints (no pun intended).  We recorded every step with state of the art equipment at different microphone perspectives using ten round robins and taking a lot of time to setup and record each step. The sound on itself will be the same or better that ends up on the re-recording stage no matter if it came from a foley artist or foleysoft footsteps or any sample library. This a pure tecnical perspective, we tested many times the outcomes and re-recording mixers couldnt tell the difference in sound. Having a broader sonic pallete can help Foleysoft Footsteps users be able to customize the sound. Something foley artists do naturally when recording to a specific scene. 

So, its just better? Well no. Here is where the diference lies: performance. This is a little harder to explain but take a look at the film score business where at leasts 90% of TV scores are done with sample orchestras. An orchestra sample library is orders of magnitude more complex to record and develop than a footstep sample library. There are just a lot more articulations and recordings of different notes. Yet, when a composer has to do a solo violin they will normally do a mockup first and then bring in a profesional violinist to record the solo violin becuase THAT will be a lot better, aka: a more realistic take than a sample library but the rest of the background music will be a sample orchestra.

In foley it is a little different of course but in general if its a regular simple footstep walking scene then no doubt it will sound as good. This will cover a lot of scenes. But keep in mind what a performer does; they have been practicing for years and can see a scene one time and do that whole scene in one single take. Meanwhile, as a smaple library user you will have to learn how to perform it, sequence it, edit and maybe correct mistakes. So yes, Foleysoft footsteps will get you THAT sound but it will take longer as its you who has to work on it. Also, a foley artist might do a few more sounds while doing the steps or at least notice other things that need foley in the scene, like patting a shoulder, putting a wood cup down etc,  and grab a couple of items and record several things in one take, everything in sync and sounding as it came from the scene. In post production time is money. Well, in every job time is money but in the world of movies every second counts and this is where a foley artist will make the scene come to life in a matter of a few days. Again, our focus is to let users who need a sample library like this have the oportunity to do their own footsteps even if it takes some extra time. The world and this industry is not as easy to summarize and there are options that might work for some but not others. 

Our story comes from the middle ground of using foley sample library to do certain things while the foley stage was being used for more complete foley. A person can be sequencing steps that are not hard to do while the foley artist is doing hollywood magic. 

For indie films many sound designers do not have access to a foley pit or money for it so sample libraries fill this need. With so many new outlets and types of programming there might be several circunstances where a foleysoft footesteps will fit the bill while other times a full fledge foley stage and artist will be better.

As for the filmscoring world, you can quickly glance over the fivver and upwork freelance gigs and see hundreds of classical instrumentalists providing their service. So many artists feared they will be replaced by a sample orchestra that suddenly as everyone was able to use these new tools, more composers entered the orchestral world and they need a lot of real artists for all sorts of gigs. From a single violin line to a cello sound effects session, all thanks to sample libraries. We do think as more poeple use sample library foley products, and indie filmmakers realize how good foley and custom work will make their films shine, the more they will ask for foley artists in the future.