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Asked to do sfx for the first time...

Lea1229

Member
Hi!
I'm working on music for a game. It's unpaid - it's my first time ever doing this and it's short so I decided to do it as a resume builder project. That said, they want some sfx - is it generally expected that I should create every sound from scratch through sampling/synthesis?

While I can do hits, wooshes, squeeks and that kind of simple thing, one thing they want is rain and thunder sounds. On freesound.org there are some good recordings of rain/thunder that one can use with permission from the author and giving credit to. Would that be acceptable or will I ruin my reputation forever if I don't chase down a rain storm or design the sound myself?
 

kenose

New Member
Nah, while recording your own source material is always cool it is very common to source sounds from sound FX libraries and such. Freesound also has plenty of Zero Attribution sounds as well, that don’t require crediting the author.

Especially for things like outdoor ambiences/etc it can be tricky with bad equipment to get a good capture, so no shame at all in using something high quality from an existing library.
 

NekujaK

Searching for the Lost Chord
Also be sure to check out the generous SONISS free giveaways. Every year since 2015 they package up over 20GB(!) of pro SFX from their suppliers and make them available for free.

You can find download links from all the years here:

These are great SFX professional-quality SFX, and for free, they're a no-brainer! Just be prepared for some long downloads and it may take some effort to organize them, but the files are all clearly named.
 
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MartinH.

Senior Member
While I can do hits, wooshes, squeeks and that kind of simple thing, one thing they want is rain and thunder sounds. On freesound.org there are some good recordings of rain/thunder that one can use with permission from the author and giving credit to. Would that be acceptable or will I ruin my reputation forever if I don't chase down a rain storm or design the sound myself?

Just talk to them about their expectations. Is the sfx job unpaid too? If so, I sure hope they are low...

Check this out:
 
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Lea1229

Lea1229

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Also be sure to check out the generous SONISS free giveaways. Every year since 2015 they package up over 20GB(!) of pro SFX from their suppliers and make them available for free.
That's... insanely good. I may need to get some more memory first...
 

timprebble

Sound designer, Composer, Sound library developer
Hi!
I'm working on music for a game. It's unpaid...

Good on you for supporting non-commercial projects... Some people try to discourage such efforts ("don't work for free') but some of the best feature films I have ever worked on, I only got to do by building a creative working relationship with directors when they were making self funded short films, early in their career. But be very careful spending your own funds for their project. Even if you buy nothing you aren't working for free, you are actually paying to work as there are hard costs (electricity, rent etc) which have to be paid regardless.

Its also worth saying, be careful of biting off more than you can chew. I would have thought delivering music for a no budget project is a big ask. Adding sound design (with few resources or experience) means you are taking responsibility for all aspects of the soundtrack. Not saying don't do it, but be very aware of the ramifications of that responsibility.
 
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Lea1229

Lea1229

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Also be sure to check out the generous SONISS free giveaways. Every year since 2015 they package up over 20GB(!) of pro SFX from their suppliers and make them available for free.

You can find download links from all the years here:

These are great SFX professional-quality SFX, and for free, they're a no-brainer! Just be prepared for some long downloads and it may take some effort to organize them, but the files are all clearly named.
So I bought some external memory and have been downloading Soniss' free SFX packages over the past couple weeks, and I just want to say thanks again for this recommendation. They have been a gold mine, the sound quality is just stellar, and it's already been so helpful - as I just did some SFX for a game jam.
 
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Lea1229

Lea1229

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Good on you for supporting non-commercial projects... Some people try to discourage such efforts ("don't work for free') but some of the best feature films I have ever worked on, I only got to do by building a creative working relationship with directors when they were making self funded short films, early in their career. But be very careful spending your own funds for their project. Even if you buy nothing you aren't working for free, you are actually paying to work as there are hard costs (electricity, rent etc) which have to be paid regardless.

Its also worth saying, be careful of biting off more than you can chew. I would have thought delivering music for a no budget project is a big ask. Adding sound design (with few resources or experience) means you are taking responsibility for all aspects of the soundtrack. Not saying don't do it, but be very aware of the ramifications of that responsibility.
I've been thinking about your reply, I was encouraged to hear that some of your early relationships with directors lead to projects that were both paid and fulfilling. I'm still working on that free project, the team I'm with seems very talented and I believe they can succeed. But I do feel the pain of not knowing when or if they will eventually turn this or another project into a paying venture. That said, I don't know how else to get credits under my name right now. Those of us offering (*some) work for free are trying to figure out how to get any work, so when people further along in their career say 'don't work for free', while in some ways obvious, it doesn't really help with the problem new composers face when they don't yet have connections, or credits, on which to land paid work. I'm working on trying to get to know people in the video game industry (which seems more accessible to me without moving across the country). While I 100 percent believe I'm qualified, I'm still trying to figure out how to communicate why I believe my prior experience qualifies me, and the imposter syndrome kicks in hard when you have no credits to cite!
 

timprebble

Sound designer, Composer, Sound library developer
I've been thinking about your reply, I was encouraged to hear that some of your early relationships with directors lead to projects that were both paid and fulfilling. I'm still working on that free project, the team I'm with seems very talented and I believe they can succeed. But I do feel the pain of not knowing when or if they will eventually turn this or another project into a paying venture. That said, I don't know how else to get credits under my name right now. Those of us offering (*some) work for free are trying to figure out how to get any work, so when people further along in their career say 'don't work for free', while in some ways obvious, it doesn't really help with the problem new composers face when they don't yet have connections, or credits, on which to land paid work. I'm working on trying to get to know people in the video game industry (which seems more accessible to me without moving across the country). While I 100 percent believe I'm qualified, I'm still trying to figure out how to communicate why I believe my prior experience qualifies me, and the imposter syndrome kicks in hard when you have no credits to cite!
I wrote an article ages ago which includes how I found work when starting out (pre-internet) and progress oevr time - it is about sound design, rather than music but some principles remain the same.
Have a read here:

 
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