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What are Your Favorite Reasonably Priced Sound Effects Companies and Why?

TigerTheFrog

Reid Rosefelt
Obviously, I know I can buy great stuff from pro companies like Boom. But I'm not a professional sound designer, just somebody who likes to horse around with FX in my YouTube videos and the short films I do for my own amusement. I make music with them occasionally.

I have collected a lot of sound effects over the years, both paid and free, and am considering a subscription to Soundly.com, just to make life easier.

I previously did a thread about free sound FX sources. What do you recommend in the "don't break the bank" category?
For example, I love the GlitchMachines FX. They list outside my price range, but every now and then they are extremely discounted at PluginBoutique, and I pick up a few of them.

I'm going to make some recommendations in a new video I'm working on, so I'd like to know your thoughts.

Finally, I include sound design/FX companies in my yearly Tiger the Frog Black Friday post, but I know I'm not getting them all. I'd like to improve my list.

Thanks!

Reid
 

doctoremmet

Senior Member
EDIT: Sorry - I misread the question. My bad. Answer does not relate to the Q.

I want to recommend three developers here:

1. BABY Audio
Why? Very reasonable prices, and they do even better sales. Very original approach, their effects aim for very specific types of sound and coloration, and they do that well. SuperVHS... wow! Also, do not forget to grab their freebies.

2. Denise Audio
Why? Check Perfect Room and Perfect PlateXL. Then YOU tell me why. Just today they released a pretty interesting new “tonal” compressor. God Mode, Bad Tape. All brilliant.

3. Unfiltered Audio
Why? With PA vouchers and monthly (weekly...) sales nowadays their effects can be bought for very sharp prices. BYOME or TRIAD for 30 bucks?! Insane value. But frankly, SpecOps, Zip or Sandman Pro are equally “creative”. Also, they are always offering tons of semi-modular patching and modulation options.
 
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TigerTheFrog

TigerTheFrog

Reid Rosefelt
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Thanks, Doctor and Double.

To be clear: by sound effects I mean foley, recordings of environments, cartoon sounds, booms, whooshes. Audio files. The raw material that you can then process with plugins. Or not. Like me, you may just use the sound effects.

If you open the idea into all aspects of sound design, then you have to include every synth that is sold.
 

doctoremmet

Senior Member
Thanks, Doctor and Double.

To be clear: by sound effects I mean foley, recordings of environments, cartoon sounds, booms, whooshes. Audio files. The raw material that you can then process with plugins.

If you open the idea into sound design, then you have to include every synth that is sold.
Gotcha. Then I shall retract my two posts. ;)
 

Rory

Amateur Auteur
I think that the main market for this is people making videos. At this point, I would tell someone who wants inexpensive sound effects to check out a subscription to a music service that also offers sound effects. A good example, popular among people who make YouTube videos, is Epidemic Sound: https://www.epidemicsound.com/sound-effects/

In any event, if you're going to make a YouTube video on this subject, including Epidemic Sound and other services that are widely used by YouTubers is probably a good idea.

I'm not a fan of websites that offer free or cheap sound effects.The quality is very uneven, and it's a way to waste a lot of time. I think that one is better off going to a professional site and buying single effects as needed. It isn't that expensive. See, for example, Pro Sound Effects: https://www.prosoundeffects.com/

I see wooshes and similar effects as a special category. A package may make sense. YouTuber Alex Knickerbocker works in the film industry and offers these kinds of effects at attractive prices: https://www.alexknickerbocker.com/s/Shop
 
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NekujaK

Searching for the Lost Chord
@TigerTheFrog Quite honestly, the sources you listed on your free thread are more than sufficient for most folks. Super high-end sound designers working on blockbuster films or massive video games will probably want to use premium sou nds, but included in that free list are plenty of high-quality sound FX appropriate for any professional level.

Sound FX are a funny thing. Unless you're regularly doing sound design or foley work, they only come into play occasionally. But even if you just use them once in a while, it's important to have a large selection to choose from, because for a sound effect to be effective (no pun intended) it should match the particular situation as closely as possible. So having a vast array of choices to browse through is crucial. And that's why I rarely pass up an opportunity to get my hands on freebie or low cost sounds.

But I digress... to answer your question more directly, here are some sources for sound FX that are priced fairly reasonably:

- Zero-G: they have quite a few sound FX samples spread throughout their various cinematic libraries.

- Krotos: their top end stuff is a little too pricey for me, but they're a company that focuses only on sound FX, with heavy emphasis on vocal-type sounds.

- Omnisphere: although most people don't necessarily think of synths for sound FX, a varsatile titan like Omnisphere actually offers a lot of useful sound FX among its patches.

- SampleTraxx: they primarily focus on cinematic FX.

- KeepForest: more cinematic FX.

These are what immediatley come to mind, but I'm certain there are many others out there...
 

Pier

Senior Member
For example, I love the GlitchMachines FX. They list outside my price range, but every now and then they are extremely discounted at PluginBoutique, and I pick up a few of them.
Those are great.

I've bought some of their unprocessed recording libraries like Idiom for a couple of bucks on sale at PB.
 
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TigerTheFrog

TigerTheFrog

Reid Rosefelt
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Thank you everybody for your help.

It's much appreciated and it's why I love this forum!
 

timprebble

Sound designer, Composer, Sound library developer
Sound FX and AMB Libraries:

I second Tonsturm, they do great work

Frank Bry (esp useful for gun nuts!)

Rabbit Ears

Paul Virosteks Airborne Sound:

Pauls search engine for indie sound libraires:

with all companies websites listed, approx 100+

Gearslutz thread of new indie releases I started a decade ago thats got 1600+ replies

Reddit list of new releases etc


BBC (check useage terms)

Then there are the companies/supermarkets who resell other peoples libraries:

sounddogs are useful as they sell individual sounds,
which is more expensive but handy for a quick mix fix or one-off need etc


Also Freesound is useful but be aware of licensing requirements for any 'free' sounds
eg some freesound sounds require listing in the projects credits for use
which may or may not be appropriate.


But the best sound library is your own personal recordings!
Every sound editor & sound designer should own a record kit,
that is where the best 'free' sounds come from, in front of your microphone...
 
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wst3

Lunatic - it's really that simple
Moderator
I agree with many (most) of Tim's suggestions. I think it interesting that he left his own, excellent, collection off the list.

My list:
sound-ideas.com - this is where I started collecting SFX almost 30 years ago. Their catalog continues to grow, and I suspect there are very few sounds you can not find here. They are not free, or even cheap, but they do have sales from time to time.

These days I check out these four sites first. Actually, I am on their mailing lists, Tim offers most of his libraries at a discount when they are released, I've picked up quite a bit of interesting material that way.
hissandaroar.com
asoundeffect.com
airbornesound.com
therecordist.com

tonsturm.com & boomlibrary.com offer outstanding libraries! I don't own a bunch of them, but if I were just starting out I probably would.

A word about sounddogs.com - when they first arrived on the scene they were brilliant, they really shook up the scene. And they offer effects from all the big players as well as their own. I still go there if I need one or two very specific sounds, but their search engine is falling behind these days.

Happy Hunting! (And thanks for some new ideas @timprebble
 
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TigerTheFrog

TigerTheFrog

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In my BF post this coming November, I'll have links to any of these sites above that have sales. I have not done a good job in this area in the past.

My video is aimed mainly at YouTubers. It will only be about free and (some) cheap stuff that has no strings attached. Nothing that requires attribution or complex user requirements, beyond not allowing resale.
 
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TigerTheFrog

TigerTheFrog

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One more thing. If you sign up for the Boom or Krotos mailing list, you get free Sound FX every month. Are there any other companies that offer this?

Thanks!
 

timprebble

Sound designer, Composer, Sound library developer
Might I add, despite all of the vast collections listed in this thread, today I started work on a project and we need authentic regional natural ambiences from the island of Montserrat, and even finding good quality ambiences from Jamaica seems near impossible. Despite access to many terabytes of recording and hundreds of field recordists, there is always a need for more!

One more thing. If you sign up for the Boom or Krotos mailing list, you get free Sound FX every month. Are there any other companies that offer this?

Thanks!

Almost every sound library company does exactly that i.e. give away free sounds and/or discount codes via subscribing to their mail list. It is a standard way of building a mail list and I would be more surprised if a company didn't use such techniques.


I did the same at HISSandaROAR for the first few years, providing a free scaled down copy of each library as they were released, but I now take a more targeted approach rather than scattershot freebies. I send out 'early bird' discount codes for every new release, exclusive to the mail list and also eg have just finished a first call for a virtual artist residency, where people can pitch a project & resources that we can help with. It is specifically to encourage research, personal & non-commercial projects. But you wont hear about it at all (other than this now after its closed) without being on the mail list. We also gift a small free library at year end and have done so since we launched in 2010, but it is more to thank supporters rather than just a 'free for all'. All of these companies would not exist if 'free' was the only priority. It is also worth saying, every 'pro' sound designer was also a hobbyist at some point. I still use sounds I recorded back when I was an unemployed musician, pre film school. HISSandaROAR mail list is HERE


re your list of freebies, please do check that they include a EULA with useage rights listed. Free does not actually mean free sometimes... And license restrictions need to be kept with the files so that years later they aren't eg used on a commercial project (if that is explicitly disallowed, as many do)



Thanks for kind words too Bill - I do try not to overly promote my work, plus its in my sig :) But I am also a consumer as well as a provider, and my motive for recording new sounds comes from 25 years of working on film and often struggling to find what I need.... or at least making note of what I need more variety of. That was one of the big changes the Internet brought - instead of libraries with only a few takes, we can now offer much broader options. Where this is very apparent is the development of cliches. For example there is a doppler horn in the Hollywood Edge CD libraries which became a cliche through over use & lack of options. That is exactly why I devoted a whole library to providing alternatives, so people can find a take that suits their project uniquely, rather than use the same old sound everyone has used... For many sound designers there are a long list of specific sound files to be avoided due to over use eg there is HE whistly wind that makes me cringe every time I hear it now etc...
 
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timprebble

Sound designer, Composer, Sound library developer
Also maybe worthwhile thinking about how people work with sound libraries. Once you collect up & start to build your own sound library it soon becomes impractical to access & search it via a DAWs sound import browser.
Most pro sound designers used Sound Miner or Basehead, which eg prescan folders & hard drives, building databases in the process and use a built in thesaurus, so searching for 'explosion' will also find 'bang' 'bomb' etc... They also allow you to spot directly to the timeline of your DAW, and do processing during transfer.

SoundMiner

Bashead

Sound Library audio should have metadata fields embedded in them, with more description, category tags etc... These library apps let you search those terms as well... While SoundMiner & Basehead may be too expensive for hobbyists etc there are also affordable alternatives that do a great job, Iced Audio AudioFinder would be a great example of this:

AUDIO FINDER
 
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TigerTheFrog

TigerTheFrog

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There are tons of places to search for "free" sounds on the web, but nearly all of them require attribution or have licensing limitations, ie BBC. Some of them are "free" only if you don't use them on anything public. I know people don't pay attention to this stuff, but I will make an issue out of it in my video. Why worry about attribution if you can find what you need in one of the sites below. And if you can't, buy an effect. And if you're buying too much, get on a monthly plan.

The following four are the ones I plan to recommend as really being free in my video:

FreeSound CC0 You must filter this library to only include the 240,000+ CC0 files that do not require any attribution. You can do that on the site, or you can use this link to do it directly

https://freesound.org/search/?g=1&q=&f= license:"Creative+Commons+0"

Soundly - A free membership gives you access to 2500 sounds, and the license is the same as a paid membership

MixKit Their license is very clear and if anything more open than some paid effects

The YouTube Audio Library Even though it's possible that YouTube will automatically place an attribution inside them (more likely with music) it's not something you have to worry about. I would just say YouTube only.

They have a YouTube Channel for this, but the link they have there to download sounds doesn't work. To my knowledge, you can only access them from your YouTube account. (Red link at bottom)

YouTube.jpg
https://getsoundly.com/
Am I missing anything?

I also am going to be listing a selection of free downloads, like Soniss Game Audio, and will not include anything where there is a posted limitation on commercial use or require attribution.

It's not really useful for me to tell amateur sound effect users that everybody offers free samples with subscriptions, because there are so many developers. Personally I'm neither interested in signing up for too many--I get too many emails as it is. I will mention A Sound Effect, WeSoundEffects, Boom Library, and Krotos.

If you know that one of the other major developers or resellers does this, please let me know.
 
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