Anyone who has searched for sound effects knows it is not easy to find one that fits perfectly our project.
This article will help you determine what kind of sound effect you need and where to find them.
First of all, we need to know what kind of licenses exist. We can find:
- Sound effects without any license
- Sound effects under Creative Commons licenses
- Sound effects under Royalty-Free licenses
Normally in the first and second case, effects are free and those under royalty-free licences are usually paid for, although their price is usually very low and their quality and variety much higher.
1. Sound effects without any license
There are sound effects that can be downloaded in certain web pages that are not licensed, so, therefore, can be used in any video or product without worrying. Of course, we cannot expect the quality to be very high.
2. Sound effects under Creative Commons licenses
These sounds are under some kind of CC license (there are several types of Creative Commons). Depending on which license, perhaps they may be freely used in personal projects but not in commercial ones, or they require some attribution (we have to indicate who is the creator) or cannot be modified to create derivatives. You can have a look at the different types of licenses here
3. Sound effects under Royalty-Free licenses
These are paid sound effects created by professionals that allow, depending on the licence purchased, to use them in one or several projects, whether commercial or not, as we please. It is the best alternative to combine high quality with the peace of mind of not violating any copyright. If you want to use sound effects for YouTube videos, these are the right ones for you, because with them you won’t have any copyright problems.
Here are the most popular sites for downloading sound effects:
10 best sites in which to download sound effects
- Envato Elements: For a subscription of 14.50€/month we can have unlimited downloads of all the sound effects we can imagine.
- Epidemic Sound: Probably the best service for royalty-free music nowadays, they also have a huge sound effect library, for the same price (13€/month).
- AudioJungle: The largest collection of royalty-free sound effects on the Internet. The quality of this marketplace is always high, as there is fierce competition between the authors and they don’t stop releasing new sounds. In addition to being classified by categories, it has an integrated search engine that works flawlessly.
- Premium Beat: This is a new alternative to the typical archive music library. On this platform, you will find more than 10,000 royalty-free audio tracks and sound effects. The quality of this marketplace is always high, as there is fierce competition between the authors and they don’t stop releasing new sounds. In addition to being classified by categories, it has an integrated search engine that works flawlessly.
- Youtube Audio Library: Not too many people even know about this Youtube feature. Its audio library has both music and sound effects of all kinds, 100% free.
- Videvo: This great platform has more than 100,000 sound effects, lots of them for free. It also has a really good search system to find what you’re looking for.
- Free Sound Effects: Search, preview and download sound effects for free for immediate use in your multimedia projects. These high-quality sound effects are selected by the best sound engineers.
- Soundsnap: Soundsnap is one of the best platforms to find and download royalty-free sound effects and loops. It’s a collection of 100% original sounds made by its users.
- AudioMicro: AudioMicro is a collection of stock music generated by its users in which you can find sound effects, music, production elements and all kinds of audio tracks. Although the quality is very high prices are high too.
- Royalty Free Music Clips: Regarding sound effects, they sell entire libraries of the same subject (eg human sounds) rather than selling individual sounds, which may interest us sometimes.
- PacDV Free Sound Effects: It’s the sound effects section of a company that makes documentaries and promotional videos. It contains 10 different categories and the effects can be used freely, except to sell them. Audios are in MP3 format in different qualities between 96 and 128 kbps.
- The Recordist: It contains a few sound effects and, while all of them are free for personal use, they ask $5 for professional or commercial use, so it is more expensive than other options seen before. Audios are in MP3 at 128 kbps.
From our experience, we recommend Youtube Audio Library as the best free option, as the Google guys have dedicated a lot of resources to make larger every year its sound library and we can find real wonders.
And the best Royalty-Free alternative is AudioJungle since it has more than 130,000 high-quality sound effects perfectly classified. Or also you can choose Premium Beat, with an audio library with more than 10,000 songs and sound effects.
Anyone who has ever searched for sound effects will know that it is not an easy task to find the one that best suits what we need for our project, but with these resources we can achieve it in a short time.