Where do you get your sound effects from?

Jan 20, 2012

Hey all,

I've done a search of the forums and found a few pages with ideas but I wanted to put it out there again in case someone had something new. I'm looking for a place to get sound effects not music. E.g. sounds from a kitchen, or emergency sounds or office noises. I've found stuff on the free sound project before. What I want is real recorded sounds not those computer designed sounds.

Any ideas?



39 Replies
Rebekah Massmann

Hey Kat,

I've found some decent (and free!) sounds just from Microsoft's website: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/images/ 

If you have an audio editing program, you can layer the sounds to make a more rich effect. For example, in the Emergency Response project I posted, here were some of the sounds I combined:

Wind storm + heavy rain = "tornado"

Tools rattling + wind chimes + hitting hockey boards = "earthquake"

Also, I haven't had a chance to gather much from this website, but I know our media team uses it a lot. http://audiojungle.net


Rebecca Fleisch Cordeiro

Bruce Graham said:

I'm sure I do not need to say it, but always check the usage licenses for sound, image and other multimedia are appropriate for the use for which you are going to put it.

Very often - the good commercial stuff will cost you!


Hey, Bruce. At risk of sounding preachy, it is something we need to remind ourselves about, so I'm glad you said it. Many of the free sites have restrictions, such as for personal use, not commercial use. Or, requirements like posting the source on the same page/slide where the clip is located.

I wrote a couple blog posts on this a while back. This one links to a story about someone who inadvertently infringed on someone else's intellectual property and got "called" on it.

Bruce Graham


Thanks for that link - and it is part of our role to be "preachy".

We post here on forums, wondering how to keep our eLearning product secured, yet many people forget seem to "forget" that almost all images are owned by someone, somewhere.

If we are Instructional Designers, it is our responsibility to get acquainted with the laws of being one.


Bruce Graham

Joseph Sardin said:

I suggest you also this very nice website : http://www.lasonotheque.org/en/

Remember - if you use content from Joseph's site under Creative Commons you are still required to add attribution, (although I cannot see exactly what I am expected to do when I look at this site I'm afraid...)

This is not something that my clients usually allow on corporate training, so again - just because content is "out there", don't assume it can just be "used".

If in doubt, check, or go elsewhere.


Daniel Brigham

You might also check out www.freesfx.com. Pretty good quality.

In the end, I prefer to pay for my audio (favorite site audiomicro.com). Or perhaps closer to the truth is to have my clients pay for it. Three tracks might cost a hundred bucks so -- nothing when you compare it to the hours it takes to do quality e-learning.

istockphoto/audio is good too, but a bit pricey.

Tony Koretz

Hey just thought I'd add here that:

Up until very recently rocksuresoundz.com had been selling sound effects as single files for download (these are also still available), but have now begun to offer great value themed sfx packs as well. The packs contain at least 80 sounds, with some having over 150 sound effects in them. All the files are offered at 24 bit/44.1 kHz, and are contained in a zip file for instant download. At only $6-95 per pack, it means that each sampled sound only costs a few cents to buy. Rather than spending a small fortune on a collection of sounds where you may only use one or two of them, this way even if you did only use one or two of them it would still be very affordable.


There are some free individual sfx on the site too, as well as royalty-free music.

Tony Koretz

I know this is an old thread, but I thought I'd just add that rocksuresoundz.com longer have individual sound effects up on the website, but still do have the affordable packs, and have added a play preview button that gives a one and a half minute medley of some of the sound effects in the pack to give a kind of overview representative of what's in it.

Mike DiFonzo

https://www.zapsplat.com/ free/royalty free sound effects. I used them to liven up some animations that pop up on screen. This site isn't blocked my our firewalls so I can download them.

I have these saved but I don't think I use them since our firewalls block the downloads but if you're at home it won't be an issue.



As others have mentioned, comply with all copyright/attribution requirements. The first one is an easy attribution.

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