Sound effects ideas 2020 Asbjoern Andersen

Earlier this year, we ran a survey to figure out what sort of libraries you were having trouble finding anywhere. The idea? To inspire indie SFX creators to create what you're looking for - and after some processing, here are the results of the survey. A big thanks to all of you who sent in your ideas!

Hope it comes in handy - and a quick heads up for SFX creators: Before you go ahead and use this list as inspiration for making your own libraries, be sure to research what's currently available in the marketplace for your given idea.

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Before we start – want to know what’s already out there? Try searching through the vast number of libraries on A Sound Effect to get an idea. Try some variations on your topic keywords to get a feel for the current coverage.

Search for sound effects below:

Ideas for new sound effects libraries – 2020 edition:

About the list:

• In places where we had ideas for existing libraries that could fit the bill, we’ve added our suggestions in parentheses, and ideas that have been carried over from last years’ list are marked with an *.
• If you have any additional ideas, suggestions for existing libraries that could come in handy for the requests below, or entries that could be merged, do let us know in the comments.


SFX ideas list 2020:

• Abandoned house ambiences – no activity (libraries such as British Stately Home, Historical Houses & Barns, Old Cottages, Abandoned Doors and additional searches like this one libraries could bring up some useful content)
• Affordable car engine and exhaust ramp – a single recording of the entire rev range for implementation with REV and Wwise and loopable sections of steady RPMs / Vehicle engine and exhaust recordings at set RPM rates. Ideal for simple modeling of car engines (something like the Game Audio Engines library might be useful)
• African-american walla *
• Air from different environments for the center channel *
• American and UK English office walla / Office Ambiences *
• Animal Foley – movements / actions / steps (The Stomps and Paw Creature Foley libraries could be worth checking out)
• Animals that communicate outside of our hearing range, that are then lowered in pitch so they are audible, rats are particularly interesting / bat shrieks *
• Anime Japan Sound Effects library (If you’re looking for old school anime sounds, this library could come in handy) *
• Arctic / Polar / Greenland ambiences *
• Aztech death whistle *
• Bar and restaurant Walla (libraries such as London Pubs, the Restaurant Ambiences and the Crowds at the restaurant libraries might help here) *
• Beach buggy *
• Bicycles – various kinds (these libraries could be a good starting point)
• Birds from all over the world, a large collection of close-up recordings *
• Bodyfall collection – there are already some, but it is not covering enough materials
• British / European specific Crowds
• Car interior – A “standard” car at normal speed, exterior drive by or continuously rides (there are a large number of everyday cars in the car category here, and here’s a collection dedicated to everyday cars)
• Cemetery ambiences and atmospheres *
• Children – small group, 12 to 25, reacting to a magic act or other indoor performance. Cheers, laughter, applause, vocal reactions, but not all in unison
• China Ambiences – countryside, no humans *
• Classic cars collection going back to the 60’s, 50’s and 40’s
• Clocks (here are some interesting clock libraries to start with) *
• Contact Mic Horse Hooves *
• Dog foley – “footsteps”, panting, breath * (some paw sounds & animal foley can be found here and here)
• Dolphins (high sample rate) *
• Electricity – more and new libraries (there’s an ongoing stream of new electricity releases – here’s an overview)
• Engine failures
• European Windows – Open and Close *
• Everyday cars – normal civilized drive mode with maneuvers, parking / no action skid material, easy to combine interior and exterior, prepared for editorial to match normal car movements in feature films ( here is a collection of everyday cars and also have a look into the car category for more normal car libraries )
• Everyday quiet surround room tones (here are some useful libraries) *
• Fight punches – John Wick-style
• Fishing sounds *
• Footsteps in Kontakt or Battery format, new collections *
• Foley-type sounds, a large collection – recorded from a distance of 2-5 meters from source
• Formula E race cars
• Futuristic SciFi vehicles – including helicopters, aircrafts, cars
• Geiger Counter
• Geographically unspecific exteriors *
• Global events (Olympics, World Cup, Tour De France etc) **
• Go-kart engine & driving sounds *
• Grabbing / touching / knocking different items/things/surfaces with hands (metal, wood, ceramic etc.) / Subtle hand touches and rubs on a variety of materials / Touching skin, handshakes, bumps, hi-five (for skin/hands-on-body types of sound, check out the Skin and The Hand library)
• Hands hit/slap/grab/touch a window. Like that hollow sound, you get when someone is on the other side of a window tapping or banging on it. *
• Heavy object slides and drags (this library could be useful)
• Human reactions and children’s voices – a wide range * (something like this might come in handy)
• Industrial machines and factory equipment – constantly updated
• Kids, not babies, both genders, multiple characters, solo, not field recordings, a wide variety of natural/not-hammy laughs, screams, emotes, etc. Avoiding words/accents to remain internationally applicable **
• Large cracks library – longer duration, stone friction, grinding, big breaks like the size of a wall
• Light pedestrian backgrounds (small town or community) There’s lots of busy city stuff that’s too busy. How about some nice nature ambiances without a lot of birds… I’m tired of cutting around birds *
• Loop Group – Shoutouts/Callouts; Doughnuts; Mic Bys; Presence; 2-3 People talking (dry); Casual Conversations (M/F); Different languages; Different Ages – Specifics (Not general wallas) that would go on optional for M&E (Actor buyout)
• Loop Group Walla – Different sizes, genders, races, moods/emotions – reactions for scenes requiring specific groups reactions rather than generic background walla *
• Marine mammal – High-quality library with a focus on Walrus, Whales, Dolphins, Sea Lions, Elephant Seals, etc.
• Mechanical creatures
• Metal cable hits, whips, pulls, drags *
• Mexico Ambiences and Various Walla *
• Mine hauler *
• Mobile phone ring tones – well-prepared, “up to date” ring tones that can compete with the sound of the big brands, no FM-experimental a-tonal sounds. Those are liked by directors/show runners
• Modern car alarms *
• Motorcycle, KTM 400 *
• Mountain Bikes (this library contains some mountain bike recordings that could be useful)
• Multichannel walla collection – big choice in intensity and without modern sound like traffic
• New cars are always a challenge. Full set doors, switches, alarms. electric, and internal combustion *
• Non-Discernable-English PA announcements for Psychiatric wards and hospitals for use in building generic M&E’s *
• Non-Discernable-English Walkie-Talkie call-outs for use in building generic M&E’s (crime scenes, police cars, military, etc.) *
• On-board 5.1 ambience of a car driving less than 10 mph. Every 5.1 amb of a car driving I have sounds like it’s going 40 mph and those suspension bumps don’t match when the picture is less than 10. *
• Penguin vocalizations *
• People Moving – sitting down, getting up, single and groups * (for chairs, check out Take A Seat and Modern Seating)
• People, People, People – all languages, walla, groups in different sizes, moods, and surroundings
• Pitched, Non-Obvious Sounds – I’d love to see some building blocks that are super-distinctive, don’t claim to be anything in particular, and aren’t driven by a particular piece of gear/recording technique
• Polar bear vocalizations and grunts *
• Prairie ambiences (this library could be useful) *
• Prius LFE bys *
• Psychedelics
• Punches and bodyfalls / Generic punchy impacts (there are quite a few hand combat libraries here)
• Pure airy whooshes – no reverb, no distortion, no resonance
• Quiet crowds *
• Ratchets. All sorts. Wood, metal, bone. Various lengths *
• Reward sounds and win melodies with midi files for added layering possibilities
• Rock / Stone library – very big and clear, but not overly pre-designed (something like this library could be the one you are looking for – lots more rock libraries here)
• Rural and urban (definitely no birds) *
• Scrapnel/debris, hitting a fuselage *
• Simple smooth smartphone UI sounds -text, email *
• Smoke alarms, emergency sirens, security systems (with proper rights clearance or soundalikes) *
• Sneaker footsteps – Chuck Taylors and other normal sneakers on lots of surfaces, walk / run / scuff / toe-heel, etc
• Sound design elements to create different gui sounds for clicks, hover, select, etc *
• Sparse and distant Birds Library *
• Steam / Air
• Street call outs *
• Stuka Siren / Plane
• Suction through tubes – “foomp” type sounds of various sizes
• Surround room tones and variety of ambiences (you can find a a large collection of surround libraries here which might be a a good starting point)*
• Synthy cartoon SFX (goofy or anime-style SFX) *
• Tires – not skids (you can get a lot of isolated different tyre and car chassis sounds from the Grip plugin)
• Tundra ambiences *
• Twirling and lunging sounds, extensive library *
• Ultra basic foley – 1) stuff put on a table like a book, glass – 2) presence
• Victorian Era Industrial revolution Engineering equipment *
• Walla / Crowd reactions that convey specific emotions (panic, relief, surprise, happy, sad, etc.) – Without specific language
• Weapons, 50.-Caliber – sounds firing, and foley
• Whales (high sample rate) *
• Whistles, human and instruments *
• Women’s Sports – General field walla, call outs and vocalizations *
• Zuzz – canvas, nylon, etc.

Looking to create an independent sound effects library? Do this first:

If you’re looking to into independent sound effects – or you’re considering what library to make next – be sure to check out this read for some thoughts on a crucial first step that many SFX creators tend to forget.


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  • Bundles Mattia Cellotto – Complete Bundle Play Track 11100+ sounds included $1,068

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    NEW: CATACLYSM is a collection more than 1400 sounds in 400+ files of recorded, synthesized and designed sounds created to support important destructive moments and add a stronger sense of extreme consequence to any sound.

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    For a detailed listing of the words and phrases, take a look at the soundlist PDF document.


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  • Environments & Ambiences Future Dystopia Play Track 626 sounds included, 142 mins total $44.95

    The sounds of a dark tomorrow… are here!

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    Future Dystopia – our World Building Sound-Set is made up of 626 sounds across 151 WAV audio files. There are 54 atmospheres, 67 Elements, 7 foundation sounds, 12 speech sets and 11 vehicle builds… Our sound-files are 24bit/96k stereo (that can be folded to mono if desired.)
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  • Animal Sound Effects The Animal Symphony – Donkey Play Track 69+ sounds included, 10 mins total $10


    Product description:

    “The Animal Symphony – Donkey” offers a collection of 69 high-quality audio tracks, each with multiple sounds (between 3 and 6 variations). The audios are organized with an intuitive nomenclature, allowing you to easily swap the different microphone jacks, so you can choose which microphone to use or combine them all. Using two high-end microphones, the Sennheiser MKH 8050 and an EM258 capsule microphone, along with a Zoom H6 recorder for stereo sound, we have captured every detail and nuance of these sounds. Recordings were made at 24-bit and 192kHz/96kHz, ensuring professional clarity and depth.

    This collection offers a wide variety of braying, growling, donkeys eating, etc… these sounds are perfect for adding realism and authenticity to your projects. With multiple takes and variations, this library provides the flexibility needed for any type of production requiring sounds from these animals. All recordings have been carefully edited to eliminate external noises, such as birds, wind or people. Furthermore, thanks to the ultrasonic microphones used, it is guaranteed that whoever decides to lower the tone will continue to obtain frequency richness.

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    – Total audios: 69 (Each audio contains between 3 and 6 variations)
    – Format: 192kHz – 96kHz/24bit
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    The sounds from “The Animal Symphony – Donkey” are available under a royalty-free license, allowing them to be used in multiple projects at no additional costs. You can use these sound effects in your games, trailers, Kickstarter campaigns, and more, as many times as you like.

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    Perfect for aquatic or forest environments

    High-quality, 32-bit/192kHz


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  • Traffic Sound Effects Long Car Pass Bys Play Track 10-40 sounds included, 65 mins total $22

    This small library contains ten exquisite recordings in multiple variances of cars driving through a quiet and expansive landscape along a very long road. You can hear the car approaching from a very far distance, passing by close, and slowly fading away into the distance for a very long time as well. In other words; we capture the car’s journey from afar, stretching on until it disappears over the horizon.

    All recordings are clear and entirely devoid of external noise and human disruptions.

    All these recordings are recorded using two microphone setups: a Double MS Stereo setup and a spaced omnis setup, the latter also providing extended frequency response. This results in four variations for each recording: Stereo, Wide Stereo, Wide AB Stereo, and 5-channel 5.0 surround. The variances between these options range from subtle to more pronounced, offering flexibility for crosscutting within scenes.

    Get more than one hour of unique, royalty-free and notably high quality recordings with this library. Recorded in 24 bit / 96 kHz. Accurately edited and mastered to sound as natural as possible. With an average duration ranging from 40 seconds to 3 1/2 minutes per file. For more detailed descriptions of the recordings within this collection, please refer to the metadata provided in our file lists or listen to the preview montage.

    This library is UCS compliant ( In this new category system, all files contain extensive metadata like file description, Category & Subcategory. Metadata can be read and processed by the most common audio libraries management tools.

  • All files are recorded 32bit, 192 kHz, with Shure KSM 137, Line Audio Omni1, FEL Clippy XLR EM272, Sonorous Objects SO.3 and JrF C-Series Pro+ microphones, Sound Devices MixPre-6 II & Zoom F3 recorders. Library contains wav files of driving, interior and exterior foley, mechanical and electrical sounds. It is also available in UCS.


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