sound effects ideas 2018 Asbjoern Andersen

Looking for ideas for your next (or first) indie sound effects library? Good news, the results of our survey to gather inspiration for new sound effects libraries are in - and we've got more than 90 ideas for you in total!

A few ideas are carried over from past surveys, and these are marked with an *. We've also trawled various forums to see what people were requesting, and have added a selection of those ideas to the pool. For those ideas where existing libraries may already cover it, we've added some suggestions in brackets.

A huge thanks to everything who participated - and hope the list proves inspiring!

Please share:
Ideas for new sound effects libraries:

• Abandoned house ambiences – no activity
• African and South American walla (This might come in handy for African sounds, and this for South American)
• African-american walla
• Air from different environments for the center channel
• American and UK English office walla
• 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
• Arctic / Polar / Greenland ambiences
• Arrows and medieval mechanisms (these bow & arrow SFX libraries could come in handy)
• Aztech death whistle
• Bar and restaurant Walla
• Beach buggy
• Big animals like bears, wolves, tigers, horses, owls (A few ideas: There are bears here, tigers here, wolves here, horses here)
• Birds from all over the world, a large collection of close-up recordings.
• Calm and subtle roomtones
• Camera flashes (there are a number of flash sounds in these camera sound effects libraries)
• Cars driving at a constant speed from the OUTSIDE
• Cartoon libraries like Hannah Barbera but fresh, high quality sounds.
• Cartoon vocals/exclamations
• Casual Game sounds. (e.g.: match 3, candy crush, gardenscapes) (a Casual game SFX library like this might be useful)
• Cemetery ambiences and atmospheres
• China Ambiences – countryside, no humans
• China, city ambiences
• Clocks
• Contact Mic Horse Hooves
• Crow presence (non-verbal)
• Dog foley – “footsteps”, panting, breath *
• Dolphins (high sample rate)
• Doors, doors and did I mention doors yet? Properly recorded and performed in a real way (there are a number of door sound effects libraries here)
• Edited animal sounds created with gaming in mind, 1000 different animals, all creatures great and small.
• European Windows – Open and Close
• Everyday quiet surround room tones
• Everyday things like household door open/close, new set (there might be something useful in the Household category here)
• Fire (there could be something useful in the Fire sound effects category here)
• Fishing sounds *
• Footsteps in Kontakt or Battery format, new collections
• Gentle transitions/swells (some of the simple/pure whoosh libraries could come in handy – like Tiny Transitions, Organic Whooshes or Pure Whooshes)
• Geographically unspecific exteriors
• Global events (Olympics, World Cup, Tour De France etc) *
• Go-kart engine & driving sounds
• Good variety of skids & swerves, various speeds and perspectives with minimal engine (this library features a lot of skidding/screeching)
• Grabbing or touching or knocking different items/things/surfaces with hands (metal, wood, ceramic etc.)
• 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.
• Human reactions and children’s voices – a wide range
• Hybrid cars
• Jumpscares
• 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 so as to remain internationally applicable *
• Kitchen and cooking Foley for cooking shows, extensive library (these kitchen sound effects libraries might be a good starting point)
• 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 Walla – Different sizes, genders, races, moods/emotions – reactions for scenes requiring specific groups reactions rather than generic background walla.
• Metal cable hits, whips, pulls, drags
• Mexico Ambiences and Various Walla
• Mine hauler
• Modern car alarms
• Motorcycle, KTM 400
• 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
• Playing around with different small machines/thread/music boxes (small motor SFX libraries like this, or this, might be useful)
• Polar bear vocalizations and grunts
• Prarie ambiences
• Prius LFE bys
• Quiet crowds
• Ratchets. All sorts. Wood, metal, bone. Various lengths
• Rural and urban (definitely no birds)
• Scrapnel/debris, hitting a fuselage
• Servo sounds, extensive, high quality library
• simple smooth smartphone ui sounds -text, email
• Smoke alarms, emergency sirens, security systems (with proper rights clearance or soundalikes)
• Sound design elements to create different gui sounds for clicks, hover, select etc
• Sparse and distant Birds Library
• Street call outs
• Surround roomtones and variety of ambiences
• Synthy cartoon SFX (goofy or anime-style SFX)
• Touching skin, handshakes, bumps, hi-five
• Tundra ambiences
• Twirling and lunging sounds, extensive library
• Tyre sounds, isolated perhaps using a Tesla, so skids, slides, brakes, gravel, sand, leaves, wet ground, puddles, bumps, accelerate etc… I don’t want to hear an engine, just the tyre or at least a low level electric engine / tire grit for vehicles without engines (this Tesla SFX library might be helpful)
• UI Menu Button Sound Effects (there are a huge number of UI sound effects libraries here)
• Vehicle engine and exhaust recordings at set RPM rates. Ideal for simple modelling of car engines. I would love a large library of that material
• Victorian Era Industrial revolution Engineering equipment
• Vintage Kung Fu fight sounds (there are a number of Kung Fu whooshes here)
• Vocal ‘stabs’, vocal reactions, vocals!!
• Walruses (high sample rate)
• Whales (high sample rate)
• Whistles, human and instruments
• Women’s Sports – General field walla, call outs and vocalizations

Anything missing from the list? Please leave a comment below, and we’ll add it!


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A Sound Effect gives you easy access to an absolutely huge sound effects catalog from a myriad of independent sound creators, all covered by one license agreement - a few highlights:
  • Mechanical Gizmo Play Track 2500+ sounds included, 244 mins total
    Rated 5.00 out of 5

    Gizmo is a mechanism library for designing mechanical actions in machinery without the engines. This library covers the gambit of steam, ronks, clicks, clanks, clunks, servos and all sorts of mechanical actions from various props.

    Unlike most libraries, this one was recorded at 192 with a stereo pair of Sanken CO100k microphones for extreme lossless pitching, so you can take something small like a typewriter, and make it sound like a massive printing machine.

    Add to cart
  • Animals & Creatures Animal Hyperrealism Vol II Play Track Over 2000 sounds included
    Rated 5.00 out of 5

    Animal Hyperrealism Vol II is a library containing sounds themed animal vocalisations, from real to designed creatures totaling more than 2000 individual sounds in 283 files.

    The sounds were partly recorded with animals trained for media production, partly recorded in zoos and wildlife centers. The asset list includes but is not limited to: amur leopards, bottlenose dolphins, californian sealions, pacific walruses, red ruffed lemurs, owls, parrots, dwarf little fruit bats, hamsters, guinea pigs and many more.

    The content has been recorded at 192KHz with a Sanken CO100K plus a Sennheiser 8050 for center image and a couple of Sennheiser MKH8040 for stereo image.
    A special section of the library features samples recorded at 384KHz. For these sounds an additional microphone was employed, specifically the CMPA by Avisoft-Bioacoustics which records up to 200 KHz. This microphone was actually used to record most of the library but the 384KHz format was preserved only where energy was found beyond 96KHz not to occupy unnecessary disk space.
    All files are delivered as stereo bounce of these for mics, though in some instances an additional couple of CO100K was added to the sides.
    The resulting ultrasonic spectrum is rich and allows for truly extreme manipulation of the content.

    Bonus: Two extra libraries included for free:
    This library also includes two additional releases from Mattia Cellotto - for free: Crunch Mode delivers 230 crunchy sounds made with a variety of vegetables, fresh bread, pizza crust and a selection of frozen goods. The Borax Experiment gets you 158 squishy, gory, slimy and gooey sounds.
    Add to cart
  • “Old Cars – Short Passby” is a library with a lot of classic cars: Ford, MG, Jaguar, Porsche, Triumph, Cobra, Austin, Alpha and more.
    You will find 45 files with single car Pass Bys. The files are not named after specific cars/manufacturers.

    Add to cart
Explore the full, unique collection here

Latest sound effects libraries:
  • Foley Switch Play Track 124 sounds included $20

    124 recordings of various switches and buttons, flipped, pressed and clicked. This collection contains household light and lamp switches, radio buttons and a variety of other activate and click presses.

    Recorded in 2018 and 2019 with a stereo shotgun microphone.

    All sounds were recorded and edited at 24-bit / 96Khz resolution and mastered to broadcast quality, with only the best final sounds selected for this collection. Each audio file includes embedded meta-data.

  • Whooshes Effective Trailer Risers Play Track 106 sounds included, 26 mins total $34.99

    Over 100 cinematic riser effects and epic buildups featuring distorted synths, eerie whispers, sci-fi glitches, hardcore guitars, dramatic reverses, drilling leads, and profoundly evolving textures. This original library is from the personal collection of trailer music composer Federico Soler Fernández (“Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” – “Middle Earth: Shadow of War” – “Halloween – 2018” – “The Predator 2018”)

  • Animals & Creatures Botswana Play Track 49+ sounds included, 136 mins total From: $60

    Botswana Faunethic sound library is a unique collection of 49 sounds recorded through several national parks of the country (Okavango, Chobe,…). All these sounds has been recorded and produced with high quality equipment in multichannel.

    This collection offers a wide diversity of soundscapes and animals sounds such as:

    -Bush, savanna and forest soundscapes.
    -Hippopotamus grunt and vocals.
    -Elephants vocals, showering and drinking.
    -Zebras and impalas fighting.
    -Lion chasing an elephant during one night.
    -Birds and insects at different perspectives.

    If you want to hear more about this field recording trip, feel free to check this post.
    The multichannel version contains 40 tracks in native 4.0 and 9 tracks recorded in stereo only.

    This library provides authentic and interesting sounds, recorded with DPA, MBHO and Neumann mics powered by an Aeta 4minX.
    All Faunethic tracks includes metadata carefully edited, compatible with Soundminer, Soundly and Basehead.

  • City Life Shenzhen Play Track 53 sounds included, 266 mins total $39.99 $19.99

    Shenzhen is the first ever sound library of the Silicon Valley of China. Jzoo Sound invites you on the first ever audiological journey to the unique locations in Shenzhen that only locals know.

    This is a unique collection of sounds captured of various atmospheres at different times of the day. From energetic local farmer’s market, to howling subway tubes, to local middle school performance day, to old alleyways of a forgotten part of town.

    The library also contains many rhythmic elements, such as meat chopping, construction hammering, and ominous beeps. Not to mention the echoing Chinese announcements between two schools, and the cacophony of crying and construction in a forgotten alley. I hope this library will even meet your sound design needs, and ultimately show you a local and unique side of China.

    All recorded in 24 bit/96 kHz. Some recordings contain detail information above 20khz. The library is passionately described emotive words, and all the recordings are fully tagged with metadatas compatible with Soundminer, Basehead and Soundly.

    Gear Used: Roland R26, four channel built-in microphones (OMNI and XY), four channels merged down to a stereo file.

    Shoot me an email if you have any questions:

    50 %
    Ends 1561845600
  • Twisted Reality – Drones & Other Worlds, brings you 50 dark, twisted, ominous and magical drones / underscores for all your sound design needs. Perfect to create that unworldly atmosphere in your theatre show, film or game. Made from original field recordings and twisted into something quite different, the styles vary from monotone drone to full soundscape. All styles covered from, the condemned man's last walk, to the Snow Queen's, Ice Palace, and with most of the files over 3 mins, there should be plenty there to cover your scene.

    50 %
    Ends 1561845600
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One thought on “The 2018 sound effects survey results are in: Here are 90+ ideas for new SFX libraries

  1. I wanted to expand on the dog footsteps and foley to include all animals. Snakes slithering, mice, rats, particularly in walls or scampering around, ore winned creatures of all types – daddy-long-legs, moths all make interesting sounds. Different surfaces, particularly for dogs etc are very important. Wanted a dog in a forest for a project the other day and drew a complete blank.

    survivalist style sounds – camping stoves, starting a fire by rubbing sticks together, whittling, skinning,gutting, ambiences from within a tent or shelter, traps, chopping wood.

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