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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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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