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!

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Try a search below to see the very latest results:
The list below hasn’t been updated with the latest releases, so some ideas may already have been covered. Try a search below on the keyword(s) you have in mind to see what’s currently available.


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:
  • A collection of raw recordings of various devices and a special bonus section created in collaboration with industry designers.

    This collection includes 256 raw stereo 24bit/96khz recordings of a multitude of devices including home appliances such as microwaves, washing machines, hair straighteners, face scrubber, vacuums, hand dryer and paper shredder. Recorded using a LOM Electrosluch City, Priezor and MixPre10T

    This collection holds everything to create great sci-fi content like forcefields, atmospheres, UI as well as weapons, telemetry and communications. There are 1000 plus sounds contained in this library and you will find glitches, beeps, hums, buzzes, whooshes, movements, statics, clicks, pops, servos, mechanical elements and lots of tonal elements. I’ve had some luck creating Kontakt Instruments/Synths using selections of the assets conatained in this library.

    Included in this library is a bonus collaboration between 4 industry designers, totaling 104 files. A big thank you to David Guinot, Andrej Smoljan and Pete Reed for taking the time to contribute to this bonus.

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  • Horror Giant Pinecones Play Track 500+ sounds included, 44 mins total $79

    • In Giant Pinecones, get a visceral collection of scraped and eviscerated pinecones from the gray pine trees of Northern California. Scrape the razor-sharp hooks of the cone petals and hear guttural scrapes crackling with energy. Hear rolling cones popping and fluttering with rich stuttering tones. Hear fully open cone pedals squeaking with woody vocalizations like supernatural animals and hardy crunches filled with organic grit.
    • This library offers you an extensive collection of sounds from a unique organic sound source. Digger pinecone sounds are incredibly soft and intimate in real life, but when recorded from two inches they morph into a unique wooden sound source brimming with powerful glitchy and stuttering textures.

    • Two percent of the price of this library is donated to an environmental cause, as an “artist royalty” for the planet!
    • Carbon offset credits were purchased to offset my field recording travel for this library.

    • Woody vocalizations
    • Rolling, scraping, and stuttering textures
    • Visceral and guttural scrapes
    • Fluttering and popping textures
    • Rich crunches
    • Chalkboard-like squeaks and squeals
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    • A spectrogram is included for each audio file. Double click on the photo to enlarge.
    • Read 40+ testimonials for Thomas Rex Beverly Audio
    • Read my Field Recording Mastering Rules and learn more about how these recordings were mastered.
    • Browse the Library Info Master List to compare specs on all my libraries.
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    • MD5 and SHA 256 Checksums are included for each zip file in my catalog. Use these hashes to check the integrity of your downloaded files.
    • Sennheiser MKH8040 and MKH30 in MS
    • Sound Devices MixPre-6
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  • Sci-Fi Advanced Propulsion Play Track 1191 sounds included $99

    ADVANCED PROPULSION is a next-gen sound design toolkit built for creating dynamic sci-fi vehicle engines and passbys. The designed engine sounds are all seamless loops, making them perfect for use with various plug-ins and interactive applications. All raw source material used to design the engines is included, giving you maximum creative flexibility.

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Explore the full, unique collection here

Latest sound effects libraries:
  • Spatial Roomtones & Interiors is an immersive collection of audio backgrounds for cinema, VR, videogames and any audiovisual or creative purposes.

    The audios provided in this library are high quality recordings with Zoom H2n recorder in propietary Spatial Audio mode, horizontal-only ambisonic alike mic layout stored in an AmbiX format. W, X, Y channels of AmbiX provide immersive audio through the horizontal plane and they allow to decode the recording into Mono, Stereo, Binaural, Quad, 5.0, 5.1, 7.1 and more layouts with dedicated Ambisonic processors. Z channel is empty.

    The library comes with 5.0 and Stereo version of the AmbiX original recordings.

  • The following is a 2016 Bell 407 GX Helicopter single license
    sound effects library with Metadata (1.8gb compressed .zip file, 2.5gb Uncompressed).

    All 17 wave files at about 85 minutes long are in 24 Bit, 96 kHz. The Onboard recordings are in 4 separate mono wave files. Drag & drop or import each of the files into your audio editing software, then align them for creative mixing. There are also ready to use stereo mix versions of the Onboard recordings. External recordings are in mono, stereo, and Ambisonic Format B wave files.

    Onboard Settings:

    Channel 1 Front Left
    Channel 2 Front Right
    Channel 3 Rear Left
    Channel 4 Rear Right

    Notes: If you need specific shots of this helicopter, Watson is available for hire to re-record this or similar sounding aircrafts.

    Special thanks to James, his crew, and to Chad Dion (photographer)!

    External = Sounds recorded from outside of the aircraft (flybys, etc)
    OnBoard = Recording perspectives on and in the aircraft

  • Recording of a 1972 Porsche 911 ST vintage sports car with a 2.5 liter 6 cylinder boxer dual ignition engine and race car tuning 280 hp.

    The German 1972 Porsche 911 ST sound fx collection includes 468 sound files in 45.46 gigabytes of audio. It features the sound of a vintage sports car with a 2.5 liter 6 cylinder boxer dual ignition engine and race car tuning 280 hp.

    The bundle gathers 20 synchronized takes from both onboard and exterior perspective. The 18 onboard takes feature microphones positioned in the interior (including an Ambisonic perspective), engine, and at the exhaust while driving with gearshifts, ramps, and steady RPMs. The 7 exterior perspectives showcase departing, arriving, passing by, and reversing at slow, medium, and fast speeds. Also included are idles, performed effects of doors, gearshifts, pedals, and more, and impulse responses of the cabin interior.

    The package downloads with Pro Tools and Reaper mixing sessions, custom mixes of the onboard microphones, professional embedded metadata, and translation import files in 7 languages.

  • Recording of a 1978 Japanese Yamaha ET 340 snowmobile with a 338cc, 2 stroke, 2 cylinder engine.

    The 1978 Japanese Yamaha ET 340 snowmobile sound collection gathers 174 clips in 8.47 gigabytes of field recordings. It showcases the sound of a 338cc, 2 stroke, 2 cylinder engine in 23 channels of audio.

    The sound pack includes 9 synchronized takes of onboard and exterior driving. The 11 onboard perspectives features recordings from the engine, exhaust, and front shield while the skimobile drives with steady RPMs and ramps. The 5 exterior perspectives arrange microphones at three positions to capture driving at slow and fast speeds on straightaways and around corners. The package also includes custom mixes of the onboard perspectives as wells as performed effects of switches, the throttle, and more.

    Each sound is embedded with with seven languages of Soundminer, iXML, BWAV and Mac OS Finder metadata.

  • “The Shoe Collection: Soft Hardwood – Men’s Boat Shoe“ by Periscope Post & Audio, provides 22 high quality footsteps on soft hardwood floors with the boat shoe.  The audio files are recorded at 24bit, 192k with mono and stereo recordings.  The Sennheiser MKH-60 was used for the mono files with a slightly more distant mic placement than the stereo files, which were recorded with the Sennheiser MKH8050 and the Sennheiser MKH-30 near the shoe.  From different walking speeds, to jogging, sprinting, jumping, hard stops, scuffs, and more!  There are several performances with each file to fit the right action you need.  That’s a whopping 454 footsteps between the mono and stereo files!

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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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