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!


Please share this:


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:
  • Animals & Creatures Amazon Jungle Play Track 49 sounds included, 357 mins total From: $95 From: $66.50

    Amazon Jungle is a collection of unique ambiences recorded in the Amazon rainforest on the border between Peru, Bolivia and Brazil. The library was recorded during the rainy season when birds are vocal and humidity is at its highest. These recordings feature species such as the Screaming Piha, Toucans, Howler Monkeys, Trogons, Tinamous, Owls, very vocal Bamboo Rats and a multitude of insects and frogs.

    30 %
    Ends 1576537199
  • Sci-Fi Lo-Fi Sci-Fi Play Track 1,000+ sounds included, 431 mins total $30 $15

    Lo-Fi Sci-Fi is a library packed full of characterful, authentic and gritty sounds. It was lovingly created by sound designers Barney Oram and Derek Brown, in homage to classic late 70’s and early 80’s sci-fi movies.
    The collection is comprised of a wide range of sounds, including metal, organics, fire, mechanical, interfaces, creatures, foley and footsteps, abstract, ambience, and much more.

    Lo-Fi Sci-Fi features 620 24bit / 48kHz WAV files in total, including 45 designed sounds and 575 source sounds.

    50 %
    Ends 1576105199
    Add to cart
  • Foley Footstep and Foley Sounds Play Track 812 sounds included $10 $8

    Footstep & Foley Sounds contains 511 high quality professionally recorded footstep sounds. Surfaces included: concrete, dirt, grass, gravel, metal, mud, water, wood, ice and snow. Plus 141 Foley sounds covering a variety of character movement sounds. A perfect addition to add realism to your footstep sounds.

    This pack also includes a variety of 160 bonus sounds effects from our full library Pro Sound Collection. ALL sounds from Footstep & Foley Sounds are included in Pro Sound Collection so if you need more sounds be sure to check it out before purchase.

    20 %
    Add to cart
Explore the full, unique collection here

Latest sound effects libraries:
  • Animals & Creatures Amazon Jungle Play Track 49 sounds included, 357 mins total From: $95 From: $66.50

    Amazon Jungle is a collection of unique ambiences recorded in the Amazon rainforest on the border between Peru, Bolivia and Brazil. The library was recorded during the rainy season when birds are vocal and humidity is at its highest. These recordings feature species such as the Screaming Piha, Toucans, Howler Monkeys, Trogons, Tinamous, Owls, very vocal Bamboo Rats and a multitude of insects and frogs.

    30 %
    Ends 1576537199
  • Destruction & Impact Just Impacts Bundle Play Track 1434+ sounds included $183 $146.40

    This bundle includes these libraries from the popular Just Impact series:

    Just Impacts – Simple
    Just Impacts – Processed
    Just Impacts – Designed
    Just Impacts – Extension I
    Just Impacts – Extension II

    – at a great discount!

    20 %
  • Military TANK T-44 Play Track $149

    Tank T-44: The great hulking mass that would spell doom for the Red Army’s enemies has been captured in all its glory trudging along, with every turn of its metal treads and gears recorded masterfully.

    The sound capture equipment used were best-in-breed Neumann U87 and Schoeps M4 microphones, and the tank’s authoritative rumbles and clangs were recorded from various positions, and at various speeds as the treads grip the ground and transfer the power of its mighty engine, transmission, and parts. There are also stereo recordings for the tank’s engine and the tank’s exhaust pipe.

    We at Flysound have dusted off the cobwebs and taken this 30 tonne beast for several victory laps to record its belligerent brilliance. The T-44: one of the great patriotic tanks! In a time when action productions are all to often devolving into the fake and unrealistic, this sound package is an authentic antidote of epic proportions. Tank you!


    Here you can find 61 HD quad surround ambiences of the wild North European nature. They were recorded during a two-week recording trip on foot and by rowing boat in the hot July of 2018 at the heart of the national park in Karelia, North-Western Russia. Spacious, transparent, immersive and absolutely free from any technogenic and anthropogenic sounds. Still air and wind through grass or trees. Birds and insects from single and sparse at the cloudy morning to dense and busy at the hot sunny noon, a mosquito chorus at dawn and ear-piercing grasshoppers at sunset. Distant thunder rolls and disturbed Arctic Loon, huge old trees creaking and grumbling in the wind.

    10 % of the library’s revenue goes to nature preserves and animal shelters.

  • Ambisonics Vintage Trams Play Track 46 sounds included $30 $20

    Vintage Trams: passes and rides from a number of perspectives.

    The bygone sounds of rattly old trams, passing in the street: the rumble of the metal wheels on the tracks, the sound of the pickup rods on the overhead wires, the clang of the bell and the voice of the conductor, all of these are here for your delight. Starts and stops, rides and passes, all lovingly collected in First Order Ambisonic surround and collated in FuMa & ambiX orders and weighting. Full Soundminer metadata and Excel Spreadsheet included.

    And there’s more! A bonus collection of sounds in stereo from my extensive archive, with a ride on a San Francisco cable car, more vintage trams and a series of recordings of a Trolley Bus, an electrically powered bus running form overhead cables, but so quiet in operation, it was known as ‘the silent killer’ as pedestrians tended not to be aware when it was approaching.

    33 %
    Ends 1577228399
The A Sound Effect newsletter gets you a wealth of exclusive stories and insights
+ free sounds with every issue:
Subscribe here for free SFX with every issue

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

HTML tags are not allowed.