Vietnam Motorcade

New free sound effects: cities, caves, contact mics and cockerels

Free to Use Sounds have very kindly given us another batch of sounds effects. One of the things I like when I come to peruse their offerings is that I never know what’s going to be there or what part of the world they’ve been busy capturing this time. So if, like me, you enjoy being surprised, you might want to skip the guided tour below, which I’m starting to think I should preface with a spoiler alert, they’re all online for you to browse yourself. If, on the other hand, you’d like a quick dose of some of the highlights of the latest batch from one of our guest contributors, here goes. Often, field recording is all about capturing pretty ordinary sound effects... »

How to find value in recording everyday items for beginners

How to find value in recording everyday items for beginners

I was asked a little while ago by someone how I came up with new ideas for recording sound effects, given that I upload over 300, sometimes as many as 500 new sound effects per week. This got me thinking how best to answer the question. Actually the answer is quite simple and I want to explain my approach to recording and how I source the objects and ideas I record every week. The truth is, sound is everywhere, we just don’t pay much attention consciously. Within the first few minutes of each day, when we wake up, our ears are hearing hundreds of sounds. Think about it, what’s the first thing you do when you wake up from a good nights sleep? For me it’s check the surf repor... »

Parrot Macaw

Recording tropical bird sound effects

Last week I sent out several emails to local attractions and locations with the aim to source some new recording locations. One of them was the Maleny Botanic Gardens & Bird World, situated on the Sunshine Coast here in Australia. I was pleasantly surprised when I received a phone call back, almost straight away offering me the chance to go along and record early in the morning, before visitors arrived and even the chance to have an expert there to identify the birds and show me around. I eagerly booked in a session the following week, which was today. I decided the best option was to take with me my Sound Devices MixPre 6 recorder, an AT815ST stereo shotgun microphone and also a Sony PC... »

Looking out of train window

To Squeak or not to Squeak

Convincing sound design is essential to the suspension of disbelief. If your crackling cellophane and air blowing into a microphone doesn’t convince your audience that there is a raging inferno around (but rather sounds like precisely what it is) then they’ll be taken out of the story in which they’re supposed to be immersed. Even if the sound effect you’re using in a scene is a recording of the genuine article but it’s contaminated in any way then you’ll just end up with the same negative effect. This includes being adulterated by background noise that doesn’t fit the scene such as traffic in a medieval setting or system noise from poor gain staging... »

Studio Microphone

77 new free sound effects just added including metal, plastic and more

It’s been another busy day here at recording tons of new free sound effects, some of which were requests while others have been planned for a while. Often, I come across objects during the weekend that I stockpile, ready to be smashed, scraped, swung, thrown and recorded in anyway I can. Here is a quick breakdown of what you can expect to find today: Plastic smashes The weekend was one of those clean up and throw away old stuff kind of weekends, where we try our best to de-clutter the house. My kids are classic hoarders, bringing in anything and everything they find so there’s usually plenty to be had. I managed to find loads of old broken toys that had fallen behind... »

Thunder and lightning

Recording free thunder and lightning sound effects

I’m from the UK, which means when we got a thunderstorm back there, it was a big deal. It didn’t happen often because the summers didn’t often produce the weather conditions for it. But when it did, it could be spectacular. The last time I experienced a summertime thunderstorm in the UK was late one Friday afternoon, just after picking the kids up from school. I was carrying my 3 year old son out from a fish and chip shop, quivering child in one arm, bag of soggy chips in the other when the loudest clap of thunder the UK has ever experienced happened right overhead. Inevitably I dropped the child, but managed to keep hold of the chips! But seriously, that was the last big t... »

New York City Cabs

Recording free New York City sound effects (a nostalgic look back)

Back in around 1999, when I seriously started thinking about a career recording sound effects, I remember hearing the sounds of a major American city (mostly likely New York) on TV and being memorized by how loud everything was. Never having really been to any American cities, I wondered if they really did sound that loud, that busy and that buzzing. Sure, I’d been to London many times, but London just didn’t sound like that. This blog post was inspired by some notes I found that I’d written about the experience, which I’ll highlight shortly. It wasn’t until early 2002(ish) that I was lucky enough to get a return flight to JFK airport from my sister who worked f... »

YouTube Logo

Free sound effects for YouTube

I wanted to write a short article on using our sounds in YouTube videos. We get questions daily about this subject so, I thought this might answer some of your questions. Can I use your sound effects in my YouTube Video? This is the common question and there is a very simple answer, yes! We create up to 500 new free sound effects weekly, many of which are requests our community asks us for, specifically for use on the video sharing platform. Often they are cartoon sounds, sometimes they’re ambiences and other tones that help set an ambience in the project they’re working on. The list is wide and varying. Our Standard License stipulates that if you’re a Basic member, you must credit us ... »

Brisbane Southbank

New scene, new sounds… Brisbane

Everyone needs a break from time to time so when Alan fancied a get-away for a couple of days to Brisbane for a change of scene, you might be forgiven for thinking that he went for…well you know…a break. Turns out though he couldn’t resist the lure urban recording opportunities visiting Australia’s capital had to offer, so he took a binaural rig to capture some immersive ambience field recordings. Good news for us! There’s a wide variety of interesting sound effects here covering a fair number of locations that might be useful in a range of media projects. If ever you’re doing a project that involves action in Brisbane, the descriptive file names should be... »

Alexander Gastrell

Ringing, rest, relaxation and more

In between producing and uploading more sound effects ourselves, fulfilling a recent sound request and preparing for the implementation of a website refurbishment, as ever we’ve been on the lookout for talented sound designers to join our growing community of contributors. I’m pleased to welcome Alexander Gastrell, who’s produced a number of really interesting libraries that range from an exploration of the irritation and isolation of tinnitus to an interesting variety of alarms and warnings. He’s very generously selected a batch of prime cuts from his libraries for you guys and here’s the guided tour. I’ve never had to go to Google before to identify a so... »