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Free Sound Effects for Filmmakers

 

We love working with filmmakers. Are you a looking for free sound effects to bring your movies to life? Maybe you’re struggling to meet a deadline and are looking to download professional high quality sounds that are 100% legal to use. Or maybe you just can’t find another library that has all the sounds you need?

Here at ZapSplat.com, we work alongside filmmakers every day to deliver amazing audio for countless films, from indie filmmakers on a budget (or not) through to high-end productions. We listen to their feedback, source sfx they can’t find anywhere else and have crafted what we believe is one of the best resources online.

From day one, we have focused on creating a library that houses highly useful sounds covering many of the gaps in the current market. Sound designers and field recordists often neglect the more mundane sounds, focusing on bigger and more ‘fun’ things to record. Yeah, we love recording Lamborghinis and massive thunderstorms (and we have these in our library too) but we also spend a lot of time recording more common everyday sounds. For example, if you need the subtle sound of someone sitting down in a leather chair, the sound of a particular object being put down or picked up, specific footsteps on stone, carpet, wood, metal or grass… we have them! It’s often these sounds a filmmaker needs to bring a movie scene to life.

What type of sound effects are commonly used by filmmakers?

We can break down the types of sounds commonly used by filmmakers as spot sounds, ambiences/atmospheres and production elements.

Spot Sound Effects

Think of these as short one shot sounds that usually accompany an action or event. Some common examples could be simple be the sound of someone placing an object down, a punch, pouring a drink, footsteps, smashing a glass etc.

Ambiences and Atmospheres (and background sounds)

These sounds very often don’t represent a visual element, action or event, but simply help add atmosphere and realism. They could be nature sounds such as rain, thunder, wind, birds etc., man-made sounds such as traffic, city backgrounds, room tones, hums and drones, or even more abstract atmospheres for genres such as science fiction. Speaking with many newbie filmmakers, this is often one of the most overlooked areas or, if not used correctly, it can ruin the desired effect.

Production Elements

Production elements are sounds used for things such as to enhance, add tension or drama to a scene, transitions, whooshes etc. They are often designed rather than organic or natural. Think of a movie trailer for a horror film and you’ll be imagining all those big hits and impacts, drones and risers that help to make the trailer more engaging and dramatic and really grab your attention.

Some of the most downloaded sounds by filmmakers at ZapSplat…

Why should I use a stock audio library?

This is probably the most important question to ask yourself if you’re new to making films and are looking for resources to acquire audio. You can of course record them yourself, and many do. If time and budget allow, purchasing some high-quality microphones and a recorder is one of the best investments you can make. While some audio may be captured on set, it’s likely that you’ll need to add clean sound in post, and that’s where you’ll either want to have your own recordings available, or access to a large collection that you can download quickly and easily.

Like anything, someone owns the sound effects and music that you’ll hear on any form of media and the owner either created them for themselves, or licensed them out for use to others. The latter is where a stock audio library comes in. At ZapSplat, and like any other professional library, we supply you with a license to download and use the sound and music tracks available on our website. This means the creator retains the copyright but gives you permission to use the audio in your films so long as you abide by the terms of the license agreement.

Here at ZapSplat.com we have a very flexible license that doesn’t place many restrictions on the audio we offer. You can check it out here.

Other resources you might find useful

We love to share other resources we think you’ll find useful. Below are some other sound libraries we would recommend you check out. We are not affiliated with any of the websites in this list!

Film Crux – Singularity, cinematic sound library

Film Crux is a renowned filmmaking blog that’s stuffed with info, resources and sound libraries. Singularity is a cinematic sfx pack that contains 400 original sounds, from rises, impacts, whooshes, bass drops, drones, atmospheres and more. Perfect for creating professional movie trailers

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Remember, you must credit us/provide attribution when using our sounds/music in your work. An example would be:

Sound from Zapsplat.com


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  • Quicker downloads (no more delays)
  • Removal of the attribution requirement
  • Higher quality sounds (get the wavs too)
  • Thousands of extra sounds
  • Lists, more results per page & ad free

All this for the price of a coffee!