If you are releasing a new SFX library and you would like it to be included in our recap, send us the details with our SFX Independence Submission Form. Please only notify us of libraries that were released within the last month or substantially updated.
Last month, our community produced 15 new sound effects libraries with locations ranging from deep ravines secluded from humanity to places most people would like to avoid — the courthouse. You’ll find forest winds, ambiences from Berlin and the Mediterranean, energy weapons, battle horns, transit sounds, feedback and signal interference, elevator functions, FM and granular synthesis, electronics toys from the 80s, canyon reverb, cinematic impacts, and courthouse ambiences. Two libraries on this list are completely free, and at the end of the recap you can read about a site full of free SFX that raises money for Deaf Child Worldwide. Can’t ask for more than that!
MPLS Light-Rail by Undertone Sound Library
For their most recent sound library, native Minneapolitans Undertone Sound Library captured the sounds of their beloved local transit system, the MPLS Light-Rail. This library features 30 tracks between one and a half and five and a half minutes in length with interior sounds such as door functions, announcements, stops, walla, bells, horns, and the train car traveling at different speeds. It also contains exterior recordings of the subway’s bells and horns as well as fast and slow passbys. If you’re looking for metro sounds for your film or game, check this library out.
(30 WAV files, 24-bit/96kHz)
PH – 0021 – INSTRUMENT, Battle Horns by Phonophilist
Phonophilist has created a small free library for our audio community. Battle Horns contains the sounds of two Alphorns, a signal horn and a party horn along with the various manipulations Phonophilist created when they mixed and stretched these tracks. The outcomes are pitched-down orc horns, harmonized calls, and even a dada, all of which you can hear evolve through the manipulative process. Though the library is limited in diversity, this small, free collection may offer inspiration for your own design process.
(25 WAV files, 716 MB, 24-bit/192-96kHz)
Feedback Loop FX & Atmospheres and Signal Interference by Glitchedtones
Feedback Loop FX & Atmospheres by Glitchedtones features sounds that will inspire the navigation systems and technology in your project’s universe. While many feedback sound libraries are dry and literal, this library emotes distinct tension while allowing it to fill the needs of sci-fi, horror, glitch, UI, and machine sound design. It features cable and pedal noise, drones, noisescapes, hums, interference, and high and low-frequency feedback.
To further expand on the theme of electromagnetic displacement, Glitchedtones also released their new library Signal Interference. This library contains 40 one-minute no-input mixer feedback loops that slowly evolve in their glitchy buzzes, cracks and hums. Whether you work in film, music or games, Feedback Loop FX & Atmospheres and Signal Interference will bring an interesting edge to your sound design.
Feedback Loop FX & Atmospheres (200 WAV files, 1.56 GB, 24-bit/96kHz)
Signal Interference (40 loops, 1.28 GB, 24-bit/96kHz)
Energy by Dylan Grossman/Breakup Audio
Energy by Dylan Grossman of Breakup Audio is your one-stop shop for energy weapons of all sorts. It has energy beams and laser sounds for your alien SMGs, blasts and explosions for your heavy artillery, and even whooshes and magical effects for your badass mages. Though it was inspired by classic synths from action and adventure cartoons, it has a modern feel to match your new game. And with five variations of each sound (multiplied by random parameters in Wwise and FMOD), this library should supply you with a decent arsenal.
(74 WAV files, 568 MB, 24-bit/96kHz)
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Mediterranean Nature by TONSTURM
The pros at TONSTURM traveled all over the islands and coasts of France, West Turkey, South Croatia and Greece, gathering sounds over four years, to bring you Mediterranean Nature. This library features 50 pure nature ambiences recorded in 5.0 Surround and Stereo from the diverse littoral landscapes of mountains, pine forests, wetlands and rocky shores. It contains songbirds, crickets, forest winds, frogs, and night owls untouched by humanity (besides the team holding the mic). For a beautiful natural collection crafted by sweat and years, definitely give this library a listen.
(52 ambiences, 21 GB, 24-bit/96kHz)
The Elevator by 3MAZE
Elevators may seem like a narrow topic, but 3MAZE knows how to get the most from this class of vertical transportation. The Elevator features a year’s worth of elevator trips within office buildings, hospitals and apartments. It contains the entire process of conveyance including doors opening and closing and the lifts’ ambiences. The folks at 3MAZE even managed to capture a historical variety of elevators from the 1930s, Soviet Era, and 1970s, as well as modern machines from today. No longer will you need to endure the awkward elevator recording experience!
(82 WAV files, 449.1 MB, 24-bit/96kHz)
Pour – Ambient Sounds & Samples by ModeAudio
Pour by ModeAudio is a marriage of physical sound and synthesis. It has 150 ambiences, drones, textures, sub basses and that “little something you can’t put your finger on.” With sounds from field recordings, synths, spectral processing, and FM and granular synthesis, these tracks make a versatile collection. The library has also been designed in 25 sets, allowing you to layer the sounds and create your own dense, complex textures. So whether you are creating soundtracks, electronic music or experimental sound design, this library will give you a little something-something.
(150 WAV files, 503 MB, 24-bit/96kHz)
CANYONS by BOOM Library
The BOOM Library team continues to express their excellence with this rich, high-quality, can’t-get-it-anywhere-else sound library. Recorded by Emmy-winner Gordon Hempton, this library shows his 30-year expertise as he traveled the remnants of the ancient rivers of the American West. Canyons features 135 canyon ambiences peppered with the calls of a coyote stretched to haunting lengths, insects as they travel the darkness, and bird calls that never seem to end with their bright reflections blending into the deep resonant echoes. For unmistakable reflections that intersect and travel for miles in this underground tube system, check out this library.
(135 WAV files, 30 GB Surround or 8 GB Stereo, 24-bit/48kHz)
GLITCHD by Snow Audio
A lot of retro-inspired libraries have come out recently, but GLITCHD takes a different approach. This sample pack was recorded from a Speak & Read by good ol’ — and still around, but they’ll forever be encompassed by school nostalgia — Texas Instruments. This library contains raw recorded audio as well as sound effects designed for more musical and experimental purposes, such as textured drum loops, percussive drones, robotic language, soundscapes, glitches, bleeps and bloops, and more. It goes to show some devices never lose their coolness, especially when they’re repurposed for a new function. Because sound design!
(1,200 samples, 500 MB, 24-bit/48kHz)
Courthouse Crowds by Airborne Sound
We are lucky enough to have two free libraries in this recap! Airborne Sound, makers of all things quality, released Courthouse Crowds, a collection of 20 sounds from the Old City Hall. The library includes sounds of the courtroom, atrium, corridor, and hallways featuring entrance activity with security guards and metal detectors, paperwork and chatter around the police and clerks’ desks, discussions in the bail court, distant voices from the stairs, rooms, and hallways, and whispers and hushes as the judge addresses the court. Whether you’re looking for sounds from government proceedings or dissecting the audible intricacies of a serious, blazer-wearing, marble and wood workplace, go to Airborne Sound now and pick this up.
(20 WAV files, 1.5 GB, 24-bit/96kHz)
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Quad City Berlin by Sonocaine
Quad City Berlin wins this round for “Most Mics Used Simultaneously” (and best title that rhymes with a sitcom). This library, captured on the rooftops of Berlin, is a collection of quadrophonic recordings with Mid-Side for 6-channel recordings. The experts at Sonocaine recorded main roads, urban squares, residential areas, parks, freeways and rooftops — and how they lugged their gear around this major city, I don’t know. They were even lucky enough to capture city sounds without birds eating up the high-frequency range, allowing these recordings to be used in most urban scenarios without fear of the goshawks giving it away. But if six channels are too much for you, don’t worry, there is a plain Stereo version just for you.
(102 WAV files, 6-channel: quad + MS, 26.7 GB, 24-bit/96kHz)
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Windy Forest by Norsonant
Two days in the forests of Norway sounds like to heaven to me, but recording wind is no easy task. Norsonant was up for the challenge. They captured a variety of wind sounds from the deep Norsk forests to include various speeds of wind, types of trees and bushes, and locations like hill tops. With luck like the Quad City library, Norsonant was also able to capture these wind sounds nearly bird-free. For a library that will give you a reason to put synthesized plug-ins aside and feature physical immersion, check this library out.
(22 WAV files, 2.8 GB, 24-bit/96kHz)
BLEED by Sampletraxx
With all the field recording libraries, we can’t forget about trailer sound designers. BLEED by Sampletraxx is a new library focused on building tension and hitting audiences in their guts with your film and game trailers. These tracks have stutters, glitches, reverses, rises, whooshes, stingers and transitions that will take your viewers by the ears and lead them into shock, excitement, reveal and intrigue. This pack is for composers and trailer sound editors alike with nine Kontakt instruments that are compatible with the Photosynthesis engine. If you’re looking to add intensity to your teasers, definitely check out this library.
(9 Kontakt instruments compatible with paid version of Kontakt, 270 WAV files, 1.5 GB, 24-bit/96kHz)
Zapsplat by Alan McKinney
If you were excited about the two free libraries above, then I have even better news. Nearly 10,000 free sound effects up for grabs — and if you choose to purchase their high-quality versions, your money will go directly to Deaf Child Worldwide, the international arm of the National Deaf Children’s Society. Zapsplat allows you to download any mp3 royalty-free, safe for commercial, non-commercial and broadcast project, and with a donation to Deaf Child Worldwide, you can receive the WAV version (plus have no download wait time) and help support children in India, South America and Eastern Africa. Work has been submitted by several sound designers including SoundBits, Bottle Rocket FX, Little Robot Sound Factory, Zapsplat (of course) and many others. So if you’re looking for sounds and want 100% of your purchase to go to helping kids in need, check out this site. It’s a win-win-win-win-win scenario.