Disclaimer: All sounds, free of charge or otherwise, are currently held under different licensing agreements. Be sure to check the full legal document for each library before downloading. Licenses for each library must be suitable for individual productions and broadcast magnitudes. The author of this article is in no way responsible for any legal violations that may occur due to incorrect usage of the sounds available in this article.
Who is this article for?
Video editors - Searching to spice up their videos
Youtubers - Who wants to take their videos to the next level by adding sound effects
Sound Designers - Searching for free ways to diversify the sound libraries
Free sounds websites:
You should probably first check out these 3 links:
These website provide a wide range royalty free sound effects. These are completely free, so chances are that some of them are low quality or noisy, but if you search well enough, you'll probably find the sounds you need.
Another great place to download free sound effects is directly from youtube. This is a designated page where you can search, rate and download sound effects to use in your videos:
This library contains 16,000 sound effects and field recordings from the BBC archive. You can find there all kinds of sounds: Animals, ambiances, foley recordings etc:
*They were released under the RemArc licence, so they can be used only for “personal, educational or research purposes”. If you need them for commercial use, you can buy them from ProSoundEffects.com.
Soundscrate.com are awesome. They provide a vast pool of sound effects.
By registering to the free plan, you can download up to 5 sound effects per day - for free.
PremiumBeat.com is a royalty free music stock. It has an interesting blog that, among other things, provides sound effect freebees. You can find there SCI-FI UI sounds, footsteps and other useful sounds:
There are some free sounds in the Soundsnap Blog. “These free sound packs rotate every couple months”, according to the Soundsnap management.
BoomLibrary.com is a professional royalty free sound effects stock, and gets mentioned a lot by pros. These sample packs are not free, BUT, they do have 2 free sample packs.
In addition, by joining to the newsletter, you can benefit from “Monthly FREE SOUNDS delivered directly to your inbox (commercial use allowed)”.
A Sound Effect
You can register to the 'A Sound Effect' Newsletter and get free sounds with every issue.
Over a giga of robotic sounds, UI (User Interface) sounds and more!
They also have a few sample packs that you can download for free from their website.
By Subscribing to 344audio.com you get 1.2 GB of free sound effects!
At soundofessen.com you'll find tones of high quality recordings of ambiances from Europe!
In FREESFX You can Find up to 500K completely free sound effects. All you have to do is sign up, search, choose and download!
Nasa, apparently, "... has been making historic sounds for over 50 years”, and these sounds are now open for public use:
Record sounds yourself!
You don’t need a huge foley stage to record sounds.
These days, you can buy relatively cheap handy recorders like the Zoom H1 and just go out there and record what you need.
It might be time consuming, but it’s fun! And once you buy your recorder the sounds are free, authentic and they are YOURS!
As you can see, most of the royalty sound effects stocks provide a few samples or even whole sample packs for free. If you still didn't find what you're looking for, and you want to try all the free possibilities, I suggest you go and search over the net for other companies that create sound effects packs and check if they have a "Free" section.
Another way, would be to get in touch with freelancers who record Foley, ambiances and sound effects and try to make a barter deal.