Q It Up: What are your favorite SFX websites?

Q-It-Up-Logo-sep95Q It Up: What are some of you favorite websites for downloading sound effects and/or voice tracks (like clips from presidential speeches, TV/movie lines, etc.)? Tell us a little about each site, such as cost, if any, the variety of clips, audio quality, etc.

Mike Farley [mike[at]wrns.com] NextMedia, Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville, North Carolina: One site I like is Lori Lerner’s site: www.radio linkshollywood.com. Site includes actor comments plus sound bites from the flicks as well. Most feature some music so you can have it to use in the background. Quality is 80 Kbs, 44,100Hz, mono. Would love to have it in stereo... but most of it is strictly vocal audio. Major drawback is that every time you sign on the site, you have to fill out a brief form with name, calls, etc. I also use www.wavsource.com and www.wav planet.com from time to time. Internet searches will produce thousands of sites to pick from.

Michael Taylor [miket132[at]msn.com], 2Daze Creative & Production, Dallas, Texas: I don’t download a lot of sound effects or voice tracks but here are a few sites. The sound quality is good and the prices are also fair. They are Sounddogs.com and Sound-ideas.com. Now for audio clips when I need something crazy I go to ebaumsworld.com. You find old movie clips and other audio with free downloads. Be warned there is also some really sick stuff on this site.

Richard Stroobant [bigdick[at]cjay92 .com], CJAY 92/VIBE 98.5/AM 1060 CKMX, Calgary, Alberta, Canada: We use Frostbytes and ChaseCuts. Very good services and great stuff. We use them on a barter basis here in Canada. Best thing about the site is once you are a member you can get stuff in the archives (like from 2 years ago). I have 2 discs worth of stingers, logos, beds for our rock station. Very cool to be able to grab so much stuff, and they also upload new stuff every day.

Jeff Berlin [jberlin[at]jberlin.com]: For sound effects I use www.sounddogs.com. They have every sound effect from most every library for sale ­ which you can purchase one effect at a time. Typical cost per sound ranges from $2 to $10. A range of file formats, including uncompressed .wav, sorted so you can browse, search, and preview. Much cheaper than spending hundreds of dollars on a complete library ­ the majority of whose contents you’re never likely to use.

Tim Miles [timmiles[at]wizardofads .com]: I don’t wish to be the squeaky wheel this month, but may I suggest www.danoday.com/copyright to my colleagues? It costs $20 to download the .pdf file, and you may print out a copy for each person it your office. If you’re going to utilize sound performances created by others, you ought to know your rights - and their rights - before proceeding.

Ian Fish [Ian.Fish[at]chrysalis.com]: These sites are all free... so expect a few random pop-ups and the occasional annoying website that effectively disables the “back” button. Other than that though, they’re all really useable. www.geocities .com/Hollywood/Theater/6219/, www.sausagenet.com/, www.sound central.com/, www.moviesounds.com/, www.wavsite.com/index.htm, and this is a really useful site if you’re looking for music that’s been used in a commercial: www.whatsthatcalled.com/index.html.

Jay Rose [jay[at]dplay.com]: I’ve got to admit it. Despite a fairly extensive collection (maybe 800 CDs of sound effects and licensable music here) there are times I just can’t find what I need. Of course, these times are usually late at night, when I’m working on a project due the next day. At times like these, my productions go to the dogs.

SoundDogs.com has what must be a couple hundred thousand high-quality sounds and music clips available for virtually instant download. You can search by keywords or browse categories, then preview in low-resolution. When you find a winner, put it in a shopping cart. The price per effect is usually under a dollar or two - it depends on data size, and is affected by the sample rate and file format you specify, as well as by how many seconds of sound you want.

A minute or two after you confirm the order - they take credit cards, and you can set up a user account for convenience - you get an e-mail with a link to a private web page. Go there and download your sounds. Since everything is sold on a buyout basis, you can keep them on your shelf for future projects. If you have a slow Internet connection, they’ll burn a custom CD and ship it instead.

It’s iTunes Music Store for production people: comprehensive, fast, and cheap. Who could want more?

Drake Donovan [drake[at]drake donovan.com]: www.wavsource.com is very handy for finding TV, movie, & news event drops and sound. 

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