There was a time when I first started making animated shorts where, after spending countless hours working on the animation and finding just the right background music for it, I considered skipping the sound effects (SFX) altogether. It was just extra time and effort to search through countless websites for the right sound! But then I tried inserting some easy-to-find SFX for a few seconds of my animation, and I have to say it truly does make a BIG difference.
Why Add Sound Effects?
Adding sound effects to your animation can take your video’s viewing experience to a whole new level. It’s a great and subtle way to add some comedy (Tom and Jerry, anyone?) or communicate your intention for the scene to your audience.
Take for example this end scene from A Bug’s Life. We see the ants use wheat/grain as fireworks, and the sound effects really help sell that idea.
Finding *just* the right sound effect can be time consuming though, so I’ll be sharing with you my top 5 go-to websites for free sound effects! I know there are countless other websites out there but I feel like these ones offer quality free sounds, and they have a good layout which makes them easy to navigate.
Remember to watch out for the Attribution 3.0 or Attribution 4.0 Licenses, that way you can use the sound for both commercial and non-commercial purposes for free as long as you give credit to the owner of the audio.
My Top 5 Go-To Sites for Free CC Sound Effects
FreeSFX.co.uk — You’ll need to sign up for a free account to be able to download
FreeSFX — Not to be confused with the link above, you’ll also need to sign up for a free account to download
Freesound.org — Sign up for a free account to download
Or Consider Recording your Own Sounds
Still can’t find the exact SFX you’re looking for? If what you need is easy enough to create (such as vocal sounds or footsteps) try recording some of your own! Not only will you not have to worry about copyright, but you can get the sound exactly how you want it to be. Grab a microphone, download Audacity,–a free, easy-to-use, and amazing sound recording program– and find a quiet time and place to record (or try recording under a thick blanket or inside a closet full of clothes to block out noise).
Now Your Turn!
- Do you know another website for free sound effects that wasn’t listed above? Share it in the comments below!