Do you need audio samples or sound effects for your content creation or media editing projects?
Great! In this post you will see where to download those, totally for free!
The sites shown here have thousands of free sound effects and audio samples that you can use for personal projects, educational purposes, for research and even for commercial purposes. You will see what are the restrictions of use of the free content in each case (sometimes there aren’t any).
If you’re a video editor or a video producer, you will benefit a lot from this free content: the sound effects of the sites shown here come in multiple styles, from the sound of a waterfall to a car horn. Classic sound effects such as cinematic artificial explosion sounds and cinematic artificial machine gun sounds are also available.
If you’re a music producer, a DJ, a sound designer or composer, you will find free audio samples in the sites shown here for those types of work too, such as musical instrument samples, tempos, beats and keys to mix your own songs and music.
Let’s see the best sites of free audio samples and sound effects.
Sample Focus is the first site where you can download thousands of audio samples and sound effects, this is a platform that not only offers free audio but also works on a sharing basis, you can upload your own sound effects and audio samples there.
Sharing your own compositions of sounds and audio samples on Sample focus is a way to earn credits to download more free audio files. That’s because the platform works with weekly bonuses. When you sign up (which is free), you receive a free amount of download credits each week.
Also, sounds and audio on Sample Focus are grouped by tag in a very powerful tagging system, every audio file is cataloged by category, timbre, character, mood and instruments. So you can filter audio files by musical key and tempo range. That’s very useful for music producers and DJs who are organizing an event or creating a new song or soundtrack because the tagging system saves a lot of searching time.
One important detail is that Sample Focus downloads are only available for desktop operating systems, such as MacOs or Windows, as they don’t work well for downloads on smartphones, such as iOS or Android devices.
Advantages of Sample Focus
- Sample Focus interface is easy to use, responsive and simple
- It has an intuitive tagging system that allows the user to quickly and efficiently locate sound effects and audio samples to download
- You earn credits when referring a new user via your invitation link
- As a user, you can upload your own music tracks
- Every upload you make to Sample Focus gives you credits to download new audio files
- You can upload your own collection of sounds and audio samples
- Eventually the platform will create a profit splitting scheme for those who upload their own audio files
- You as a user will be part of the Sample Focus Community
Now you will see a summary of what is allowed and what is not allowed when using Sample Focus free sound effects and audio samples. That shouldn’t replace your reading of the Sample Focus Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and the Sample Focus License.
How You Can Use the Free Audio Files (Licensed Material)
- You can remix, transform and develop the material for any purpose, even commercially
- The licensed material is allowed to be used for any personal, commercial, editorial or customer purpose
- The audio files are royalty-free and no attribution is required
- The licensed material is permitted to be used in an altered or modified or manipulated manner.
- The Licensed Material can be reproduced in: Music, Films, Videos, Ads, Presentations, Multimedia Projects and more
How You Cannot Use the Free Audio Files (Licensed Material)
- The Licensed Material cannot be placed on any website in a complete or archived format for download
- The Licensed Material cannot be placed on any electronic bulletin board or downloadable format
- The Licensed Material cannot be placed on a way that allows it to be distributed in any other way
- The Licensed Material cannot be placed sold or redistributed as part of a sample package
- The Licensed Material cannot be placed sold or redistributed as part of a music production template
Now let’s see another site to download free audio samples and sounds, which is ZapSplat.
ZapSplat is a library dedicated to supporting independent sound effect creators, music producers and sound designers. Users can test and download any sound or music from ZapSplat for free.
Sound designers and music producers can join the ZapSplat community to upload their own music work to help spread their skills, products and brand to a wide audience.
To have access to free sound effects just create your account ons ZapSplat (which is free) and download the files in high quality.
Advantages of ZapSplat
- ZapSplat works daily adding new audio files to the library
- ZapSplat produces sound effects and personalized music if you need
- You can change the tone, crop or loop ZapSplat sounds to suit your project
- You can use the ZapSplat sound effects on your music tracks
- ZapSplat adds free extra sound effects exclusively for Gold Members
- You can use the sounds of ZapSplat on YouTube videos by simply adhering to the ZapSplat License Agreement
Minimum Requirements to Become a ZapSplat Contributor
- Sound effects or music files that you upload must be at 44.1 kHz minimum or be WAV files at 16 bits minimum
- Sounds and music must be recorded on a good quality recorder
- Recordings cannot be made on cell phones (smartphones)
- The sounds produced must be well edited
- Sounds must be free of hiss and excessive noise
You can find more information about how to become a ZapSplat Contributor on the ZapSplat Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Contributors.
Now you will see a summary of what is allowed and what is not allowed when using ZapSplat free sound effects and audio samples. That shouldn’t replace your reading of the ZapSplat Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), your reading of the ZapSplat License Agreement and your reading of the ZapSplat Standard License.
How to Use ZapSplat Free Sound Effects and Free Music
You must agree to the Terms of the ZapSplat Standard License below before using the website and downloading/using its free audio files.
Sound effects licensed under the ZapSplat Standard License require attribution in the form of a credit/link to the website (the attribution rules are explained in the full License text).
Credits must be added to the project itself, for example, in the YouTube video description, on the credits page of the application or game, or on the website or blog related to the project.
You cannot credit ZapSplat on any social media platform.
You can use ZapSplat sound effects in any non-commercial, commercial and broadcast production, including films, television and radio programs, commercials, podcasts, games and applications, within the software, YouTube videos, blogs and websites, school projects and much more.
You may not use ZapSplat sound effects for the following purposes under any circumstances:
- ZapSplat sound effects must not be shared with anyone
- ZapSplat sound effects must not be distributed in any way, including on other websites, social networks, file sharing platforms, CD, DVD or any other ROM
- ZapSplat sound effects cannot be borrowed, rented, sublicensed or sold to third parties
- ZapSplat sound effects cannot be edited to form new sound effects for sale or distribution outside of your project
- Do not share links to download ZapSplat sounds and music on YouTube or any other video or audio network where the main value is to share ZapSplat sounds or music outside of a production
Now let’s see the third source of free audio samples and audio files, which is Freesound.
Freesound is a huge collaborative database of audio samples, sound effects and many types of audio under Creative Commons Licenses, a type of licensing that allows content creators to use content without paying royalties for it. From books, to photos, to video, to sound, there are a variety of types of materials that can be used, as long as they follow the license rules.
FreeSound offers new and interesting ways to access free sound effects and audio files, allowing users to:
- Browse sounds based on keywords, a “sound-like” type of navigation
- Upload and download sounds to and from the database, under the same Creative Commons License
- Interact with other sound artists
Freesound provides services to users that allow them to upload content on the website, such as sample sounds and sound metadata, distribution lists, chat rooms, newsgroups, forums, blogs and others.
You are responsible for all activities performed on your account. In addition, by using the account to upload content to Freesound, or using the Freesound service to upload content, you expressly agree that other Freesound users and third parties may view and share your content in accordance with these terms.
Each sound effect and audio file on Freesound is under a specific Creative Commons License, you can check that information on the right side of the download page of every audio file, usually there is a link to the license terms and rules on the download page too.
You can get more details of how to use Freesound content for your media projects on the Freesound Frequently ASked Questions (FAQ) and on the Freesound About Page.
Great! Now you know where to download thousands of audio samples and sound effects for your projects!
You can also share your thoughts in the comments below!