Free Sound Library - Sound Effects Nowadays

Free Sound Effects Library 

Sound Effects

A sound effects are any sound other than speech or music in filmmaking. The effect may be natural, that is to say, sound recorded from an actual sound source, or artificially produced sound that sounds real or otherwise appropriate. Sound professionals have access to extensive sound archives with thousands of ready-made sounds such as car crashes, avalanches, gun shots, door rattles, ringtones from various phones, and bird singing. If a suitable sound effect is not easily found in the archives, it will be done specifically.

The general public's misconception about cinematic sound is often that all the sounds in a film are recorded in a shooting situation with a microphone pointing in the direction of the camera. In reality, in a shooting situation, mainly the speech of the actors is recorded, and all other sounds are collected from different sources and attached to the soundtrack of the film during the sound cutting phase. Often the speech shown in the picture is made as a post-recording in the studio, in which case the recordings only record a low-quality auxiliary sound that facilitates post-production. The footsteps and other so-called foley or synchronous sounds caused by the movement of the actors are made only in the pre-cut image at the pace of the movements shown in it.

Various sound effects

Sound effects are divided into three types:

  • continuous background effects through the scene, ie sound bases (sea noise, traffic noise); these are also referred to as “atmosphere” and “ambience”. With such a sound, for example, a wide picture of the scene can be replaced and only close-ups can be used in the scene, whereby the background effect is sufficient to indicate that the scene takes place near a busy street.
  • momentary point effects such as gun launch, explosion, crowd applause, or dog barking;
  • dubbed synchronous or foley sounds (acting footsteps, rustling of clothes, etc.).
  • special effects that express, for example, a transition to a dream period or a recollection reminiscent of the past. The soundtracks of fantasy-animated animated films use a lot of exaggerated, unrealistic special effects. (In sound work, special effects therefore mean something different than the visual effects in a film.)

A good sound effect is easy to identify, ie it describes its sound source as well as possible. As a rule, they aim to create a realistic soundscape suitable for the scene, but a surprising silence can also be used as an artistic means: if a close-up shot is fired with a pistol but no shot sound is heard, the effect can be even stronger. 

In addition to what appears in the images, the sound effects are applied to the sounds that occur outside the image. For example, many directors shy away from showing violence in a picture. Then the violence can be told by the mere sound of shooting or fighting coming from outside the image, which is combined, for example, with the image of a person's reaction to events.