I’d been keeping track of everyone in my browser bookmarks for years. There were so many, it had become a bit out of hand. So, I decided to organize them and list them here on the site so others can use them, too.
Independent Sound Effects Collection Lists
Sites like Designing Sound and Audible Words have similar lists. They have most of the bases covered. There are great lists on other blogs that focus on certain categories: Foley, sound design, vehicles and so on. And of course there’s A Sound Effect, which offers keyword search and audio previews of independent sound libraries.
I found a few new sites tucked away in corners of the Web. I wrote a short summary of each site, the people involved, and what’s noteable about the store.
I decided to focus my list exclusively on people from the community. So, I’ve not included corporate stores, or à la carte shops.
Instead, I wanted to highlight actual individual field recordists and sound designers creating packaged libraries right now. Why?
The Role of Focused Sound Effect Collections
Community sound libraries offer bundles of sound clips. They’re highly focused, usually concentrating on a single theme. These packs take reflection, diligence, skill, and time to produce. The result of this process produces some of the highest quality sound packages currently available.
Of course, having good sound effects to work with is a good thing. That’s obvious. Having a torrent of cool clips at the tip of your mouse pointer inspires you to cut better tracks, and have fun while you’re doing that. But there’s another reason, too.
When you include better sound effects in your projects, and you release those works into the world, they have a chance of inspiring others as well. Listeners will hear your cool compositions and clever sound design. That inspires them to record new sound effects collections. It motivates them to craft better projects themselves.
Sometimes you’ll create these sound effects yourself. There’s a chance you won’t have every clip you need in your library, though. In those cases, your colleagues in the field recording community may help.
Where to Find the List
I have the nagging suspicion that I’ve missed a few of you. If I have, please email me, and I’ll add you to the list.
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