If you’ve learned to record and edit audio specifically for the purpose of podcasting, then keeping it simple in the early days is key.
Once you get more comfortable with chopping and moving around pieces of audio inside your editing software though, you might begin to get a little more adventurous.
With more and more new podcasts being launched every day, there’s an increasing need to make your show stand out.
The integral part of this is the content itself, but the production values of your show can really make or break it too.
Over time, you might want to start adding in additional sound effects to enhance your audio.
Or, you might even want to go down the route of creating highly-produced documentary or audio drama-style shows.
Whatever your reason, one big question is where to find good sound effects for use in your podcast.
Can I Just Make My Own?
Absolutely, and many producers do. In fact, if you enjoy it enough you can even try to build a career or business around it.
If you want to go down that route, then there’s no better place to start than by getting a copy of The Sound Effects Bible by Ric Viers.
Remember that you either pay for something with your money or with your time, though.
Making your own sound effects can be fun, but it can also be a time-consuming distraction that takes focus away from actually working on your content.
If your time is limited, then sourcing pre-made sound effects is going to make much more sense.
Can I Find Free Sound Effects?
You can. The most popular free sound effect resource on the internet is probably The Free Sound Project.
It’s a collaborative resource where anyone can upload their own recorded sound effects, and make them available for use on various Creative Commons licenses (commercial, non-commercial, etc).
There’s some excellent stuff available on Freesound. But there’s also plenty of low and poor quality audio on there too.
That means that you might end up spending a lot of time searching and vetoing sounds, and that could put you right back to square one.
Paying For Sound Effects
This is the most obvious way to save time, and to guarantee quality.
One of my favourite resources is A Sound Effect. It’s something of a one-stop shop for browsing sound effects and collections from a multitude of creators.
Here you’ll find a library for every need, ranging from footsteps and household noises, to sci-fi space battles and cinematic horror.
They have very clear and simple licensing, which means you don’t need to constantly be checking where and when you’re allowed to use a particular sound.
ASF is ideal if you’re making audio drama or fiction podcasts.
If you’re going down the audio documentary route though, then Epidemic Sound might be more suited to your needs.
Epidemic have some great musical collections available on top of their sound effect and ambient tracks.
Music Radio Creative
If it’s sound effects for radio-style jingles, swooshes, and stingers you’re looking for, then check out Music Radio Creative.
They’re the medium’s audio branding specialists, and will produce custom made effects and transitions for your show.
If you run an unscripted conversational or interview show, and you’d like to add a layer of professionalism to your sound, MRC are the go-to folks!
Where Do You Find Sound Effects?
There are plenty of other great resources out there for buying and licensing sound effects.
I’d love to hear about your own experiences in sourcing audio for your show. Who have you used, and were you happy with the overall quality and service?
Leave a comment below and let us know about it.