May 6, 2008

Cool Tools: Soundsnap

Looking for the right sounds effects to lend credibility to your video project? Want to add the sound of a creaky door for your horror film? Maybe you want a futuristic-sounding laser blast for that new sci-fi project you’re working on. You could get a tape recorder and search for those hard-to-discover sounds or you could head over to and get those sounds for free and with little hassle.

What is Soundsnap? It’s a legal platform for finding and sharing free sound effects and loops. The sound library is made up of a collection of original sounds that were made or recorded by its users. So they’re not the same sounds or songs you would find in commercial libraries or on sample CD’s. There’s an archive of some 30,000 audio clips, ranging in length from seconds to minutes. Browsing the site you’ll be able to access various categories such as nature, science fiction, animals, and sports.

You can also search for sounds by typing in a keyword. Using my favorite animal as an example, there are four search results for chimpanzee including “Chimp-chattering” and “Chimpanzee in space talking over radio.” You can preview the sounds in a matter of seconds and if you find something you like you can download it as an mp3, a wav, or an aiff.

SoundSnap was originally started by a small group of sound people from all over the world. Users who have contributed to the sound vault are a diverse mix of sound designers, sound artists, web game developers, filmmakers and music producers. Members of the community are encouraged to add their own sound clips so they site can become continue becoming a strong resources for the creative community.

If you’re missing a certain sound for your project, try looking for it at Soundsnap. Alternatively, you can carry your sound recorder around with you on your daily errands and continue searching for a “chimpanzee in space talking over radio”.