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Free Royalty-Free Sound Effects for Your Video Projects

written by: Kumara Velu•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 2/22/2010

If you need sound effects that you can't ordinarily record for your videos, the answer is royalty-free sound effects. But if you don't have the budget for it, you could visit these online resources to download free royalty-free sound effects.

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    Using Royalty-Free Sound Effects in Your Video

    You've finished editing your video with slick cuts and cool transitions with even your favourite music included. But after reviewing your piece, you find that the sound of the glass dropping on the floor and breaking isn’t impactful enough. The roar of the car on the road outside overshadows the breaking of the glass. It ruins the very moment you want to create.

    Of course you can rerecord the sound of a breaking glass, but whether you would get the desired sound quality is another question. In this situation, a sensible solution would be to acquire a royalty-free, sound effect clip that would provide the effect you need.

    You don’t have to order a whole CD of royalty-free sound effect clips just so you can use a few of them. In these days of Internet shopping, you could purchase a single sound effect clip that could quickly and easily find its way into your computer within minutes.

    The whole process may be quick and easy, but it’s not going to be cheap, especially if you’re going to need a couple of clips. If you’re working on a low-budget or no-budget video production, you can always avail yourself of free royalty-free sound effects.

    Let’s look at some online resources for free sound effects that you can download to your computer within a few clicks of the mouse. Even if you have the budget to purchase royalty-free sound effects, you may want to give these free sound effects a try before making a buying decision.

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    GRSites.com

    Over at GRSites.com, you could avail yourself of 1980 high quality free sound effects. Among the categories available are aircraft sound effects, animal sound effects, comic sound effects, water sound effects and people sound effects.

    People sound effects, for instance, has 149 clips, including a woman screaming, baby crying, people at airport and woman laughing. If you have a video relating to a railway station, you could browse through the train sounds category. You’ll find clips such as a subway train stopping, train pulling into station and train stopping, among a total of 24 clips. Not bad to add these ambient sounds to your video although you already have some.

    File size is under 1MB and the majority of the clips don’t exceed 100kb and the large clips are slightly over 500kb. Clips are offered in WAV format and can be downloaded directly or emailed to yourself. You can tick `Remember my email address’ if you wish to come to the site every now and then to download more clips.

    This is a user-friendly site which allows you to preview a sound effect before downloading it.

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    A1 Free Sound Effects

    If you want to add sound effects relating to radio, television, sports or weather, A1 Free Sound Effects offers you a good collection of clips relating to the above categories. There are also categories relating to cartoons, vehicles, household and weapons.

    Under the radio category, you have the usual sound effects used for radio productions – thunder and rain, canned laugh and explosion sounds, among other clips, all offered in MP3 or WAV. There’s no preview available. Just click on the clip you want and download it.

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    PacDV Free Sound Effects

    If you’re looking for free ambient sounds for your video projects, PacDV is the site to visit. There are dozens of free sounds to choose from – cafeteria, city traffic, party crowd and shopping mall, among others.

    Clips are offered in MP3 format with the duration ranging from 20 seconds to a minute and a half. The maximum file size is 1.4MB. There’s no preview available. The other category that may interest you is the voices category. Clips such as "do you like it?", "get away from me", "bye-bye", "come on, you can do it" and "get away from me" could be used for comic effect in your home videos.