If you are just starting as a sound designer you probably need a nice collection of SFX libraries and a basic portable recorder but we will leave the portable recorders out for now and focus on building your SFX library.

Since the SFX market is expanding very fast, many SFX sellers/developers offer free samples to make themselves present on the market. Both user and the developer benefit from this. User gets a free library and gets to know the developer and developer gets a potential lead. I will share some cool freebies in case you missed them. Most of the libraries below grant the licence for the commercial use.

There are also special occasions where a re-seller like A Sound Effect or Sonniss giveaway a large portion of their catalogue. This is a another great way to build your SFX library and get to know the developer behind the recordings or designed samples. A Sound Effect usualy has one giveaway around Christmas while Sonniss have the giveaways more often, usually around Christmas and big events like GDC (Game developers conference).

Cool freebies

Battle Horns by Phonophilist
The first library with horns which were played by orcs. Nice for pitching and layering for getting results sounds like a battle orc’s horns.

Paper Sound Library by Depth of sound
186 paper sounds, which were perfectly suited to post production, audio books, radio broadcasts and other audio channels. All sounds are in WAV, mono and 24 bit & 96 kHz.

Free sounds of Paris by Red libraries
Typically french modern atmos from small to big shops, these sounds are the first of a set, specialized in French shops.
Get these stereo ambiences! It’s our pleasure to offer them to you. (Supermarkets are neutral enough to be used in every country). Demo not available.

Free sounds by Soundbits
These samples are a part of their catalague. Also make sure to check out the free Just DSLR library.

Galapagos Souvenirs by Dynamic interference
The pack includes: (demo not available)
– A motor boat
– Frigate Bird (both young and mature0
– Blue Footed Booby
– Large Billed Flycatcher
– Mockingbird
– Giant Tortoise

Balloon Squeaks and Creaks by Arrowhead Audio
‘AAS-003 Balloon Squeaks and Creaks ’ is a pack containing various Squeaks, Creaks, Plucks, Warbles, Stresses and more, created from Balloons. Demo not available.

Indian Ricksha by Tovusound

Free sound effects by Airborne Sounds
Airborne Sounds has a fine collection of free sounds available for download. Demos of each library is available on the website.

Free sounds by Soundcatcher
Some cool sounds here.

One shots by Antisample
A collection of one shot samples from various sound sources. 60 high quality sounds at 24 bit and 48 KHz.

Cinematic Sound Effects by 99 sounds
Cinematic Sound Effects is a free collection of futuristic sound effects designed for use in cinema scoring and electronic dance music, crafted by Joshua Crispin aka Generdyn. The library contains a set of free sound effects, including impacts, risers, atmospheres and musical loops. 99sounds also giveaway other SFX libraries.

Free SFX packs from Glitchmachines
Any fan of abstract or better yet unique SFX packs should own at least one of the Glitchmachines SFX packs. Demos available on the site.

Make sure to check out the Sound effects search for more freebies.