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Find Free Sound Effects with FindSounds



What is FindSounds?

FindSounds is quite simply one of the most useful (and fun) sound search engines that I've come across. There are only a handful of dedicated sound search engines out there, and FindSounds is definitely the cream of the crop.

What's different about FindSounds?

FindSounds focuses only on sounds when crawling the Web, and is the "only Web search engine devoted to finding sound effects and musical instrument samples." You can find many different types of sound files on the Web using FindSounds, and you can narrow down exactly what kind of file you're looking for-file formats, number of channels, minimun sound resolution, minimum sample rate, and maximum file size are all available to customize right on the Findsounds home page.

While most of these parameters probably wouldn't make any sense to the casual sound searcher (that's me included), serious sound searchers will appreciate the depth of sound searching they're able to accomplish with these.

Find Sound Effects and More

You can just start entering in what kind of sounds you'd like to find at FindSounds (I just found Elmo's giggle), or you can check out the Advanced Search Help page to help you really get into the nuts and bolts of FindSounds.

Help on this page includes how to use all the search parameters on the home page that I've already detailed, as well as frequently asked questions ("how do I download an audio file to my hard drive?").

What Can I Find On FindSounds?

You might want to check out this partial list of sounds examples that FindSounds has put together for you, just to get started.

You can find sound effects, sound clips, nature sounds, movie sounds, funny sounds, and much, much more. There are a LOT of sounds that you can find here; this from Comparisonics, FindSounds' parent company:

"Each month FindSounds processes more than one million sound searches for more than 100,000 unique visitors. Since its debut on August 1, 2000, it has processed more than 35 million sound searches."

Search Results with FindSounds

My search for monkey on FindSounds brought back quite a few results. There's a few features unique to FindSounds that I'll go through briefly here:
  • Waveform Display Results: Every search result that comes back will have a colorful waveform display graphic. From the FindSounds help page, these "provide valuable visual information about the content of the audio file. Like other waveform displays, it is a graph of amplitude (or loudness) over time. Unlike other waveform displays, the graph is colored to reflect the frequency content of the audio file." Once you learn to read these (serious audio searchers, sound engineers will especially appreciate these), your sound search can be customized using FindSounds Palette, a software program for finding sounds.
  • Find Similar Results: You can click on the little gray button with a blue spider-like thingy on it (that's my highly technical description there) to find similar results.
  • Listen to the sound file. You can click on the speaker icon or click on the URL in order to listen to the sound file.
  • Show Page: Click on "Show Page" to go to the originating page from which the sound is from.
  • Email this Sound: Just what it sounds like.

FindSounds Copyright Policy

Before using these sounds, you need to read FindSounds' Copyright Policy:

"When you perform a search using FindSounds.com or the WebPalette feature of FindSounds Palette, you obtain links to audio files hosted by Web sites throughout the world. The sounds in these audio files may be copyrighted and their use governed by national and international copyright laws. We do not offer advice on the fair use of these files."

You can write to the individual site owners in order to obtain permission; Jennifer Kyrnin has an excellent Copyright on the Web-Obtaining Permission form.

How Do I Listen To Sounds on FindSounds?

You'll need a media player and a relatively high speed connection. For more information, you should read Technical Requirements for Multimedia. This should cover you for any of the sounds you find and would like to listen to on FindSounds.

Why Should I Use FindSounds?

Here are a few reasons I can think of right off the bat:
  • Find sounds easy and fast. FindSounds, while packing a deceptively powerful search interface, is still extremely easy to use, and you'll find a huge range of sounds here for whatever project you might have.
  • Huge database of sounds. FastSounds indexes over a million sounds at the time of this writing.
  • Great for sound engineers or serious "sound-o-philes." While FindSounds is great for just about anyone searching for sounds, serious power sound searchers or people who mix sounds for a living will greatly appreciate FindSounds's finer features.

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