This is a question from a novice sound designer, but one that I don't see discussed much, for obvious reasons.

When approaching professional sound design projects such as movies, game cinematics, sound demos/reels etc, and when you are simply unable to create a certain sound yourself, is it ever customary to just scour through sound libraries online, either free or paid? I'm talking about if you need something specific like an animal sound, or a car tyre screech, or real gunfire (assuming you don't have the funds, time or resources to record these sounds for real).

1 Answer 1


It happens all the time. We also contact friends and peers who might have the sounds we need, and trade effects back and forth (which is a great way to expand your library). Everything in audio post is predicated on budget, time and need. We'd all love to record or synthesize brand new sounds for every element needed in a film, but that's just not a realistic goal for most projects.

  • Note that that isn't just for novices (or even just sound design) either. You don't build what you can buy cheaper. It's not good business regardless of field. If the sound you need is already available for less than it costs to make, you do that.
    – AJ Henderson
    Commented Jun 1, 2014 at 17:26

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