I'd like to start build my own sound effects library from the ground up for the use in motion pictures and gaming. When building this library, is there a standard from SMPTE to meet? Are there better digital signal sampling rates that are easier to integrate into the films, especially going from HD to UHD? If anyone has experience in signal analysis and process, is it better to use analog microphones to get a raw signal and post-process it through signal conditioning with A-to-D converters for optimal sample rates, and low, high and/or band pass filters for cleaning up the sounds? Is there any other information to be captured and included into the library infrastructure? Thanks!

  • Since I see many questions on naming conventions, those posts answer that question. So specifically, is there a SMPTE sound library or sound effect standard that a file, a library or both must strive to meet for use in film making?
    – Lilibete
    Commented Mar 8, 2020 at 10:28

1 Answer 1


There are no standards as such for Sound Effects libraries. There are related standards around file data formats maintained by the AES but generally there is nothing required that is related to Sound Effects libraries specifically.

There are industry conventions that you might consider, such as:

  1. Recording at a minimum of 48kHz sampling rate (preferably more)
  2. Recording at a minimum of 24-bit resolution

Audio resolution has no relevance whatsoever to video resolution (i.e. HD/UHD).

The reason you would record sound effects at a higher sampling rate is due to the needs of sound designers and sound mixers to potentially pitch-change the material.

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