Do you use SFX libraries (like Sound Ideas, Hollywood Edge ...) or do you record your own SFX?

7 Answers 7


Depends on the time frame the client wants it done in. Original soundscapes cost more because extra time spent on the project and you should charge a kit fee for using your own equipment. If its too short of a turn around to record all new audio, then library. It also depends on the audio budget.


Im just starting out and so far I use only my own recordings. I feel like I accomplished more with something I recorded myself. But if its a sound like a whale, then I will be okay with doing a library sound.


Personally you can't have enough in your library- variety etc. But I always like to get my own when possible. In between projects, I always go out and record for the fun of it and being in South Africa, there are so many things that need to be captured that don't exist on present day packaged libraries like SIs or BBC etc. I have always had the philosophy that it is a sound designers obligation to build their own library as their career progresses. They are yours, unique to you and make you r projects sound fresh. There is nothing worse than relying on the canonized libraries and finding out that SI 6021-03 New York Traffic with horns ST has been used in hundreds of other projects and is easily recognizable.

That's my 2 cents.


With my pathetic selection of mostly-handheld-dynamic mics, I rely almost entirely on libraries.


I use mostly libraries.


I always try and record everything myself but will use libraries if I physically can't get the desired sound.


Upfront sounds deserve more attention than a low volume background sounds. I argue that you are doing your project a disservice if you are spend hours on the background dog bark that could be spent on the fight scene that is happening at the same time.

In a perfect world we all would have great location rigs and access to all the explosion, animals, and vehicles we need to record our own. I generally dont have the time or budget to be too dogmatic about it.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.