Sound effects are a great tool for enhancing multimedia projects of any kind. Whether it’s a foley sound of a cartoon character falling down a cliff, the sound of a rocket taking off in a big blockbuster Hollywood action movie, or the gunshots on a crime radio drama, sound effects have been around since the invention of recorded media. It comes as no surprise then that many filmmakers, game developers and animators have a need for high-quality sound effects.
One particular category of sound effects are funny sound effects. We’ve all heard them in comedies, video games and, most of all, cartoons. This category can range from simple sounds like the aforementioned sound of someone falling from a cliff (as often featured in the cartoon Road Runner) all the way to a simple laugh that needs to be placed in the right spot of your work.
There are many sites on the internet that can provide free sound bits you can use in your project or art work, but as soon as you get hold of them, you’ll realize that they lack one important thing: quality. This is understandable since the sound effect that is of a higher quality comes at a certain price.
You cannot expect someone to go out of their way to record those sounds and then hand them to you free of charge. However, if you’re into this kind of artistic creation but haven’t yet reached that goal of making a living out of it, it can get very frustrating not being able to find sounds that are affordable and high-quality at the same time. In regards to the aforementioned laughing sounds (featured in numerous sitcoms in the form of laugh tracks) here at CrazyGiggles.US we assembled a small collection of various laugh tracks you can choose from at iTunes store for just a dollar. But what about the rest? Maybe you need other funny sound effects but are not able to find any that suits.
Because of this, we decided to give you a few tips on what to look out for when searching for sound effects you want to use in your project.
Is it legal?
One of the first things you have to know before using any material that isn’t originally yours is: what can I use? This is a very serious question as it’s very important to know what your legal boundaries are. If, for example, you’re shooting a short film and you want to put a music track in it, you’d need to get the permission of the artist/s or the studio that owns the rights to it. The same thing applies with sound effects.
Of course, songs are way much easier to figure out if used somewhere or not, but don’t be fooled by this false feeling of security. There are many people out there who make a living out of prosecuting copyright infringements and finding new ways to protect the rights of their work.
Luckily, if you find yourself on a good sound effects website, you’ll find always a disclaimer stating how the given sound may be used. Some artists give the sounds up for free use; others only demand to be credited for the sound (that’s the least you can do even if they don’t ask for it specifically). However, as mentioned earlier, most of the professional sounds can be used for free in projects that don’t make money, but for those who make money and ARE commercial, you have to pay a price.
How to know the quality
Audio files can very easily be analyzed and many sound effect sites offer some statistics about the files they’re offering. Our advice here would be to not settle for anything lower than a stereo WAV file with 6 bit (sample size), 44.1 kHz (sample rate) or 1411 kbps (bit rate) as they’re the standard for studio recordings.
Get the free and cheap sound effects and make them better
If you have any skill in sound editing (and I assume you have, since you’re looking for sound effects) a good tip is to build on the ones people are putting out for free. Maybe they recorded a gunshot but it doesn’t sound so good because they didn’t do any post-processing. Get the file and see what you can do with it in your digital audio workstation. Maybe you get something much better than the original. Play around with it.
Search, search, search
If you’re looking for a cheap sound effect, but don’t really have the money to pay for exactly what you need then there’s no other way around it than to roam the internet for as long as you have to until you find it. The web is a big place and every day there are new creators who put their stuff onto display for you to find. If, for example, you need a funny fart sound but don’t really like the ones on the current site you’re looking at, get to the next one and eventually you’ll find the one that’s just right.
Record it yourself
This may seem a bit counterintuitive. You want high-quality sound effects but don’t have the money to pay for it. How in the hell are you going to pay someone to record it for you? Well, you won’t. Almost all of us have a high-quality voice recorder at our disposal these days in our smartphones. Get an app that will get the most out of your smartphone’s microphone and start recording. Since you know exactly what you need for your project, the recording you get will be exactly what you need.
In the end, we want to give you a bit more advice in regards to funny sound effects. We’ve talked a lot about creating content with the help of funny sound effects but don’t think that these effects can only be used by professionals. If you’re not into creating anything, they can be a source of fun for everybody - not just artists.
Note: If you happen to have in your possession a funny sound you are willing to share with us just shoot us an e-mail at info@CrazyGiggles.US.
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