Find Free Sound Effects with FindSounds

illustration of musicians' silhouettes

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FindSounds is one of the most useful (and fun) sound search engines on the Web. There are only a handful of dedicated sound search engines out there, and FindSounds is one of the most user-friendly tools online.

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, minimum 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, 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 (for example, 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 have already been detailed here, as well as frequently asked questions ("how do I download an audio file to my hard drive?").

What Can I Find On FindSounds?

Users will want to check out this partial list of sounds examples that FindSounds has put together, just to get started.

Searchers can find sound effects, sound clips, nature sounds, movie sounds, funny sounds, and much, much more. There are a wide variety 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 

A search for monkey on FindSounds brought back quite a few results. There are a few features unique to FindSounds that users will want to take advantage of:

  • 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 find similar results to what you've already searched for, a useful feature.
  • 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: Share a sound you've found with someone else. 

Copyright Policy

Before using sounds you've found here in a project, you need to read FindSounds' Copyright Policy:

"When you perform a search using 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.

Why Should I Use FindSounds?

  • 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.