Free filmmaking resource round-up: Audio edition

Read more

"

Audio is one of the most important components of any film. Think, for a moment, of a film with dark lighting and poor visuals. Most people, though frustrated by this, would be willing to squint their way through the movie, piecing together what’s going on. But if the audio is messed up? Forget about it. Unclear dialogue, poor sound mixing, and bizarre sound effects are possibly the easiest way to lose your viewers. 

But good audio can also take a lot of money. You need at least one person on set who knows what they’re doing and can capture clear audio. You need your sound mixed and leveled during post production. And if you want a score and sound effects? Bad news about how expensive those are.

That’s why, for this month’s free filmmaker resource roundup, we’re focusing on all things sound. From free sound effects to music to tutorials that can help you master audio, we’ve got you covered. If that’s music to your ears (get it?) let’s dive in.

99sounds

99sounds has a collection of royalty free sounds that are free to download. Their free selection includes collections of nature sounds, cityscape sounds, Sci Fi sound, foley sounds… there are far too many collections for me to list here, so take my word for it and check it out. The site also has a blog that covers all things audio and sound design, which may be useful for beginners.

Dig cc mixter

This site has a variety of sounds and music available for commercial use. Take a look at their licensing page, which will help you determine if a track is available. The levels include free to use for commercial projects (it stipulates that you must credit the musician,) free to use for non commercial projects (again, with credit to the creator) and available for a sliding scale fee. All of their music is royalty free, which means that you will never owe residuals or royalties to the artist who created it. This means that even if you decide to spend a little cash on some of their sounds, you’ll never owe them another cent. 

Soundcloud

I’m sure you’ve heard of Soundcloud, but did you know that some of their music is royalty free and available for use in commercial projects? First, search for whatever it is that you’re looking for, for example, “upbeat music.” Then, click on “tracks,” and then “filter results” on the left hand side menu. From there, you’ll be able to select “to listen to” and “to use commercially.” This will show you results that are available for commercial use, free of charge.

The Beat blog

I’ve recommended Premium Beat before. They have great filmmaker resources, including downloadable assets. But they also have a blog, and I can’t recommend it enough. As of the publication of this article, there are tons of great audio blog posts on their homepage, including mixing tips for professional audio, mix automation, sound editing vs sound mixing, and much much more. If you’re trying to save some money in post production, The Beat is a great way to brush up on your audio skills and get a handle on what you’re trying to do.

InDepth Sound Design 

If you’re looking to learn more about sound design, look no farther. Mike James Gallagher 

is an Emmy-nominated sound designer who has created a Youtube channel and website that is chock full of helpful sound design information. He creates videos that take a deep dive into the sound design of popular films, from Saving Private Ryan to Star Wars to Monsters University. He is also active on Instagram and posts breakdowns and useful information on a regular basis. 

Sound Speeding: booming 101 tutorials

If you’re a regular on the blog, you’ve heard about Sound Speeding, but I would be remiss if I didn’t include this Youtube series on the audio resource roundup. In partnership with Ambient Recording, New 32 created a series of videos for people who want to get started as a boom operator. It covers all of the basics, and is hosted by Cecilia Keirstead, producer and sound production recordist. Cecilia has all the best tips for how to get started as a boom operator. She also recently wrote an article about how to build a beginner sound kit; check out her recommendations here.

Jonas Friedman Music

I’ve linked to a specific video about scoring under dialogue for film, but this whole Youtube channel is a treasure trove of information about music composition. In the video I linked, Jonas gets into a lot of detail about how to compose a score, and even if you’re not a composer, it’s a useful resource if you are involved in the scoring process at all. Watching this video (and maybe some of his others) will help you understand the process better and get on the same page as your composer. He also has a video series on downloadable instruments you can use in your score. Some of those instruments are free plugins if you or your composer is already paying for a composition software. He’s a great teacher with a lot to share.

Filmsound.org

This free resource is a website that’s dedicated to all things film audio. Check out the post production audio FAQ if you need to learn more about the process, read their many articles about foley sound, take a look at their list of sound effects libraries, or just explore and see what you can learn from their many articles and resources.

Molly Stein-Seroussi

Molly Stein-Seroussi

Author

Molly is an author, screenwriter, blogger, and brand manager for New 32 Productions. They are passionate about sharing content that helps filmmakers live a more productive, informed, and well-balanced life. They live in North Carolina with their spouse and way too many dogs.

You may also be interested in…

google.com, pub-2352126854827201, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0