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Processed sound created to enhance videos, movies, animations, games and much more is universally known as a sound effect. Essentially sound effects are used in the background to give media content a more realistic feel and virtual experience. A horror film would not be able to raise goose pimples on your skin if it wasn’t for those eerie sounds of a strong wind blowing, or windows or doors creaking and shutting on their own.

Sound effects are largely used by professional filmmakers, sound engineers, video game designers and scores of others in the media industry. However easy availability and free downloads have made it easy for individuals to use them for personal home videos and as ringtones among other varied uses.

Sound effects are generally available for a fee or can be absolutely free from certain sound effect sites on the Internet. While the paid sound effects are usually the choice of professionals, hobbyists can usually find what they need on one or more free sound effect sites. Most free sound effects are royalty free and can be used for whatever it is you need them for as long as they meet the terms with the license and terms of use on any given site.

Similarly sites don’t allow public distribution of free sound effects downloaded from their sites through other media such as CD/DVDs that only contain these sounds and no additional work. What that means essentially is that end users should incorporate what they download into an existing project rather than compile a long list of only sound effects onto a CD/DVDs for distribution.

Free sound effects are stored onsite in categories based on the type of sound or type of use in a library format. These libraries are compiled and put together to help end users find exactly what they are looking for without too much of a hassle. Millions of people visit these sites on a random basis and almost all of these sites are fueled by the online worldwide community of sound effects.

Once you register yourself as a regular user on these sites you can get many extras and start an online community of sorts for people using and needing these sounds on a regular basis. Additionally you can add friends and create a typical ‘creative network’. The other plus about being a registered user is that you can upload some of your own unique recordings or compositions to share with other users.

Downloading sound effects is relatively easy once you are a registered user. Simply search for the sound effects you need by browsing through the library of categories or by tag and then chose the type of media file you want it to be for e.g. wav or mp3 and proceed. Sample the sounds before downloading by clicking on the preview or any other relevant buttons used for the same purpose and listen to the sound effect before making your choice.

Make sure you read the terms and conditions thoroughly on the websites to avoid any issues after downloading your chosen sound effects.
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