Finding sound effect files

This guide is intended to help you find sound effect files on SFU campus computers or in the SFU library.

Searching for sound effects

To search for sound effects, begin by going to the Sound Ideas Sound Effects Libraries database. Search for the sound effect you would like by using descriptive keywords (e.g. horn honk, door creak, wind chimes, etc.):

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When you find a sound effect you would like to use from the results list, make a note of the CD number, track number, and product name. This information will help you find the actual sound effect file on SFU computers or in the library.

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Sound effect files on SFU computers

Most sound effects in the Sound Ideas Libraries are available as WAV files on:

  • Library computers only
  • All computer labs at SFU Woodward's
  • Select computer labs at SFU Surrey listed here

NOTE: These files are not accessible from off campus.

Depending on which campus you're accessing the network from, Sound Effects files may be located in a slightly different location on library computers. Ask a librarian if you're having trouble locating these files.

The maximum number of users simultaneously accessing the Sound Effects files is 20 and the folder will disappear if the maximum number is reached.

Generally, to access sound effect files:

  2. (WINDOWS) Click on START > All Programs
    1. Open the folder titled "Sound Files"
    2. Find the folder named after the product you are searching for
    3. Find the folder of the CD number you need, and within this folder, you can select the file of your desired track number

The following image shows the path used to find the file for the BMG SFX Library sound effect "Bathtub Running Bath Water" that we located in the Sound Ideas database:

Image showing file path: open BMG FX Library file, disc 6 file, find track 17 in list

See Accessing sound effect files on SFU computers in Surrey for a list of computers that contain the files and how to locate those files on a computer at Surrey.

Sound effect files on CD

If you wish to locate your desired sound effect on CD,  search the Library Catalogue. One route is to browse search by author using a keyword, such as sound ideas. This will produce a full list of Sound Ideas CDs in the Library collection.

Licensing sound effect files

Students, faculty and staff are bound by the Sound Ideas End User License which provides end users with a non-transferable license for synchronization rights only:

"With a synchronization license, you gain permission to reproduce a musical composition within an audio-visual media form (like films, TV programs, commercial announcements, music videos, multimedia or other visual presentations). The music is generally synchronized and/or recorded in timed relation with the visual images, graphic design or voiceover." [From the Sound Ideas FAQ page]

If you have difficulties or questions, please ask a librarian for assistance.

Additional resources