Where to get audio samples for your projects: a selection of nine thematic resources

    Last time we made a selection of resources with full-fledged musical compositions for applications, games or videos. Today we talk about sites with libraries of short sounds and samples, distributed mainly under Creative Commons licenses.

    Photo by andrew welch / Unsplash


    The project is a group of enthusiasts from the University of Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona. A large library of background sounds has been compiled here: from the surf and birdsong to the knock of heels and the chime of church bells.

    Most of the tracks are licensed under CC BY 3.0 - it is considered one of the most free and allows the use of tracks for any projects. The only condition is that you specify the author of the composition. But there is also a CC BY-NC 3.0 license - it prohibits the use of samples for commercial purposes.

    Merits.The audio library is updated regularly - new sounds appear almost every day. There is a search by tags and keywords, for example, white-noise, nature, etc. There is also a rating system on the site that facilitates the search for interesting samples - a rather extensive community has formed around the project.

    Disadvantages. The quality of some samples leaves much to be desired - there are records that contain extraneous noise or the author’s breathing. And although the site contains files in the formats MP3, WAV, AIFF, OGG, FLAC, you can download the necessary sound only in one of them - in the one in which the author uploaded it. To download audio files you need to register.


    Initially, the project was founded by Creative Commons. But in 2009, the site began to oversee the label ArtisTech Media. Today the resource contains more than 10 thousand samples and a capella records that can be used in your remixes. They are distributed in the formats MP3, WMV, OGG, etc. On the site there are works by even such eminent musicians as the Beastie Boys and David Byrne . Two versions of CC licenses

    are available : prohibiting and permitting commercial use of samples. Authorship is obligatory in both cases. Merits. A large selection of genres, there is jazz, folk, glitch and even disco. You can sort tracks by BPM

    : The indicator varies from 60 to 135.

    Disadvantages. The site is visually outdated, while using it is not very convenient, since the design of the user interface is very different on different tabs. There are problems with layout - some buttons and blocks on the page are offset.


    The project was founded in 2001 by musician Canton Becker. Over the past 18 years, a community has formed around the site that regularly fills the audio library. Today you can find eight gigabytes of samples, drum loops and a cappella here. All are part of the public domain and can be used without restriction.

    The author of the site released four of his own electronic music albums - you can find them on SpotifyApple Music and  Bandcamp . According to the composer, he was inspired by the achievements that he had done at age 12, playing with the TR-505 drum machine and the Ensoniq ESQ-1 synthesizer.

    Merits.The site offers a rich selection of modern genres like techno. There is a search by type of sound effect, instruments and keywords. Convenient search hierarchy for samples - the author says that they are all trimmed, normalized and renamed manually.

    Disadvantages. The entire library can be downloaded to disk in one click, but you will have to buy an annual subscription - now there is a promotion and it costs $ 29 . Otherwise, you will have to download one track at a time. Need registration on the site.

    Purple planet

    The project of two composers from the UK, known in the genre of ambient music - Jeff Harvey (Geoff Harvey) and Chris Martin (Chris Martyn). Here you can find both full-fledged musical compositions and short jingles .

    All music is allowed to be used for commercial purposes, you only need to indicate that it is taken from purple-planet.com. But there is the opportunity to purchase a license that does not require attribution - it will cost $ 8 or $ 40 ( depending on your goals and objectives).

    Merits. Search for songs by mood, such as cute or creepy. You can listen and download the track on one page without unnecessary click links.

    Disadvantages.There are no other filters and categories here. The tracks have a "space" theme, so they may not be suitable for some projects. You can only download music in MP3 format, albeit with a bitrate of 192 kbps.


    This is a New York marketplace with music and sound effects. Her clients include Netflix, Discovery, Disney, BBC and many others.

    Merits. There is a search for all kinds of tags, additional filters by price and recording duration. Separately allocated categories: music, sound effects, special effects. The editors on the site are preparing their own selections with their favorite samples . The project also has a blog with useful materials for processing and editing videos with tips from professionals.

    Disadvantages. The collection of stock resources totals three million compositions. However , under the Public Domain license , a little less than three thousand are available: there are records like What a Morning That Will Beor extracts of the Goldberg-variations of Bach . Just downloading a free track or sample does not work, you need to register on the site and go through the procedure for paying for the order, although they will not take money from you for this.

    All other tracks and samples on the site are paid. Prices for sound effects start from two dollars, for full music - from twenty dollars.

    Photo PxHere / PD

    DL Sounds

    The project was founded by composer Pascal Tatipata in 2009. Under his leadership, there is a small team of musicians that publishes original samples and beats. All tracks are recorded on professional equipment in a studio in Haarlem (Netherlands). The songs are royalty-free and can be used for commercial purposes.

    Advantages: Unique samples that are not on other sites. Large selection of genres and moods, filter by BPM (0–1000) and type of audio recording (MP3, WAV).

    Disadvantages:You can download for free only a small part of the samples and loops. At the same time, there is no search for such tracks, you have to select them manually in the general list. To download all the songs to disk, you will have to purchase a subscription - it costs $ 12 per month.


    This is a platform that offers musicians mastering tools based on artificial intelligence systems. The site has free samples with samples prepared by invited musicians and composers. Among them: Canadian duo Blue Hawaii , DJ Loco Dice , and American rapper Havoc . All samples are royalty-free.

    Advantages: Convenient UI - you can download both entire collections and individual samples.

    Minuses: To download songs, you need to register. Sometimes the site takes a long time to load.


    The creator of the site is composer Alan McKinney. To fill the audio library, he personally contacted music companies and independent musicians from around the world and asked them to provide several samples. For this reason, you can find unique tracks that are not on other sites. Samples can be used for commercial purposes, but be sure to indicate that they are taken from freesfx.co.uk.

    Advantages: An extensive library of sounds with a breakdown into categories: animals, bells, instruments, public places, nature, fire, Sci-Fi and many others. There is a keyword search.

    Minuses: Mandatory registration. All sounds are available only in MP3 format, albeit with a bit rate of 320 kbps.

    Wave alchemy

    This is the resource of the company of the same name, which is engaged in sound design. It was founded by two sound engineers Dan Byers (Dan Byers) and Steve Heath (Steve Heath) in 2008. The library of sounds on the site is the result of the work of their team. Samples are licensed per user, but can be used for commercial purposes.

    Advantages: There are seven selections with free samples of drum machines TR-808, Korg KPR-77, etc. Each of them includes from 60 to 480 sounds. You can also find two synthesizer demos for the Kontakt 5 sampler at the link above.

    Minuses: To download free samples, you need to register. The rest of the collections on the site are paid - the price for one “package” can reach 400 pounds .

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