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What is the best way to get good sound effects?

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I'm working on an iOS puzzle game and have gotten to the point where I want to replace the "programmer sound effects" I have been using with production quality sound effects. I'd like to hear people's advice on the best way to obtain high quality sound effects.

 

My game is a casual puzzle game. I plan on not having a music track. I figure if I were playing this game and there was music the first thing I would do is turn off the music so I'm not even bothering with it -- actually if anyone thinks this is a terrible idea I wouldn't mind hearing about it although I probably won't change my mind. But what I do need are little sound effects such as:

  • A clicking noise for tiles being picked up and snapping into place.
  • A popping sound for something popping out of existence in a not-bad-for-the-player way.
  • A sound for something popping out of existence in a that-was-bad-for-you way.
  • A you-just-did-something-that-scored-points chime.
  • A you-just-leveled-up sound ... I'm thinking applause.
  • A you're-about-to-lose warning siren, maybe.
  • A you-just-powered-up-a game-element sound, like infusing something with energy.
  • etc.

All of these things are easy to find on free sites but I don't think the quality is very good. In particular I want the negative sounds to be obviously negative but I don't want them to be grating; right now I have a buzzer noise and an electrical shorting out noise that are really annoying. 

 

Is there a free site for this kind of stuff that someone would recommend as having high quality content?

 

I am not opposed to paying someone to be my Foley artist but I'm not sure how to go about doing it. I would to not want to pay very much (think 2 figures) and I would want it to be a flat one time payment. Is that reasonable or should I expect to pay more?

 

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Free websites are usually pretty bad. You get what you pay for. :P

 

The absolute best way to get the sounds you want and the quality you need is to hire someone. This way you can also collaborate with artist. Most sound designers charge per asset but I'm sure someone would be willing to also negotiate a flat rate. If your budget is really limited and you're concerned about the music just being muted - what I'd do is finish this project with only sound effects and then give it some time in the market. Based on the reviews and sales, you can choose to add some music later, if there's a need. 

 

Why not reach out to some sound designers here and see what kind of bids you can get. I'm sure you can end up with something you like while getting someone some work! 

 

Best of luck, 

 

Nate

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I'd also suggest if you really have zero budget - is to offer your sound designer / composer a profit share deal or pay them up front a little for their time with some share in the risk.

 

Alternatively you can also try making them yourself.

 

http://www.techsupportalert.com/best-free-music-software.htm

 

http://audacity.sourceforge.net/

 

http://www.reaper.fm/purchase.php $60 for a music sequencer

 

Free VST instruments (virtual instruments you can use in the music software)

http://www.dskmusic.com/

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Okay, say I don't have zero budget ... what could I expect to pay for 10 high quality sounds, where each is less than 4 seconds long, most much less than that?

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It ranges really. I've seen as little as a few bucks are sound and up to $25-30 bucks per sound. There's no set standard, instead it depends on what you can negotiate. For example a guy with a bunch of triple A titles on his resume is going to most likely set his rates higher than someone with zero industry credits. The best thing you can do right now is begin to get bids on the project. This will give you much more insight. 

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There are 'production' sound libraries around with lots of sounds.

The only one of them I know that's tailored to game development is the SFX Kit by Sound-Ideas:

http://www.sound-ideas.com/sound-effects/the-sfx-kit-sound-effects-library.html

 

You can also look for 'designer' sound libraries. They're a bit different than "slice-of-life" libraries in that they include specially created content for fantasy and fiction themed productions. Designer-sounds are pieces you can expect to hear in films and general media: 

http://www.sound-ideas.com/sound-effects/l2-sound-effects.html

 

EDIT: Some more resources.

http://www.digitaljuice.com/products/products.asp?pid=216&tab=t3

http://www.thegameaudiotutorial.com/soundlibrary.html

http://www.stockmusic.com/sound_effects/sci_fi_fantasy_creatures__horror?keyword=

Edited by Kryzon

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