Here’s the bad news: If you’re an aspiring sound designer or you’re looking for some random noise to insert into a big project you’re working on, the BBC’s new archive of more than 16,000 free sound effects won’t help you much. They’re all bound by a RemArc licence that prohibits using these files in commercial work.
That said, if you’re working on any personal or educational projects – or just need to know what “Pystyll Rhadn” falls in North Wales sounds like – you’re in luck. The BBC’s collection now gives you access to a huge collection of sounds for different objects, locations, and actions. Heck, the BBC’s listing for sounds of “1 woman approaches and stops” eats up more than a page worth of files.
Screenshot: David Murphy
The BBC’s complete archive of free sounds, which takes up 641 pages, is completely searchable by keyword – thank god. You can also preview any files on the site that you want to listen to before downloading them as WAVs.
How you use these files from there is your own business, but the BBC’s Sound Effects archive is a great bookmark to have in your browser for the next time you need a sound of anyone doing, well, anything. And it’s a much better solution than ponying up $US5,000 ($6,516) for the BBC’s official royalty-free sound collection.