Search Engines these days make it super simple to find more than just web pages for a given search-term. You can easily find images, videos, shopping results, and more. One thing that I haven’t seen with any of them is the ability to search for sounds. FindSounds.com is a website I recently came across that’s the perfect place to go on the web when you need to find a sound clip. It’s like the card catalog for sounds with just about any sound imaginable.
FindSounds processes millions of sounds clips, so there’s lots to choose from. This is where their examples come in handy. Where to start? They offer a whole list full of different examples of sounds that they have broken down into categories like animals, holidays, household, insects, instruments, people, TV and movies, and vehicles. And those are just examples to get you started! If you already have a search term in mind, you can just enter it in.
Where else can you get sounds of a baboon, Barney’s belch (The Simpsons), Elmer Fudd’s laugh, The Three Stooges, Woody the Woodpecker, a submarine, and fireworks all in one location?
Refine Your Search
Just like a typical search engine, you can refine your search. At FindSounds, you’re given the following options:
- File formats– AIFF, AU, or WAVE
- Number of channels – Mono or stereo
- Minimum resolution (8–bit or 16–bit)
- Minimum Sample Rate (8000 Hz up to 44100Hz)
- Maximum File Size (16K up to 2MB)
Performing a search is easy. All you have to do is enter your search term in the search box, and it will pull up a list of options. I did a search for “waterfall,” and it returned 17 different sounds.
Download and Play the File
Within the results you’ll see two different icons. The first icon looks like this: You’ll click on this icon if you want to download and play the audio file. The next logo looks like this: This icon will bring you to a page with files that sound-like the sound you just searched for. The sounds-like options for my waterfall search returned explosions, drum loop, turbine loop and a creaky swing.
There’s also an option to email the sounds. All you have to do is click on “email this sound” and the recipients will receive a message with the URL of the audio file so that they can listen to it.
Not only do they offer the free search engine for sounds, they also have a program called FindSounds Palette which will search the FindSounds index and help you organize your sounds clips. It costs, but if it sounds interesting, you can get more info on their latest version here.
So, if you’re needing a sound for whatever reason, whether it be a PowerPoint presentation or something different, checkout FindSounds. It’s the best resource for sounds that I’ve come across.