Sound Effects Library

You’ve added the right titles, transitions, slides, overlays, etc., to what you’re creating but the spice you need to bring that wonderful masterpiece you’ve created seems absent. The sound effect can do the trick. But surfing through your hard drive to find the perfect sound effect can be mentally draining that’s why this article is centered on how to arrange your sound effect catalog for easy access and how best to apply them.

Someone once said that musicians are in the habit of learning the lyrics to their songs only to forget them so they can concentrate more on their live performance. This is exactly how sound works.

When you’re at operating at your optimum creativity level, you won’t want low quality or hard to find FXs to slow you down. Your SFX catalog is your tool and you want to have quick access to them so that you can focus on the nitty-gritty of the information you want to convey.

This becomes particularly important as your experience level increases because your timelines will become less flexible.

To have an easy to access sound effects library, you should first download the files from a trusted source, arrange them in a way that’s well cut-out for you to understand and navigate through, and use them right.

How to structure your sound effects library

Although tedious, it’s imperative to properly arrange your sound effects library as it can be the difference between creating a mind-blowing gig and having a mediocre one. Here are tips to structuring your library:

1. Think about folder structure when downloading and transferring your files

For your ease and convenience, it’s best to make the arrangement of your files when transferring and downloading the contents of your sound effects library. Don’t make a file sit on your storage drive before sorting it, take a step, and sort things out immediately. A trick to sorting your library is to root out your sound effects drive to a folder for each designer/publisher.

For each publisher, you can create a subset of a folder for each song type, genre, or any means of categorization you’d rather use.

.zip files should be unzipped and saved individually in a folder to conserve space and make accessing it easier.  If you’re quite busy and don’t have the luxury of time to unzip files and arrange them now, then you should put the library in the “To Import” queue folder so you can navigate through them easily when you want to organize things.

Having a well laid out folder don’t just make your library appealing, but makes your work less cumbersome and makes it easy to search for files in your device’s search section.

2. Add description metadata to your library if it’s absent

Want to find the sounds you need and make the most of your sound effect purchases? Then this is an important step, although it is time-consuming.

To ease the task, you should thoroughly listen to every sound at the point of purchase; this way, you can modify the description early enough. Everyone has their unique way to describe every sound they listen to, that’s why you should endeavor to describe it to taste for easy access in the future.
Writing description metadata for your sound effects may seem like a mental exercise, but try and make things easy on yourself.

3. Assign a category  

Modify the category metadata to align with your category system anytime you’re listening through your library. Although, you’ll probably keep going to the search bar for songs, searching by category might prove helpful sometimes. You can later edit the category metadata if you made mistakes.

4. Use software to manage your library

Most computers already have library management software, but if you’re a professional and you want to get real work done, then you’ll need a dedicated software to manage your effects. Although there are lots of software in the market, only a few can give you astounding results as you’d desire.

Best ways to use Sound effect

Getting the best from sound effects goes beyond knowing how to download a piece of music to your computer, you need to master its usage to have the best result. Here are some ways to use sound effects.

1. Story development

Ever watched a movie and you can predict the next event from the sound effect? That’s a form of storytelling through sound effects, just that they’re usually short. Sound effect—if used right, can be used to spill certain events in a video. From the sound of footstep to a heartbeat, it could add enough vibe to your content to make it stand out.

2. Realism

It’s crucial to use every element at reach if you want to depict a well-defined and clear world to your viewers. Enough efforts have already been put into making your work look perfect, so why not add the last piece.

Sound effects have always been used to bring realism to movies. It could be the sound of wildlife, distant traffic, streetlights, etc. Nothing should be spared in adding the perfect finishing touch to your work.

3. Transitions

Transitions are a delicate part of any media work. Whether you’re hosting a podcast, making music, shooting a movie, documentary, etc. you need to get the right sound effect for your transitioning scenes.

Sound effects are a great way to manipulative the pace of the narrative so that it can be perfect enough for a switch. This is quite delicate so you’ll need to be careful with this.

4. Suspense

Who doesn’t like movies with suspense? Okay, maybe some don’t. But anyone that loves fast-paced movie and intriguing ones will definitely love suspense. Sound effects can help introduce suspense in your content just perfectly.

Suspense-filled sound effects are at the core of every comedy, horror, corporate, action, and suspense project. They help build the speculation of viewers and listeners on what’s going on in the background and on-screen.

5. Auditory Thematics

It’s easier to subvert and develop sound effects as an auditory theme for developing your content once you understand its narrative ability.

A simple door knock can be interpreted in multiple ways depending on the sound effect you add. You can experiment with several sound effects to come out with the most appropriate.


Sound effects are important in any video or audio production because it engages the audience. Thus, it is imperative that your sound effects library is well sorted out, and they’re properly used to maximize the result from your creativity session. 

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.