Everything you need to know about sound effects for podcasts

Radio presenting skills

Podcasts are more popular than ever before, and the genres are very diverse. There are podcasts for people that like murder mysteries, podcasts about today’s news, and even podcasts in which people are discussing their day.

However, if you are a podcast maker it can be quite hard to stand out and distinguish your podcasts from others. One way to do so is to come up with an unusual format, but more effectively is to use sound effects that make your podcast unique. The next question is, therefore, where to find sound effects for podcasts?

How to use sound effects in podcasts?

Before we get to the question where you can find sound effects, we have to answer the question of how to use them. Our podcast recommendations are indeed not only based on content, but on their use of sound effects as well. If you use sound effects too often, you risk the chance of distracting your audience. Therefore, use sound effects when you are going to introduce a recurring rubric or topic, so that your listeners are aware of what's to come next. In addition, know that a sound effect is not necessarily music. There are many examples of people using kitchenware, for instance, in order to record the right sound for their podcast or cartoon. As long as the sound fits the mood and tone of voice of your podcast, the sound effect will be enhancing your podcast. Try listening to other podcasts on Spotify to find out how to use sound effects right.

Where to find sound effects for podcasts?

Maybe you heard a song on the radio, and it seemed perfect for your podcast. Although listening to everyday sounds is a great way to discover cool sound effects for your podcast, you cannot arbitrarily use rhythms and music from the internet or the radio. This has to do with copyrights and the permission to copy someone else’s work. Having said that, there are many apps and platforms where you can download royalty-free sound effects. Popular examples of these databases are Freesound, ZapSplat and YouTube Audio Library. You will find suitable radio jingles, piano sounds and applauses that might fit the tone and mood of your podcasts seamlessly. 

Choosing the perfect sound effect

Sound effects are hard to choose, since it will be a recurring sound that your listeners will judge your podcast on. If the sound effect does not fit your podcast, the sound effect might be disturbing and distracting. However, what if you cannot find the right sound effect in databases, like ZapSplat or Music Radio Creative? Well, create your own! As we have mentioned previously, you can use kitchenware to make the right sounds, but there are a great number of other ways to make your own sound effects. For instance, read the best books on podcasting or find out by trial-and-error. Good luck!

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