30 Great Sound Design Resources for Theatre Students

Sound design for the theatre involves interpreting the script to include pre-recorded or live sound effects and pre-recorded or composed soundscapes in the production. Effective sound design can establish the time of day or year, create mood, denote location, and provide scene transitions. – Justin Cash

Sound Design Resources

Over 90,000 selected recordings of music, spoken word, and human and natural environments from the British Library sounds archive.

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Collection of resources from a working about the principles of sound design, popular software programs, creating and using sound effects, how to use music in stage plays, and various tips and tricks.

Thousands of royalty free sound effects and soundscapes from Zapsplat including dozens of themed sound packs and music tracks

Basic resource outlining the key aspects of a sound designer’s role in the theatre.

Tens of thousands of free sound effects suitable for the theatre from FreeSound. Hours of fun!

Part One: What Does a Sound Designer Do?

Comprehensive glossary of technical theatre terms for sound with hundreds of terms defined.

A slightly different concept from FindSounds, as this website is a meta search engine for free sounds across the web. Very handy, indeed!

Oodles and oodles of free sound effects in dozens of different categories from Orange Free Sounds.

Designing Sound for Theatre

Free sound effects for theatre shows, music production, game development, cinematic trailers, movie scores, TV shows, creative sound design and more from 99Sounds.

Free sound effects and royalty free music from SoundsCrate including original content from Hollywood industry professionals.

Outstanding resource for drama and theatre teachers – a comprehensive teaching guide for sound design.

Part Three: Designing Sound for Theatre

Loads of free sound effects in multiple categories, suitable for student theatre shows.

Useful sound design handbook including an introduction to sound, basic sound terminology, basic electrical theory, the basics of sound systems, a comprehensive sound glossary, input devices, mixing desks, processing devices and microphones.

Excellent step-by-step guide for the tasks of a theatrical sound designer from start to finish, from Appalchian State University.

sound design

Interesting article from Encyclopaedia Brittanica about technological innovations in sound design during the 20th century, and the role opf the sound designer.

Awesome website Audionauti with original compositions by Jason Shaw. Loads of ready-made soundscapes, three to five minutes long in multiple genres and moods. Very useful for students of theatre wanting soundscapes for shows. Free to download and use. Credit required.

Adam Savage Explores the Sound Mixing of Hamilton!

Excellent fact sheet of the sound designer’s job in the theatre from the American Association of Community theatre.

Explanation of the different functions in the theatre for the roles of sound designer, sound engineer, mixing engineer, microphone dresser, and assitant sound engineer.

Thousands of free sound loops suitable for student sound design in the theatre. Categories include drum loops, synth loops, bass loops, and sound effects. Available in Wav, Mp3, Aif and Midid sound files.

Technical Theatre - Sound Design

Free sound clips for download in either wav or mp3 format from SoundBible, including royalty free sound effects and clips for video editors, movie scores, and game designers.

For those interested in a career path as a theatrical sound designer, Berkelle College of Music outlines the professional skills acquired, interpresonal skills, and typical work life in this job.

Article focusing on the importance of sound design in theatre, the art of balancing sound and voice, and acoustical limitations.

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