SFX is definitely not worth creating especially in the current marketplace, unless used for marketing purposes like some guys above mentioned. Creating FX needs a lot of time, effort, and planning, and as FxProSound said, it rarely pays off..
As for the future of SFX..
People will always need classic SFX sounds like footsteps, machinery, cars, etc, however I believe that in the near future those will completely be replaced by physical modelling instead of actual recordings. In games for example, instead of having an algorithm ‘triggering’ sounds, they’ll have an algorithm ‘generating’ sounds in real time.The way I see it, if somebody wants to make a living out of creating standard SFX at this point of time, he should focus on providing the client with a unique way of handling, using and shaping the sounds to his own needs, and providing samples one by one isn’t the right path to get there
Let’s take a closer look at this situation:
Music and Sound Effects both take a lot of time, effort, and planning to create.
There is a market for both Music and Sound Effects.
Generally speaking, people who produce music earn more money than people who produce sound effects. Many sound designers are discouraged because they see the money that many musicians make in comparison to sound designers. Why is that?
Is it because sound design is an unprofitable business? Is it because a good song is more valuable than a good sound effect?
Let’s face it,
You’re selling them too cheaply!
How can you expect a profit in the sound industry when you sell your finest work for practically nothing? To keep ahead of your competition? Because nobody will want your work because you price it too highly?
People are actually put off when they see excellent products sold at discount prices! Have you ever wanted to buy something from E-bay and the seller prices it so lowly that you think something fishy is going on?
I wouldn’t trust anyone who sells a polished mahogany dining table for 99 cents, would you? So why are Sound Effects being sold for that kind of a price?
It’s no wonder people are unhappy with the results they’re getting from selling sound effects. They don’t value their own work highly enough to price it fairly.
Buyers can tell how much a person values their work by the way they price it. You’re worth more than that, stop listening to people who tell you to price your work lower than your competition in order to survive in the business world. It’s a lousy piece of advice.
I understand this is Audiojungle and that to a large extent, they control the pricing. There’s not much we can do about that, except suggest a better pricing system.
But listen to your heart, man! You’re not getting paid what you know you’re worth, and it’s mostly because a large portion of the sound industry is caught up in the impossible game of “How cheaply can I sell this and still make a profit?”
Being competitive in sound design is not and will not be based on how cheaply people can get your finest work in comparison to your competition. If that were true, the top 10 best selling music tracks on Audiojungle would all be $5 items.
I don’t know about the rest of you but I take pride in my work, and I’m not about to give up on sound design simply because others have taken a bleak and pessimistic attitude towards it.
Here’s something Zig Ziglar once said about sales:
“I’ve always taught that a poor economy is the best opportunity for salespeople because the naysayers and grumblers have already given up, leaving more territory, more opportunities to be successful than in a good economy when virtually all salespeople are out there, giving it their best.”
So we can safely assume that Sound Effects won’t be getting any license changes either, will they?
I don’t see the pricing for soundsfx as too cheap. Remember you sell one-time use licenses. With that in mind, 5$ for a sound fx I can only use once and not add to my sound library is very fair. Given that, the license we have now is maybe not the right one for soundfx at all. I’d like to see something like a tools license for soundfx. That can be more expensive, too, and will fit the kind of file better.
That brings up another point I made several times earlier this year but nobody paid serious attention to.
Envato needs a multi-use license for Sound Effects
I don’t understand why Envato believes that just having a single-use license is more beneficial than the option to have both. It’s the one thing that puts me off buying sound effects from Audiojungle, myself. Because if I have a library of 500+ sounds, all bought from Audiojungle, can you imagine having to determine which ones you’ve yet to use and which ones you need to renew the licenses for?
Music is now able to sell for well over $200-300, thanks to the new licenses that Envato introduced to Audiojungle and yet sound effects sell for peanuts. Nobody has mentioned any plans for updating the SFX category and the fact alone seriously devalues the entire Sound Effects category to the point of abject pity.
I understand a single sound effect isn’t likely to be priced as highly as a full music track but come on, $5 as the maximum a sound effect or an ambient soundscape is considered to be worth?
Is this what the sound designer’s finest work is worth on Envato?
I’ve been an author on Audiojungle for 2 years now and I have made 635 sales as of today. What’s the problem, then? Shouldn’t I be thankful that people chose to use my work at all? Yes, I am! But our work on Audiojungle is priced so cheaply, it’s tragic and soul-destroying to the sound designer, considering the amount of time and effort that goes into making these sound effects, especially for me since I make them from scratch.
It’s quite possible to put buyers off from buying sound effects on Audiojungle by just being priced too cheaply! I wrote an article on LinkedIn about the psychological effects of comparative pricing and it got the attention of a large stock media marketplace just like Audiojungle.
Case and Point:
I have made 635 sales and $535 in 2 years, that’s about 85 cents for each sale on average. If that were all music sales, I would be well on my way to becoming an Elite Author, and I’ve barely scraped past Author Level 3.
I know that as a sound designer and an Author at Envato, the amount of money I earn is largely due to the quality and visibility of my work, but $0.50 is not even worth a packet of potato chips where I live in the UK. And that’s what most of my sound effects sell for, each, after commission.
What this tells me and the rest of Audiojungle is to avoid putting sound effects on the Envato market because on this site, Sound Effects aren’t worth a packet of potato chips, and you’d be lucky not to have your soul crushed along with your chances to earn an honest living here.
Is this a fairly accurate thing to say, Envato? I hope it isn’t.
If anyone else is selling mostly sound effects on Audiojungle, tell me this isn’t what you’re feeling right now as you read this.
Who knows what will happen in SFX world, but I don’t expect any revolution. As SFX guy you must be prepared that you won’t be famous and popular top earner. It’s all about usability and quality multiplied by your portfolio volume.
We make tools for others, simple tiny items like screws. If you wan’t to make living from that be prepared for huge work – not only with creating SFX, but with submitting, uploading etc. It’s the worst side of this, so most of SFX makers begins submittting videos or music and photos. Majority of them devotes all their energy in new media and doesn’t come back to SFX. SFX only guys living from stock libraries… I suppose that’s a very little number.
I wonder how insignificant we sound designers would be if we all suddenly stopped producing SFX for the next 50 years and people had to use the same sounds over and over again.
I think it’s a good idea to monitor every aspect of a waveform, it helps you check things from different angles and see if there may be room for improvement you didn’t see before.
I had to learn how to create my own sound effects out of necessity. I didn’t have any sound libraries and the only software I had to work with during the first six months was Audacity and later an old version of Sony Sound Forge 8.
It’s a skill worth learning.
I just saw that and thought it’d be interesting to share.