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The free sound dilemma

Emanuele Feronato Game design, Monetize

Here I am to introduce you an interesting question made by Pierre Urban.

I think we all asked this question to ourselves, and did not answer for our convenience…

Here it is:

«I’m a french developer currently coding a game.
Your blog helped me a lot with some really specific stuff about AS!
Also about monetizing =)

I really appreciate your blog but I have a problem.
My game is almost finish and I have some difficulties to find some free sounds.
The fact is that I’ll add mochiAds ad system to my game and I would like to know how to get some fine sounds.
I found two websites: www.pdsounds.org and www.freesounds.org.
But I don’t know if I can use some sounds of these since the mochiAds will make me earn a little bit money… For freesounds, the CC licence is non-commercial use. Even if it was commercial use, I would have to add every owners of the sounds in the credit which will make a very long list. But usually I do not see a very long list of people in the credits of flash games, hence I thought there was another way to have sounds…

About the music: I found somebody who is OK to let me use a music he made on newgrounds.com.
I clearly told him I will put ads with mochiAds, but he responded that if it’s not commercial then it is OK… I guess he misunderstood the thing, no? Or maybe I misunderstood…
Does putting some ads on a flash games makes the thing commercial?

Maybe you can make a new post about how to find and use musics/sounds in a flash game which uses MochiAd?
Maybe about how to create our own music/sounds using some random software?
I’m almost sure that it will be really handy for many people! =)

I really must have miss something because I don’t get why I am getting so much trouble to put some random sounds (like gun reloading, explosions, etc.) in my game just because it uses mochiAds…»

If any music/effects composer is reading, I would like to know his answer.

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Comments 20

  1. AKgameworks

    8bitRocket (http://www.8bitrocket.com/music.aspx) has a free loop library with a license which specifically allows you to use the 11KHz loops in commercial games, though they charge for 44.1KHz loops.

    SoundSnap (http://www.soundsnap.com/faq) has a good library of generic event sounds which are useable free without attribution in commercial products.

    I use Audacity for most of my sound editing/recording (http://audacity.sourceforge.net/)

    The experience with a newgrounds composer saying the useage would be fine if the game is not commercial, but not being clear whether they considered the inclusion of Mochiads to make a game commercial is fairly typical… Unless you’re working for an established studio you’re probably ok taking that as permission, but why take the chance? I’d rather have a clear licesnse than a great sound that’s going to get me sued in a year…

    Creative Commons licenses are great, but I’ve been working on the assumption that if I have ads, I can’t use CC licensed IP if it specifies non-commercial only.

    As for creiditng sound, I do credit where I got the sounds from, except for Soundsnap or sounds I record myself… it’s just the right thing to do, whether or not everyone does.

  2. Prankard

    I use for royalty free music:

    Fantastic for in-game music.

    Generally, I do some own sound effects through a mic. You’d be surprised how easy it is. I did a whole load of space ship sounds with my mouth and at a low bitrate (which it has to be anyway) and with all the sounds together you can’t tell the difference.
    I also use Goldwave to edit my sounds (if need be).

  3. Kayn

    As I’ve pointed out numerous times in the Newgrounds forum, the licenses as they currently stand on the NG Audio Portal make any commercial use of the content there a violation of the BY-NC-SA conditions.

    Technically, read as written, the BY-NC-SA conditions of the Creative Commons license would stop you putting the content on a webpage who’s sole purpose is to generate advertising revenue from said content (because that would be a commercial use – and so you can not even place your content on online game portals like Newgrounds), and all derivative work must then be subject to the same license.

    At the very least, that means anyone can extract the source code of your work and use it in thier own BY-NC-SA license, and at worst, demand you release the source code as well.

    Always contact people before you use thier work, even if it’s just to ask thier permission to earn sponsorship or ad revenue from thier work. And get it in writing that they’re relicensing it for you.

  4. Pierre Urban

    Thank you prankard for your answer.
    I’d tought doing the sounds by my own too but it seems really hard to do an explosion with just a mouth =s
    I thing the less hard to get is the music, since you can ask a buddy in NewGrounds to use one of his.
    The big problem is mostly about sounds.
    Guns, the stab of a sword, the holy aura of an angel, etc., are, I think, mostly impossible to do by yourself.
    Check the sites I put in the mail to Emanuele, especialy the second one (freesounds.org).
    The licence is non-commercial, eventhought it is not writen in the CC page (you have to check out the ‘not human readable’ version and search for ‘commercial’ to find that the licence is indeed non-commercial ><).

    BTW, I searched this evening for sounds library and the results were really interesting… Maybe that is the answer! Get a sounds library and mix sounds with a soft like Audacity, Sony Acid or Magic Music Maker.

    Feedback please!
    Hope someone will have the answer…

    PS: Thanks for the post Emanuele ;)

  5. Pierre Urban


    I’ve just found out this website:

    If you check the about page (http://www.soundsxtras.com/about-soundsxtras.asp) you can read this:
    “SoundsXtras.com is a free website providing free Sounds for architectural, games and multimedia projects. We would welcome and invite our users to share their Sounds and join this community, and spread the links to all your friends to help us grow this free website.

    Our Sounds are 100% free royalty which you can use in any of your work and even your commercial projects. We are committed to keep producing loads of exclusive high quality Sounds and share them with you.

    Very well, I think we do have an answer.

    > For music: check a friend on NewGrounds or buy a sample loop on http://www.audiojungle.net/
    > For sounds: check http://www.soundsxtras.com/

    I found many funny sounds that I will use in my games =)

    Anyway, feedback are still good, please tell us how you manage your audio for your flash games (with ads in it)!!


  6. Rarykos

    Commercial use is when you make a game and sell it to a company, take money for “special access” etc.
    Ads are a bit commercial (whatever brings money is commercial), but they do NOT count :)

    My opinion is that winning money awards on a site (let’s take Kongregate) is also not commercial, since getting Nobel award isn’t commercial :)

  7. Manhatam

    For making music use Finale Notepad(Click on my name) and Audacity(sorry but I don’t know how to add links in comments.) Here’s how you do it:
    1. Make the song in finale (you need to know how to write music sorry, don’t know any software that doesn’t require that though.)
    2. Open Audacity and make sure the record setting(IE mike, etc) is set to “What U Hear”.
    3. Start recording
    4. Immediately play the Finale song
    You have to stop Finale on your own, it can’t tell when the song’s over.

    Sorry if the directions aren’t very clear.

    If there’s a better way to do this(Like a .mus to .mp3 converter let me know

  8. mike

    Ive been asking myself the exact same question!
    Does mochi-ads count as commercial profit?
    I would like to see this question answered too…

  9. Pierre Urban

    Thanks for your feedbacks!

    So I guess the best thing to do is using soundsnap, which is really great btw! =)

    PS: sorry for the double answering about the soundsnap thing, some comments (like AKgameworks’s) have been display after I made mine ^^’

  10. Antriel

    using any type of ads is Commercial, even mochiads.. so you can’t grab music from newgrounds without explicit settlement with author. (I think email is fine, you don’t need him to sign agreement).

    After your first game sponsored, you should have enough money for paying for music on newgrounds. Ask for permission for using his/her music in commercial game, for $xx..

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