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Free YouTube SFX blog post



Understand why sound effects are essential in YouTube Videos
Learn how top YouTube creators use SFX to create unique audio signatures
Download free YouTube SFX from Artlist today

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To be a truly successful content creator on YouTube, you must ensure your videos are well-produced and engaging to your viewers. If you look at any of the top YouTube creators, their content will likely use a variety of sound effects to forge a unique style for their videos.

Back in the day when YouTube started, the most popular videos were very authentic and contained almost no editing at all (cat videos, pranks…)
But over the years, a new style of video editing has formed, and it features a very modern editing style, with transitions, titles, thumbnails, b-roll, and many other ingredients to engage audiences. 

Today, we will look at why SFX is important for your YouTube videos and how you can use them to create your own branded audio signature.

Download Artlist Free YouTube SFX Pack

Why use sound effects in your videos?

YouTube Content Creation covers a massive variety of video types, from vlogs and reaction videos to documentaries and films. Within Narrative film editing, Sound Effects play an enormous part in building a world your audience can believe, but it can be difficult to see where they fit in influencer content.

The truth is you don’t need to use sound effects in your vlogs and reaction videos, but they help you create an audio signature for your videos that is unique and engaging. No matter what type of videos you create, sound effects can be a fun addition to your content, making your brand instantly recognizable to your audience.

How to use SFX in your YouTube videos

If you look at popular influencers and YouTube creators, sound effects emphasize the content’s tone and give the audience an audio cue on how to feel. 

In his edits, Mr. Beast creates exciting, action-packed videos, so he uses plenty of whooshes, explosions, and action music. Safiya Nygaard produces fun reactions and reviews content, using quirky sound effects to emphasize comedy and slow builds for dramatic moments. Zach King, a YouTube special effect magician, uses sound effects perfectly to help sell the visual trickery.

There are many different ways to use sound effects in your videos, and you can be as creative as you want.

3 tips for using SFX in your videos

While you can use sound effects however you’d like in your videos, there are a few rules you can use to ensure you’re making the most of these assets.


1. Don’t use too many

With such a vast sound effects library, using different sounds throughout your video content can be tempting, but you can overdo it. Too many sound effects will result in a confusing and sometimes annoying viewing experience. Ensure you use your sound effects sparingly and only when the content calls for it.

2. Add other effects

One of the best things about using sound effects is that you can add other effects to them. You can add echos, distortion, speed, or pitch changes to create new and exciting sounds unique to your video projects.

3. Create an audio signature

As you work on your videos, you will use the same or similar sound effects multiple times throughout the video. The sound effects you choose don’t need to fit your visuals realistically, but you should offer consistency to your audience. 

If you use explosions as a transition sound, use similar effects throughout your transitions. If you use comedy drums to emphasize a punchline, make it your go-to punchline sound effect. By being consistent with your effects, you can build an audio signature that your viewers will not only understand but also what they will come to expect.


Explore and download Artlist YouTube SFX

Artlist has a vast sound effects library, which can give your projects higher production value, creating fun and engaging video content for your viewers. Check out these 10 sounds with some top ideas on how to use them.

Download free Artlist SFX for YouTube

Vibrant Transitions – Short Low-End Tonal Whoosh

Whoosh, sounds are fantastic for highlighting movement in your videos, either within the scene or the edit. The Short Low-End Tonal Whoosh is perfect for wipe and slide transitions, moving your audience to the next scene and covering changes in your diegetic audio. 

Camera shutter button shoot

Camera Shutter sounds are often used in digital content when photos are being shown to the viewer. Mixing the Camera Shutter Button sound with a fun camera lens transition can help make your photo slideshows more engaging for your viewers.

Sitcom Audience – Big Crowd Love Reaction Awww Soft

Sitcom Audience sounds are still used today in live audience productions, but in digital content creation, they are often used for comedic effect. Audiences are aware of the pre-recorded audience reaction sounds, so they often come across as a little fake. You can use the Big Crowd Love Reaction for a romantic audio cue and a funny, sarcastic tone.

Anime Go – Massive Explosion

Explosions are incredibly versatile sound effects that can be used in a variety of situations beyond seeing a literal explosion. Try using the Massive Explosion sound effect to highlight dramatic title animations, impactful transitions, and moments of surprise in your narrative.

Anime Action – Dramatic Shock Moment Surprise Emotion

Anime cartoons have created a whole genre of sound effects and are a brilliant example of using sounds to add an emotional cue. The Dramatic Shock Moment sound is a short and surprising effect that can be used to highlight the emotive response of the on-screen talent in your video.

Classic Toons – Sad Trombone Descending

The Sad Descending Trombone sound is a classic effect used in cartoons and films going back to the silent film era. In fact, the effect is so recognizable it has become a comedy cue used across the globe to emphasize a sad or disappointing moment. 

Cartoon Mania – Comedy Drum Fill

The Comedy Drum Fill is another recognizable effect that started life in live comedy shows. Originally used to emphasize a good punchline, the effect has, over time, taken on a life of its own. Along with good jokes, the Comedy drum can also be used to highlight poor jokes, cheesy jokes, or even a lack of jokes altogether.

Classic Recalls – Sad Violin Phrase 

If you’re looking for sad music, choose a track with plenty of violins. The Sad Violin Phrase packs a punch at just 6 seconds, with a melancholy series of ascending notes, ideal for overly exaggerated sad moments in your videos.

Dramatic Clocks Vol 1 – Cuckoo Clock Strike Telling Time

Cuckoo Clocks have an incredibly distinctive sound, but you don’t see many of them around these days. Instead, the fun SFX is often used similarly to the sound of crickets – to emphasize silent moments of confusion or bemusement by the content creator.

Sound Effects are a lot of fun and can help elevate your content, creating a unique audio signature to your work. If you liked the sound effects included here, you can download 18 fantastic stock assets for free from Artlist or check out our full range of fabulous sounds ready to download today.

Download free Artlist SFX for YouTube


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About Chris Suffield

Chris Suffield is a London-based writer, editor, and voice-over artist at Jellyfielder Studios; he also writes entertainment news for Box Office Buz and enjoys making things from stock footage.

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