As you know, I’m a sucker for sound effects in games. I’ve found many different ways to get sounds, but I’ve recently discovered SoundCloud, which is rather like a cross between Twitter and the Freesound Project. You record and share sounds, then people listen, like your sounds, and follow you. Since the sound library is open to a wide community, you get a vibrant (and very strange) mix of music and sound which might be useful for your game.  
I can’t say that I can easily use SoundCloud to pull sounds for RPGs, but I suppose that’s not it’s primary function. For instance, while there are many recordings of environmental sounds and sound effects, I haven’t found any way to delineate “sound fx only” in a search, so inputting the term “rainstorm” will bring up recordings of storms and recordings of appallingly bad GarageBand music. Searching therefore takes quite a bit of time, and if you really have a particular kind of effect in mind, you’re probably better off going to the Freesound Project or to iTunes to locate a more targeted track. On the other hand, there is some great unmastered lute and recorder music on here that sounds slightly less polished and more authentically tavern-y than tracks you’d get from professional recordings.  
It also seem that a handful of companies like Lyra Ambient are using SoundCloud, so you could stream their tracks from SoundCloud instead of purchasing them. (In general, I’d probably just purchase, but since their tracks aren’t available in iTunes, I’d rather go this path.) Finally, the high amount of synthesized music here might make it a shoe-in for choosing background soundtracks for modern or space games; I could easily see coming to SoundCloud to find stuff for a ShadowRun, 40K, or FreeMarket game because many of the tunes are so unusual, and I found some interesting sound effects like “sewer pump” that might prove useful for a post-apocalyptic setting. 


Last but not least, the SoundCloud app for iPad seems thoughtful and functional; you could easily set up a playlist of “liked” sounds for your session and play them as you work through your scenes. I plan to spend some time with it over my vacation, so if I find any particularly useful tidbits, I’ll let you know!


My Gaming Tweets


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