The Freesound Project

The Freesound Project

The Freesound Project is a repository of Creative Commons licensed audio samples. Sounds uploaded to the website by its users cover a wide range of subjects, from field recordings to synthesized sound effects. All audio content in the repository is released under the Creative Commons Sampling Plus License, and can be tagged and browsed by folksonomic means. (Unmodified samples may not be distributed commercially.) The license used is one of the more restrictive Creative Commons licenses and is not free enough to be used on Wikipedia, free software programs and other projects requiring free content. The license fails the definition of Free Cultural Works


The Freesound Project was officially launched on April 5, 2005 in the context of the 2005 International Computer Music Conference earlier that year. It is a project of the Music Technology Group of Pompeu Fabra University. Bram de Jong is responsible for developing and administrating the Freesound website.

Children of Men was the first major motion picture known to legally use a sample from Freesound in its production. The sound used was " male_Thijs_loud_scream.aiff" posted by the user thanvannispen, and the film properly attributes the sample in the credits.


The features of freesound are designed to make the sound files on the website easy to index, search, and browse. The Sampling Plus License permits the sampling and/or transformation of all the sounds on the site to create derivative works, even for profit (as long as they are not used to advertise an unrelated product.) Verbatim copying is also permitted. Since the Sampling Plus License stipulates that the authors of the original work must be credited in the derivative work, the site is capable of automatically generating an attribution list to make this easier.

Software Architecture

The Freesound platform is based on technology developed by the Music Technology Group of Pompeu Fabra University.

  • Similarity searches based on automatically generated semantic descriptors
  • WordNet-based taxonomy for "nearest neighbor searching"
  • Spectral centroid waveform display

Along with the following web technologies:

Notes and references

External links

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