Skip to Main Content

Research Guides@Tufts

Multimedia Production Guide

for the Digital Design Studio at Tisch Library

For Download

When looking for audio to include in a multimedia project, it is important to be aware of how format and sample rate can impact the quality of your audio.   Mp3 files compress sound files while .wav files are uncompressed and can store higher quality audio. 

The standard sample for a project that combines video, image and audio elements is 48kHz.  It is important that you make sure all of the files you download and record are the sample sample rate.  You can check your files resolution by opening in a media player or video application and checking the properties of the audio file.

BBC Sound Library– 16,000 sound effects in wav format

FreeSound– database of recordings release under Creative Commons

Free Music Archive– legally downloadable music in mp3 format

Incompetech– Free music licensed under CC, see Music FAQfor credits information

Lily Music Library– The Lily Music Library has SFX CD’s available for checkout and well as a database of sound effects you can stream online. Search “sound effects” and filter by Audio Visual in Jumbo Search.  

ccMixter - Remixes and samples for creating your own remixes licensed by Creative Commons. Doesn't require login to download.
Yellowstone National Park - sound library recorded at Yellowstone‚Äč
Jamendo Creative Commons Search - The largest catalog of music under Creative Commons license with more than 25,000 albums. Includes rock, pop, jazz, hip-hop and dance tracks. Doesn't require login to download.
Audionautix - Music composed and recorded by Jason Shaw and licensed under Creative Commons for use in audio visual projects. Doesn't require login to download.
Internet Archive Live Music Archive - All music in this Collection is from trade-friendly artists and is strictly non-commercial, both for access here and for any further distribution. This collection is maintained by the community. Doesn't require login to download.
Open Source Audio - A collection housed at the internet archive of user-contributed music. All music is released under Creative Commons licenses. - provides free loops and audio clip downloads to the music production community. Doesn't require login to download.
Partners in Rhyme: Sound Effects - Collection of free sounds effects and web links to other online collections. Doesn't require login to download.

Streaming Audio Databases

Naxos Music Library
Naxos is the world's current leading producer of classical music. The collection offers the complete Naxos, Marco Polo, and Da Capo catalogues, as well as selected works in Jazz, Folk, and World music. 

Naxos Music Library -- Jazz
Based on the Naxos Jazz label, this collection offers contemporary jazz from around the world, featuring artists and ensembles from the US, Scandinavia, Germany, Australia and New Zealand.  This database includes selected performances from additional labels, such as Chesky, innova, Intuition, Jazzwerkstatt (based in Berlin), Yellowbird, and especially Fantasy® (which includes the Debut and Galaxy labels).

Database of Recorded American Music
Collection of sound recordings documenting American music largely ignored by the commercial recording companies.

Music Online -- Alexander Street Press 
One interface to search the Alexander Street Press music databases described below. 

  • Classical Music Library
    CML is the world's largest multi-label database of Classical music recordings. Included are tens of thousands of licensed tracks, covering all forms, genres, and time periods, from Gregorian chant to contemporary composers.
  • American Song
    Hear and feel the music from America's past. Includes songs by and about American Indians, miners, immigrants, slaves, children, pioneers, and cowboys. Included in the database are the songs of Civil Rights, political campaigns, Prohibition, the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, anti-war protests, and more. Genres include country, folk, bluegrass, Western, old time, American Indian, blues, gospel, shape note singing, doo-wop, Motown, R&B, soul, funk, and others.
  • Jazz Music Library
    The largest and most comprehensive collection of streaming jazz available online, with thousands of jazz artists, ensembles, albums, and genres.
  • Contemporary World Music  
    All regions from every continent. It contains important contemporary genres such as reggae, worldbeat, neo-traditional, world fusion, Balkanic jazz, African film, Bollywood, Arab swing and even some jazz.  It also includes other genres representing traditional musics - Indian classical, fado, flamenco, klezmer, zydeco, gospel, gagaku, and more. 
  • Smithsonian Global Sound®
    An encyclopedia of the world's musical and aural traditions. The collection provides a variety of online resources that support the creation, continuity, and preservation of diverse musical forms.
  • Garland Encyclopedia of World Music  
    The first comprehensive online resource devoted to music research of all the world's peoples.


American English Dialect Recordings
The Center for Applied Linguistics Collection contains 118 hours of recordings documenting North American English dialects.
words in various languages, pronounced by native speakers


These recordings of music, speeches, humor readings, and key moments in U.S. history are streamed for free online from the Library of Congress.
History and Politics Out Loud
a searchable archive of politically significant audio materials


Illustrated oral archive featuring interviews with keen observers of the Indian and Pakistani independence from the British Raj. Includes voices of Gandhi, Jinnah and Nehru.
The South Asian Literary Recording Projects
Launched in April 2000, to record the voices of South Asian authors for the Library of Congress' Archive of Recorded World Literature, the project has captured the readings of prominent South Asian poets, novelists, and playwrights. The authors recorded so far represent more than fifteen of the languages of India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
Historical maps, collections of photographs, and statistics relating to the Indian subcontinent.