Sound Ideas Frequently Asked Questions - FAQ

Use of Sound Ideas Products

What Rights do I get when I buy a Sound Ideas product?
Sound Ideas' royalty free products are sold with their synchronization rights, as described in either the Sound Ideas End User License Agreement or the Hanna-Barbera & Turner Sound Effects End User License Agreement.

While performing rights do not apply to sound effects, they do apply to royalty free music. Performing rights are not included in the purchase of Sound Ideas royalty free music products. You must therefore report your music use to your local Performing Rights Society via Cue Sheet, so that performing rights revenue can be paid to the music's composer(s) and publisher(s).

What is synchronization?
Synchronization is the term that describes the way in which sound effects and music are used in productions. A sound can be synchronized with a visual presentation [the sound of a dramatic film score timed to be heard as the credits roll], or with other audio material such as a voice over – as in the case of a radio commercial. Audio can be synchronized for use in many media: television, radio, film, multimedia and audio visual presentations, web sites, computer games and podcasts. Synchronization rights are included with the sale of Sound Ideas sound effects and music, which means that when you use our audio it must be synchronized within a presentation, film, web site, game, audiovisual production, live performance, or broadcast.

What are synchronization rights?
With a synchronization license, you gain permission to reproduce the sounds in an audiovisual media form [like films, television programs, commercial announcements, music videos, multimedia or other visual presentations]. The audio must be synchronized and/or re-recorded in timed relation with visual images, graphic designs, live performances or voice overs.
Sound Ideas audio is licensed with a specific synchronization rights included as outlined in our End User License Agreement.

What are performing rights?
The composer and publisher of a piece of music generally reserve the right to make money any time their music is performed in public. This applies to royalty free music as well as to rights managed [or blanket licensed] music. Around the world, performance rights societies [like ASCAP and BMI in the United States, PRS in the United Kingdom, or SOCAN in Canada], collect public performance revenue from radio and television stations and networks, movie theaters and other sources. This public performance revenue is divided amongst the composers and publishers based on “reported use”, which is usually submitted via Cue Sheet.

What kinds of applications can I use your music, sound effects & production elements in?
Sound Ideas audio can be used in a variety of audio and audio visual productions. Examples include radio and television broadcasts, commercials, motion picture and video scores and soundtracks, corporate & training presentations, web sites, computer games, software applications, live theatrical performances and multimedia. For more information, please see the Sound Ideas End User License Agreement.

Can I use Sound Ideas sound effects on my Web site?
Yes, within the following limits... you can synchronize our sound effects for playback only on your Web site, so that button rollovers "bark" or a banner crackles in the "wind". This type of use is absolutely legal. But you are not allowed to distribute our sound effects in any way - whether you intend to give, trade, loan or sell them. You are not permitted to present our sound effects in any way that would allow access to the sound effects or sounds as downloadable audio. This would be a violation of our proprietary property rights and is therefore unauthorized without express written permission from Sound Ideas.

Can I use Sound Ideas sound effects in my music?
Yes you can. Under the terms of the Sound Ideas End User License Agreement, this qualifies as synchronizing our sounds with other audio content.

Can I use Sound Ideas sound effects in my computer game?
Yes you can, provided that the sounds are embedded in the code of your game and are not available for an end-user to access or download. If your application allows the end-user to access or download unsynchronized sounds, you must contact Sound Ideas to arrange supplemental authorization for the use of the sound effects. A license fee may be charged.

I am making a video game for release in retail stores. Can I use your sound effects in it?
Yes you can. Synchronization of our sound effects in this manner is permitted under the terms and conditions of the Sound Ideas End User License Agreement.

Can I Use Sound Ideas sound effects in my App?
The answer to this question is yes and no. It depends on how the sounds are used in the App.

Yes: If the sounds are synchronized with a visual presentation [for instance the App is a motorcycle race and as the user moves the device, the motorcycle races around the track. The sound of the engine revving accompanies the visual.] This is a "synchronized” use and is okay.

No: If the App's only purpose is to play sound effects or music like a juke box – or a random shuffle player – or a “guess what this sound is?” game – this is not okay under the synchronization license.

You can be in touch with Sound Ideas to make sure that your use of our sounds in your App is permitted. Special licensing can sometimes be issued for an additional fee, depending on circumstances. Sometimes the additional rights are not available to license.

Can Sound Ideas sound effects and music be included in toys or games [other than a video game]?
Any use of Sound Ideas audio in a toy, game, or consumer product such as greeting cards requires additional licensing and will be subject to an additional licensing fee. Contact us for more information about custom licensing.

Do I have to pay you more if I include your sound effects in a production that will be broadcast on radio or TV?
Sound Ideas' sound effects are sold as royalty free products. This means that you do not need to pay any additional money to Sound Ideas if a production is going to be broadcast or performed publicly. If your broadcast production makes use of our royalty free music, you must file a Cue Sheet with your local Performing Rights society.

Can Sound Ideas sound effects be used for live theatre productions?
Yes. Our sound effects can be incorporated into a live theatre production, either through the creation of a cued tape or CD that you create with only the cues you need for the production, or through use of a direct cue from the original library CD. These uses meet Sound Ideas' definition of synchronization.

I think my use falls outside of the Sound Ideas License Agreement – what should I do?
Get in touch with us and we can help with additional licensing that will meet your needs.

Sound Ideas
105 West Beaver Creek Road, Suite 4
Richmond Hill, Ontario L4B 1C6


Give Us a Call:
(905) 886-5000 (Local & International)
(800) 387-3030 (U.S. Toll Free)
(800) 665-3000 (Canada Toll Free)
(905) 886-6800 (Fax)

Sound Ideas Products & Services

Can I transfer your sounds to computer hard disk myself, or have it done for me?
Yes, provided that you own the Sound Ideas products that you want to transfer. If you are setting up a multi-user audio production environment, you need a license from Sound Ideas. Check out our Multi User License Page for details about this license.

Can I copy Sound Ideas sound effects or music on to my computer hard drive in order to create a production?
Yes. The synchronization license that you obtain with your purchase of Sound Ideas royalty free sound effects and music allows you to copy the files on to your computer hard drive for the purposes of creating audio and/or visual productions or applications. Your license does not permit the sale, lease, loan or gift of any unsynchronized Sound Ideas audio content.

Can I make a back up copy of my Sound Ideas CDs?
No. You are not permitted to make additional backup copies of Sound Ideas CDs or their contents under any circumstances. If you ever encounter a problem with one of our CDs, please contact us to arrange for a replacement copy.

I already own a copy of a Sound Ideas library and I need another copy. What are my options?
If you have purchased a library directly from Sound Ideas and you find that you need an additional copy (or copies) of it for your own production or listening use, Sound Ideas can assist you with attractive "extra set" pricing. Under no circumstances are you allowed to make your own extra copy. For more information on "extra set" pricing, call your Sound Ideas Production Consultant or send us an email:

Does Sound Ideas have dealers in my area?
Sound Ideas has a worldwide authorized dealer network, and you are welcome to contact any of them for information and/or sales of our product line. If you live in the United Kingdom or Australia, we have exclusive distribution arrangements with De Wolfe Limited (UK) and with Production Music Services in Australia.

Can I buy products directly from this Web site?
Yes - we accept orders from anywhere in the world through our Web site. If you prefer to place your order via telephone, please feel free to at our local, international or toll-free numbers.

How do I use your e-commerce interface to place an order?
Take a quick trip to the How To Buy section of this Web site for all the details. If you still have questions, please feel free to contact us.

How can I pay for orders made through your e-commerce interface?
Sound Ideas accepts the following credit cards for online orders: Visa, Mastercard, American Express, or Discover. All sales on the Sound Ideas e-commerce Web site are made in U.S. currency.

What are the shipping charges for e-commerce orders?
Good news - all online e-commerce orders are shipped at no charge to you, our customer (For urgent or rush shipments there is an additional charge based on the weight of the shipment and the destination). Wherever possible, we attempt to ship your order on the day that it is received here in our office. Please note that shipment of orders received after 1:00 p.m. local time, during weekends or statutory holidays may be slightly delayed. Your order will be shipped by courier for delivery within a week.

Can you fulfill requests for urgent shipments?
Yes - if you need your Sound Ideas product order delivered on a rush basis, we can ship it via overnight courier, if we receive your order by no later than 12:00 noon Eastern Standard Time (Monday through Friday, Canadian Statutory Holidays excluded). There is an additional charge for rush shipping. You will be advised of this charge prior to shipment.

Please make sure to indicate your request for RUSH service by indicating "Yes!" for Rush Shipping in the Additional Information section of your Shipping Information form. Orders received after 12:00 noon EST will be shipped before the close of the next business day.

Do you sell "computer ready", wav, or MP3 audio files?
Yes. Sound Ideas offers several Podcasting & Web Development Products.

Can I use your CD ROMs on my Macintosh or PC computer?
Sound Ideas produces several Podcasting & Web Development Products. All wav files on these products can be accessed from both PC and Mac platforms. Mac users can easily access the wav files (for use with software applications like Macromedia Flash), through use of QuickTime 4 (installed with current Macintosh operating systems), or by using an audio editing package like Sound Forge (available from Sonic Foundry).

Unless stated otherwise, Sound Ideas' sound effects and music are produced in CD Audio format - not CD ROM format - and will require a CD Player (either a physical player or a computer multimedia player) to play back the contents.

When and how should I submit a Cue Sheet to a Performing Rights society?
If you make use of Sound Ideas' music in your broadcast or public performance productions, you must file a Cue Sheet with your local Performing Rights society and with Sound Ideas, so that the composer(s) and publisher(s) of the music will receive appropriate performing rights revenue. A blank Cue Sheet is available for your convenience. Print the pdf file, complete the form and fax it to Sound Ideas at (905) 886-6800. There are no additional fees due to Sound Ideas with your submission of Cue Sheets.

What does the term public domain mean?
From the time a piece of music is created, it is protected by copyright. Once a piece of music has existed beyond the copyright protection period, that piece of music is considered to be in the public domain.

The international laws governing copyright are the Berne Convention and the Universal Copyright Convention. Copyright extends at least for the life of the composer plus 50 years following his or her death. Most of the world’s industrial countries have signed the Berne Convention and comply with it, although all countries have their own copyright laws which may extend the copyright period.

In fact, many countries have extended this copyright term to a period of 70 years following the death of the composer.

If you intend to use a piece of music that is in the public domain, make sure that you check the copyright laws in all countries where the production will be used to ensure that your use conforms to the laws of those countries. Be aware that you still must purchase a synchronization license in order to use any public domain music in your productions, unless you have performed that music yourself using your trusty kazoo.

Do Sound Ideas products on Hard Drive come with a warranty?
Yes – they do. All Sound Ideas Hard Drive sales are final. We stand behind the quality of our product by providing this warranty. If a registered Sound Ideas Hard Drive crashes and can no longer be accessed, the following warranty will apply.

For any crash reported within 12 months (1 year) of purchase, Sound Ideas will replace the hard drive with all of the contents supplied in the original purchase free of charge, upon return of the non-operational hard drive and cables to Sound Ideas for full inspection.

NOTE: This warranty does not apply to (i) any damage arising from failure to follow instructions relating to the product's use (ii) to cosmetic damage (including but not limited to scratches, dents and broken plastic on ports) (iii) to damage caused by accident, abuse, misuse, flood or water damage, fire, earthquake or other external causes or (iv) if the Sound Ideas serial number on the product has been removed or defaced.

For any crash reported more than 12 months (1 year) after purchase, Sound Ideas will replace the hard drive with all of the contents supplied in the original purchase, but a fee will be charged for this replacement service. The customer will not have to pay for all of the libraries included in the original hard drive, but they will have to pay a replacement fee equivalent to the value of the hard drive itself, plus an administrative charge that will cover the cost of re-creating the hard drive and shipping charges. The customer will be required to return the non-operational hard drive to Sound Ideas before the hard drive can be replaced.

Search Software

What is SuperSearch?
SuperSearch is Sound Ideas' free sound effect and music search software - an electronic catalog that allows you to easily search for sound effects and/or music tracks that meet your production needs. The software allows you to make comments and notes to save in the electronic file, and you can also print your search results and notes for review and recordkeeping purposes.

Sound Ideas SuperSearch software and data are protected by copyright. This means that if you intend to re-publish the interface or these track & index listings on your Web site, or in a third party product - in any format (print or electronic) - you will have to obtain a supplemental license. Contact Sound Ideas for details.

How can I get a copy of your SuperSearch software?
SuperSearch is available free of charge as part of the Sound Ideas Royalty Free Music demo CD, and on our Electronic Catalog CD ROM. To receive a copy of SuperSearch for sound effects & royalty free music, make your request at the Electronic Catalog page. You can also download your own fully functioning copy of the software from the Mac Download and PC Download pages of this Web site.

Can I update my copy of SuperSearch with your new product releases?
If you have an older copy of SuperSearch that does not contain all of our most recently released products, we invite you to either -

Download and install a fresh copy of SuperSearch from the Sound Ideas Web site. Simply choose your platform and download a brand new copy from either the Mac Download or PC Download page of this Web site.


Request that a new copy of the software be shipped to you by submitting the request form on the Electronic Catalog page.

Can I do a search for sound effects or music right at your Web site?
Yes - our simple Search Engines are available for your immediate use at this Web site. Unfortunately, these search engines do not have quite the full capacity of SuperSearch. If you would like to perform more complicated searches, we suggest that you obtain your own copy of the SuperSearch software - it's free!

Can I include your search software in my Web site, or in a product that I intend to distribute or sell?
Yes. But since our search software and its data files are copyright protected, you must obtain a supplemental license first. Contact us for details.

Why does my version of FileMaker Pro ask me for a password when I open the SuperSearch program?
If you have a complete copy of the FileMaker Pro software, you will be asked for a password when you try to open the version that is included in SuperSearch. This is an idiosyncrasy only - you do not need a password to use the program. Just hit "Enter" on your keyboard or click "OK" to enter the program and everything will work fine. You can even import and export data without the password.

I don't want to see all the sound effects libraries for my searches. Can I customize the software to only search on the libraries I own?
Yes. Click on the "Customize" button at the top of the SuperSearch Search Screen, and click the appropriate button(s) from the displayed list to delete the data for the libraries you wish from your version of SuperSearch. It will take a few minutes to delete each library. If you ever wish to include libraries you have deleted, you can reinstall the original SuperSearch program from the CD.

Are ASCII files of Sound Ideas' product track & index listings available?
Yes. Our page of links to tab delimited ASCII text files allows you to import updated SuperSearch CD track and index data into other database applications and software programs that are accessible to the visually impaired.

General Questions

Does Sound Ideas buy Sound Effects or Music?
Yes we do. If you are a composer, sound designer or recordist, we welcome demo submissions. We ask that you provide your demo in CD Audio format or 16/44.1 wav format. All submissions will be acknowledged. Demos should be sent to the attention of:

Brian Nimens
President and CEO
Sound Ideas
105 West Beaver Creek Road, Suite 4
Richmond Hill, Ontario
Canada L4B 1C6

Can I make a suggestion for a sound effect or new product?
Yes - we are always interested in your suggestions. Simply fill out the form on our Suggestion Box page - you can provide us with your ideas anonymously if you wish.

How can I contact Sound Ideas with a question or my feedback?
Please feel free to ask your questions, to say hello or to offer your feedback on our Contact Us page - we'd love to hear from you!

Does Sound Ideas have a Security and Privacy Policy? Are there any copyright or legal notices that I should read before using this Web site?
Yes, we do indeed have a published policy to protect your security and privacy as one of our Web site visitors. It and our copyright and Legal Notices are available on this Web site - we suggest that you review them before using this site.