sfxr – sound effects for all!

Posted by
December 13th, 2007 6:13 pm

Been tinkering with this over the last couple of days.

EDIT: Official sfxr homepage – http://www.drpetter.se/project_sfxr.html

As the audio geek I am, I find it a bit unfortunate that most LD48 entries are usually silent. I figure it’s probably due to the authors not having a quick ‘n’ easy application at hand for making sound effects and therefore neglecting that aspect of the game in favor of code and, usually, graphics. Even simple sound effects can add a huge amount of immersion and fun to a game, though.

What I present here is, if you will, an MS Paint for sound effects… or something along those lines. It’s meant to make it dead easy for anyone to whip up a few simple sound effects and save them as .WAV files for playback using most game/media libraries like SDL or pygame.

Basic usage involves clicking the left-most buttons to automatically generate random sounds loosely targeted at certain categories. For more advanced users it’s possible to spend some additional time to manually create fairly varied and interesting sound effects.

The interface is based entirely around sliders for controlling sound parameters, along with a few buttons. Even if you don’t want to spend time learning about all the sliders you can still have some fun just hammering away at them and listening to the various sounds that come out.

Hopefully this will mean that there’s no longer any valid excuse for anyone to get N/A in sound!

Download: sfxr.zip (win32, 48 kB) – Latest update: 2007-12-15 (see screenshot)

EDIT: Apparently it sort of works in wine 0.9.50, though with some stability issues. Fortunately though, the good Gerry JJ/mjau managed to port it properly. Here’s a copy of his post:

I ported DrPetterโ€™s excellent sfxr (info) to SDL, so it can now be compiled and run natively in Linux!

Download: sfxr-sdl.tar.gz

Just type โ€˜makeโ€™ to compile. You need SDL and GTK 2.

Source code is obviously included in the portable archive, and anyone is free to use or modify it for anything they please. There’s no need to credit me, although it would be nice if you did. I would also appreciate a little email note if you do create something cool based on my code.

If I get around to making a little update I’ll include source code in the win32 archive as well.


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129 Responses to “sfxr – sound effects for all!”

  1. What an amazingly sexy little program!

    Look forward to hearing it all over my percussion bits in the future ๐Ÿ˜€

  2. Jony says:

    Very nice program, it is much faster and easier than anything I’ve ever used before! Thank you very much!

  3. Mars Attacks says:

    Downloaded and compiled with no problems, and works great!

    ( ubuntu 7.10, previously had to do a sudo apt-get install libsdl1.2-dev libgtk2.0-dev g++ )

    Thank you so much, cheers!

  4. The SDL port failed to start on my system, I needed to patch it.
    Look here for the solution: http://blog.viridian-project.de/2008/01/24/retro-sound-effects-with-sfxr-sdl/

  5. mjau says:

    I’ve updated the SDL port with a fix for the SDL_OpenAudio issue (same dl link as before). Also, cancelling a save dialog would save to a random filename, fixed that too (thanks vegard =)).

  6. I have to try this out!! so much good feedback

  7. Hernan says:

    Thanks for the app. Incredibly useful and simple to use.

  8. James says:

    Very cool! I’ve been wanting something just like this! The principle of allowing quick experimentation is dead-on.

    One bug: If I save the file as 22K, both Windows Media Player and Game Maker refuse to recognize it. Oddly, QuickTime has no problem with them. 44K is fine across the board.

  9. salvo daze says:

    very simple and useful tool for 8-bit sounds, thanks a lot.

  10. finefin says:

    I love that tool, ‘cos it’s simple and effective!
    I’ve made a retro-flashgame. all sounds have been created with SFXR!
    Take a look: http://finefin.com/games/bugbc.htm

  11. Ben says:

    Best ever.
    Mixed with the swave instrument in Musagi, thing’s get quite interesting :)

  12. Wow! I just downloaded it not expecting too much and then this! Great work!!!

  13. ali says:

    Wow it’s so good Pro i’ll get it now

  14. PaRa says:

    thanks so much for this fantastic tool

  15. Nathan Beavis says:

    OMG, this program… this program OMG! DrPetter, this program…OMG!

  16. Sven Son says:

    Something small .. but nonetheless very useful. One might say the degree of usability is in inverse proportion to its size ๐Ÿ˜€

    Great work!

  17. I’ve made a real Cocoa port of sfxr, which is an universal Mac binary with proper saving and exporting with mac dialogs and all. Eh, I hope that was okay, I didn’t look for a license on the original source code, and I couldn’t find one now that I looked.

    Anyways, I call it cfxr and it’s available at http://thirdcog.eu/apps/cfxr . Enjoy!

  18. Thankful says:

    Thanks you very much.

  19. oypsword says:

    this is wonderful!!!!!!

  20. Anonymous says:


  21. agitatedString says:

    Will save hours of sound effect tweaking so I can get back to wasting my time playing games. Thank you.
    Did two things and sfxr is running on my MacOSX 10.5.4 with no problems:
    1) Changed sklkit.h line 95 from,
    2) Added the following alias to .bashrc file,
    alias sfxr=’cd /Users/ppffffft/Programs/SourceCode/CPP/sfxr-sdl; ./sfxr’ # sfxr must be run from its home directory

  22. agitatedString says:

    Seems the
    #include \
    and the
    #include \
    got mangled in prior entry.

  23. protman says:

    I am curious about the chances of getting the gui shrunk a bit and ported to the nintendo ds. It would be great to have a softsynth on the ds that can generate one-shot wav files for use in nitrotracker. iirc, there is an sdl lib available for the nds.

  24. Kryten says:

    What a brilliant little application – perfect for someone like me who doesnt know his reverb from his elbow.

    Thanks very much!

  25. Kristopher Windsor says:

    Great tool, especially since I was tired of looking at pre-recorded SFX of low quality that didn’t match each other! ๐Ÿ˜€

  26. SovMax says:

    Great SFX Tool! Big Thanks to DrPetter!

  27. siegfried says:

    great tool! I will add a post about it soon ๐Ÿ˜‰

  28. Sam says:

    Brilliant SFX tool saves sooo much time!

  29. sg says:

    That’s a great sound effect tool! Thank you very much :)

  30. BigUp says:

    Excellent application, many thanks for sharing it!

  31. Spi says:

    Thanks a lot, this software is just perfect.

  32. eadmaster says:

    Very nice.
    What about a library that generates SDL Mix_Chunk?

  33. Jason says:

    Awesome tool, but I’m reluctant to use it as my anti-virus (kaspersky) goes crazy thinking its a key logger :(

  34. Drac says:

    This is absolutely amazing!!! Thank you VERY VERY VERY much!

  35. Balaam says:

    This is awesome thanks a lot!

  36. mmediaman says:

    Only one word – “BRILLIANT” !

    DrPetter, you should be proud of your brilliance.

  37. Torley says:

    THANK YOU for the simple brilliance that is sfxr โ€” I’m enjoying the Cocoa Mac port, cfxr, right now. And I also made a fun video tour of it:

    ยป http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VULldovIhm8

  38. _martind says:

    Maybe you need a mirror, the download website is down from days…

  39. jikoo says:


    I know the website to download Sfxr is down. So I decided to share my ressource about Sfxr and Cfxr :


    There is an audio demo of Sfxr too !
    It’s my website about chipmusic, chiptune, 8bit music…

    If DrPetter is disagree, tell me. I will delete ZIP archive. Thank you.

  40. Tom Vian says:

    I made a Flash port of sfxr: as3sfxr! That means a cross platform web app that does everything sfxr does and more. I even stayed true to the original design

    App: http://www.superflashbros.net/as3sfxr/
    Project: http://code.google.com/p/as3sfxr/


  41. DCBSupafly says:

    Loving your sfxr! We used it for our Radio Play: http://www.dcbsupafly.com/Shafted/
    Thanks a lot!

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