Licensing Sound Effects

Sound Effects Licensing -Which License Do I Need

Sound Archive Licensing - In Principle

By purchasing a single Sound Effect or a complete Sound Archive the user accepts the license agreement. The right to use the sound material comes with certain obligations for the user. These obligations are a substantial part of the agreement between YOU (the user) and US (the label that issues the sound FX and audio material).

This website gives an overview of the various licenses and the applications.

The Single User License

By purchasing a Sound Archive as an end user and/or individual person you automatically acquire a single user license.

Although, YOU as the buyer, acquires the life-long right to use the sounds. The copyright for the original audio material ALWAYS remains with us or the respective owner of the material.

The single user license allows 1 person only (namely YOU) to use the sound material (in accordance with the synchronisation law). Any use of the sound material by persons other than you is NOT included in the single user license. For this purpose, a multi-user license must be acquired.

The Synchronisation Law

Synchronisation defines the way in which a sound is used in production. Original sound material is considered to be 'synchronised' when it has been mixed or rendered with other audio-visual material. The resulting file is in accordance with the licensing agreement and can be distributed in various ways (e.g. cinema, TV, internet, CD) without incurring further duties.

Also part of the synchronisation law are live events that make use of pre-recorded audio elements in the mix (e.g. stage productions, object tracks in a 3D audio mix). There is, however, one group of applications that is not covered under synchronisation law. Any usage that is dependent on the interaction of the user to trigger it (e.g. doorbell, toys, sounds in smartphone apps) is included in that group. This kind of usage requires an extended license (a so-called mechanical license).

That means...

If you mix and render the downloaded sounds or sound material from a library with other audio and / or pitcure material, the synchronization right is fullfilled.

Can I use the sound effects in my music production?

Yes, as long as the sound is mixed with other sound material, the synchronization right is fullfilled.

The Multi User License

If more than one (1) person accesses a sound archive, a multi user license is required. Multi user licenses allow a group of users to access the audio material. The rights and obligations concerning the usage of audio material correspond to the single user license.

The multi user license can be obtained by making a one-time payment or, alternatively, by paying a fee. The duration of the contract is either one year or three years. The benefit of this model is that upon renewal of the license, customers can replace outdated audio material with new files at no additional charge.

Long Term Licensing/Renting of Archives

Why not assemble an archive based on your personal requirements and license it over a specific period of time? Avosound collaborates with some of the most famous labels in the world to offer you exclusive licensing deals on a range of products - all under one roof. You have the option of assembling your own individual sound archive and licensing it for a period of one, three or five years. This way, you and your team have access to a custom-tailored, cutting-edge archive at a very attractive overall price - combined into a single licensing contract.

Let us take care of all the paper work for you! Please contact us for more information and a non-binding quote.

Mechanical License / Special Applications

Some applications are not covered by the synchronisation law. Depending on the label, an extension to the existing license might be required. The so-called mechanical license covers audio applications for toys, for example.

Sounds used in smartphone apps also require a mechanical license. You can find a list of applications here. Sounds used in gaming consoles and computer games are covered by the synchronisation law and do not require a mechanical license. Please contact us for more information.

Special applications like smartphone apps, toy sounds, ringtones etc. need a special license