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Sound resources and projects during the Covid-19 pandemic

With more and more countries affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, and lockdown and social distancing increasingly prominent, the world is changing.

This page is intended to be a helpful ongoing resource for anyone interested in sound and field recording at this time.

Please contact us if you have a project, resource or anything you think would be interesting to add to this list! 

For musicians

  • Moog have made their Minimoog Model D Synthesiser app for iOS available for free – download it here
  • Korg’s iKaossilator app for both iOS and Android is free for a limited time – grab it now
  • Korg also have the Gadget LE app available for free, which is a suite of mobile instruments available for iOS devices – here it is
  • Make and remix music on your mobile device with the free Launchpad app
  • TF7 is free FM synth for iOS devices, which you can download here
  • AudioKit Synth One is a free feature-packed synth for your iPad, including 300+ presets created by professional sound designers behind M83, Tycho, and Rihanna” – Engadget. Sound good? Here it is
  • Read our ongoing collection of the best free sound tools  available
  • Ghostly’s guide for artists on how to support themselves during this time – and how music fans can support artists too
  • Want to start DJing? Traktor DJ 2 is free for desktop and iPad
  • You can get a free temporary license for the excellent DAW Reaper, valid until the end of June 2020.
  • Avid are also offering free trials on a range of their top-class products.
  • Corona Music – a regularly-updated source of info for all musicians during the crisis
  • Ableton classes – being taught online three times per week on a donation basis. Beginner/intermediate level.
  • KVR Audio – news and reviews on all kinds of sound-related tools, and an up-to-date database of plugins, free and paid
  • Spitfire Audio’s Labs – “An infinite series of free software instruments, made by musicians and sampling experts in London, for anyone, anywhere”. Some excellent, Cities and Memory-endorsed tools in here!
  • Bedroom Producers Blog – a site dedicated to free and affordable music-making.
  • Voltage Modular Nucleus by Cherry Audio – a complete modular synthesis package, with 22 modules and over 130 presets, for OSX and Windows and available for free for the foreseeable future.
  • List of free resources for musicians by MusicRadar.
  • Tempo Reale – a remote “musical socialization platform” allowing musicians to collaborate live online.
  • Soundtoys Effect Rack – free use of this powerful platform from Soundtoys until 30 June 2020.

For field recording & sound

  • sounds to lift hearts144 sound libraries made available for free by Free To Use Sounds to support the audio community – an amazing resource
  • Vacua Moenia‘s Empty Cities callout for livestreamed recordings from quarantined places during March – find out more
  • Sounds for Lifting Hearts – a free compilation album of beautiful field recordings from around the world
  • A Sound Effect’s Audio Community Power Pack, including free sound effects, video tutorials and expert advice.
  • The Audio Engineering Society is offering three months of membership for $25 to help audio professionals stay connected.
  • A free pack of “happy” vocal sounds from This is not Rocket Science – something fun and uplifting to spice up your audio work.
  • W1 Limiter – free software tool for keeping stray transients on a leash: useful for taming field recordings.
  • Freesound – a huge collaborative database of audio snippets, samples, recordings, bleeps, released under Creative Commons licenses.
  • Seven sites for downloading high-quality free samples

Sound projects & community

  • #StayHomeSounds – open call from Cities and Memory to share the sounds from wherever you are the world, on lockdown or social distancing. Share your sound, and a little of your story!
  • Smithsonian Treasures – open call from Cities and Memory to reimagine some of the most fascinating and unique items from the world’s biggest museum network. Open throughout March and April.
  • Grazer Soundscapes – featuring field recordings and discussions from suddenly-quietened cities
  • Disquiet Junto – weekly musical and sonic challenges set by this long-standing online community
  • Sound Art Radio – an invitation for anyone to get involved and start making radio shows
  • Audio Playground – a weekly newsletter offering a series of audio prompts and exercises and building a community around them
  • Naviar Haiku – a weekly challenge to create a piece of music based on a new haiku
  • Art is Alive is a solidarity effort aimed at providing resources, spreading awareness and building connectedness within the artistic and creative freelance communities impacted by the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic
  • Stay Home, Make Music – resources, community features and advice from Arturia
  • Sound Camp – online events focussing on the sounds of isolation and the space created for other species when human noise is reduced.
  • Listening Passport – a wellbeing intervention tool for people to assign positivity to sounds that surround them during isolation during Covid 19
  • Covid-19 Sound Diary – a project to document the changing soundscapes of Barcelona during the global lockdown.

Things to watch, read and listen to

  • The best of electronic music documentary films – an exhaustive YouTube playlist of fascinating sonic docs both short and long
  • The essential guide to sound and field recording books, featuring everyone from R. Murray Schafer to Umberto Eco.
  • City sound guides – become a sonic tourist from your sofa with these deep dives into the sounds of cities around the world
  • Virtual electronic music events – Resident Advisor is keeping this excellent up-to-date list of live shows from the electronic music scene
  • Locus Sonus – a worldwide network of open mics streaming from remote locations for you to tune into
  • Aural Maya – A collection of field recordings from Asia, South America, North America and Mexico. Travel the world of sound in these times of limited movement.
  • Museum of Portable Sound – a museum about sound’s roles within the world of culture beyond music, which you can now access online.
  • Ubuweb – free archive of rare avant-garde records, usually with expired copyright or out of print.

For live events

Send us your entries!

Have you come across a resource that’s interesting or useful for anyone interested in the world of sound? Enter the details below and we’ll add it to this ongoing collection.