Looking for a sfx program..

Our school need a sfx program, ether free or under $100. We can get a hold of any computer for WinXP to Win98. I have a Echo Mia that we can use, plz help.
Can you be more specific as to what requirements you have for this program? Does it need to keep track of cues, or is working with the sound files themselves OK? Do you need to be able to mix multiple effects on the computer? Do you need fadeouts to be automated? Do you need to control other equipment, or be controlled by other equipment? All of these factors will affect what programs will best suit your needs.
Q-Manager is a great program. It is a lot easier to learn then Stage Research's SFX and it has a free version, it doesn't support as much as its full version but it works and it is a good program.
It can be gotten here: http://www.hammerandtong.com/

As for SR's SFX it is an amazing program but costs a lot more then Q-Manager and is not the easiest to learn. But you can take a look at it here: http://www.stageresearch.com/products/SFX.aspx

Hopefully the demo version of Q-Manager should be enough for you because I don't know of any good SFX programs cheaper than that that are for theatre use. Do atleast download the demo of Q-Manager and check it out. That's what we used to use until we upgraded to SR's SFX.
Unrelated....I work at a theater with SFX as our sound effects program. Is that like an industry standard now, so when some one says i have sfx it's refering to sr's sfx?
It claims to be industry standard of software, though when dealing with sfx I don't know how broad industry standard really is. There are so many different ways to playback sound effects that no one has really agreed on what's the best way. Heck, people haven't even agreed on what the best way is to store and run sound effects i.e. flash cards and what not. Some people are against the use of programs run via a laptop or desktop computer and prefer the use of special playback devices.

So sure, it's industry standard, but it's industry standard software, and I don't know of too many higher end theatres that run their sound effects via a traditional computer. And for those that do, there are debates over weather or not sound effects should be run off something so unstable.
i think industry standard was the wrong word to use now. what i was asking is if some one says sfx is it safe to asume sr's sfx
I couldn't really say. Though I don't think there are other programs with that name, they may just be referring to the fact they have an sfx program. So I suppose just ask for clarification if you're in doubt. However, it is possible that it has come to be widely known by that name, but I really couldn't say for sure. Also, it most likely depends on what area one lives in, items sometimes adopt different names depending on the people.

Although lacking bells and whistles, you can use Powerpoint as an SFX program. In as much as many schools have the software it can readily assimilated.

It does not allow you to edit your sounds but will function as a reasonable control device.

To edit sounds/music, we use Audacity 123.

The program works nicely and is free. You can download it at:


We used it to create 1/2 hour of birds, brooks and
"woodsy" noices for our "Into the Woods" preshow.

Best wishes,

I use Audacity for all of my wave editing. It may not be as great as Sound Forge or Audition, but it gets the job done. I've been able to do some really nice seamless loops with the program. Plus all of the music that I will ever reproduce over a sound system is normalized in the program to smooth out the waveforms. It does a dramatic enhancement on the sound quality in the end.
I have worked in a theadre with sr sfx but we do not want to pay alot or money for a program, also out TD made it clear that any program we use MUST be legal. :p Thanks for all the halp and i will try out all the programs
At our theatre we are using "Sound Cue System" (free demo @ http://soundcuesystem.com/ ) on a windows xp pc, we use dbpoweramp (free from http://www.dbpoweramp.com/dmc.htm) to rip cd's people give us, audacity ( free from http://audacity.sourceforge.net/ ) to edit sounds and windows media player or winamp to play house music.

One of the many benifits of SCS (sound cue system) is that you can hook up multiple sound cards (we use 2, one for FOH and one for FB).

Hope this helps you in your search.


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