Some time ago, the Super Flash Bros. ported a sound effects generator called sfxr to Actionscript 3.0. The original was written by Tomas Pettersson and can be found on a few different platforms. AS3sfxr, as they call their port, gives you the ability to create old school sound effects right in your browser. The sfx can be exported as .wav files at 8 or 16 bit and 22 or 44 HZ. And if you find your mind so blown that you have to take a break mid-creation, you can save your work and reload it later to pick up where you left off.
The beauty of this sfx generator is that if you’re not sure what you’re looking for, it can randomly generate sfx for you. If you have a general sense but don’t know where to start, it can randomly generate sounds from a few preset ranges; pickup/coin, laser shoot, explosion, powerup, hit/hurt, jump and blip/select. I usually find that if I’m looking for a particular sound I can click one of these to find something close and then play with any of the 22 sliders to create exactly what I’m looking for. Perhaps the most unique and helpful feature is that the app keeps a history of the sfx you’ve created, much like a browser tracking the pages you’ve been through. You can create a whole bunch of sounds and then walk back and forward through your work to select the most fitting sound.
This isn’t a scoop by any stretch of the means, admittedly I’ve been using as3sfxr consistently for almost 9 months now. However, my suspicion is that many game developers don’t know about this gem. It’s free, there’s no royalty issues, it’s always at your fingertips and perhaps its most endearing quality, it can with little effort give your game a custom-tailored voice of its own.
If you’re looking to make a game with that classic NES sound, look no farther than as3sfxr.