are the default rpgmaker sound effects really royalty free?

whotfisjojo

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ive been watching movies, tv shows, etc, and ive been hearing/picking up on the "open5" door sound effect (specifcally rpgmaker vx ace) everywhere i go now... its got me thinkin...
is it a stock sound effect anybody can use? did they buy a license for it or something? if they bought it: how are they able to use the sound effect and let game makers use it as well without getting in trouble for using it when the users didnt buy it?
like if its really a royalty free stock sound effect where is it that theyre finding sfx as good as that? cause everywhere i go its not really royalty free or its low quality...
just wondering.

edit: royalty free not copyright free
 
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RachelTheSeeker

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That's honestly a good question. There is an indie game that specifically uses the classic RM Poison SFX for its own poison attacks. Hmm.
 

Shaz

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Default RPG Maker sounds can be used in an RPG Maker project and nowhere else. You can use resources from any engine you own in any other RPG Maker engine you own. You cannot use them as sound effects in something that is not an RPG Maker game.

Chances are what you have heard elsewhere are not the RPG Maker SFX at all. And if they are, they are breaching the terms of use.
 

TheoAllen

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Thunder12 sound effect from VXAce is similar to the starcraft 1 sound effects. I guess some of the were actually available out there during that time.

I also heard several RPG Maker sound effects from time to time in anime. It is very rare though.
 

Andar

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and the correct term is "Royalty Free", not "Copyright Free".

Nothing is ever copyright free as there is always an artist who created it and who has the copyright - but in some cases the artist can decide to give licence to use the artwork or music or whatever.

And in the case of the RM resources (both RTP/Stock included in the makers and the extra DLC purchasable from the shop) you purchase a royalty-free licence, that means you can use them in any RM-Game you create without paying further fees/royalties.
 

whotfisjojo

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oohhhh okay i think i understand now
(i know for CERTAIN ive heard the "open5" sfx elsewhere in official shows that wouldnt risk illegally using a sound effect... namely batman the animated series at least once)
what im thinking now is they probably did buy the license to use that sound effect and you- by making a rpgmaker game- as a user- you are a part of the kadokawa company(in a way) and therefore share the contracts/licensing as the company(to an extent) as you dont hold complete ownership of the game because you didnt make the engine?
probably...

right royalty free i always confuse the two
 

Shaz

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what im thinking now is they probably did buy the license to use that sound effect and you- by making a rpgmaker game- as a user- you are a part of the kadokawa company(in a way) and therefore share the contracts/licensing as the company(to an extent)
I am not sure what you are saying here. If you are suggesting that by making a game using RTP resources, including sound effects, you become a part-owner of those resources and can therefore use them outside of RPG Maker, or give/sell them to others to use outside of RPG Maker, no, that is not correct.

Your license allows YOU to use the resources IN an RPG Maker game, and for no other reason. It does not allow you to distribute those resources to others unless they are packed in a game, and players of your game are not allowed to use the resources from your game for any purpose.
 

whotfisjojo

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yea! ok yea thats what i was trying to mean
im not really great at wording my thoughts
thats really good to know
thank you v much 4 clearing that up
 

Shaz

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No worries. Basically, you can use resources from any RPG Maker that you own in any other RPG Maker that you own, to make a game and you can distribute that game for free or for payment. You can't use the resources for any other purpose and you can't distribute the resources to anyone else.

This is also stated in the EULA which usually comes with the resources, or you can go to the main website (HOME link at the top of this page) and find the terms of use there.
 

TheGentlemanLoser

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oohhhh okay i think i understand now
(i know for CERTAIN ive heard the "open5" sfx elsewhere in official shows that wouldnt risk illegally using a sound effect... namely batman the animated series at least once)

So, if you're correct (and I think you are, like I think I've heard RM sounds in non-RM things that are more mainstream public facing than RM and that could never fathomably be using sounds that originated with a piece of Japanese game development software, but I can't name even one example like you have) I think what has happened is that Kadokawa/ASCII/Agetec/Enterbrain/Gotcha Gotcha purchased a license to use these stock sound effects alongside many other diverse end users (such as, for example, Batman the Animated Series) or purchased the license to use royalty free sound effects (same thing except Kadokawasciitecbraindegigotcha just pays for the SFX up front). There are certain stock sound effects that are so widely used across different media that they're a thing. The Wilhelm scream is probably the best example, and has its own wikipedia page.

They (Kadokawasciitecbraindegigotcha) then repackaged and sold those sound effects with the RPG Maker software under the RPG Maker software license, I think, and I'm curious if that was permitted by the terms of the license they acquired the SFX under, whether royalty free or not. If they bought the sound effects Royalty Free, that probably has less strings attached with what you can do if you own it, since unlike a normal license, you're not already going to be connected by the process of making royalty payments.

To state the obvious, this is 1,000,000% speculation on my part, I don't actually know anything about this in any real or concrete sense.

Obviously I mean Kadokawasciitecbraindegigotcha has it well within their means now to create sound effects, but was Kadokawasciitecbraindegigotcha set up to actually foley/record their own sound effects when RM2k (or the even more ancient iterations) came onto the market? I know virtually nothing about how sounds can be created digitally from whole cloth (sound, like pixel art, like many other things, I can edit well, I just cannot create from scratch) so I guess that's another possibility, something that would be trivially easy today but might not have been in the early 2000s? Idk. I know I'd watch a documentary on how RPG Maker was made in the first place if anyone made one.

Thunder12 sound effect from VXAce is similar to the starcraft 1 sound effects. I guess some of the were actually available out there during that time.

I also heard several RPG Maker sound effects from time to time in anime. It is very rare though.

Now that doesn't surprise me as Kadokawa is a huge multimedia company quite involved in the production of a whole lot of anime IIRC.
 

ATT_Turan

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Just a few things to note:
1 - It is perfectly possible for different people to create sound effects that are, if not exactly identical, certainly similar enough to fool the human ear. This could be done by happenstance (a door kinda sounds like a door), or intentionally to mimic something.

2 - many of the sound effects in RPG Maker (I can't immediately tell about Open5 specifically) are clearly not made through practical Foley effects, but electronically generated. That increases the odds of them sounding like things that other people make, especially if there's some standard software being used to create them.
 

Helen1701

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Some sound effects are going to sounds similar to non-RTP sound effects. There is only so many ways a door can creak...
 

TheGentlemanLoser

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y'all a door is a really poor example for the point you are trying to make my current game has over a dozen different door sound effects, not counting the RTP, and all of them are quite audibly distinct to me (and yes, I do often *agonize* over which one to use in game in any given situation because I am an actual crazy person)
 

Sharm

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I once had the pleasure of listening to a lecture by a very experienced and respected Hollywood Foley artist. He pointed out that even the really big companies steal sound effects from each other all the time because the nature of sound effects makes copyright almost unenforceable. So it's possible that it was the same sound effect. Doesn't mean it wasn't stolen.
 

ericv00

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I once had the pleasure of listening to a lecture by a very experienced and respected Hollywood Foley artist. He pointed out that even the really big companies steal sound effects from each other all the time because the nature of sound effects makes copyright almost unenforceable. So it's possible that it was the same sound effect. Doesn't mean it wasn't stolen.
As a graphic designer, I can say it's true for all types of media.

As an upstanding individual, I can say that I have used assets from things I don't know the copyright status on, but modified them to the point where there are no original components. Basically, the equivalent of making a collage, then painting a depiction of the collage. I find that this is necessary even when you have been told the assets are public domain. Lots of times, sites present something as public domain or royalty free that is really REALLY not. FONTS especially.

Technically, I should be weary of even doing what I do with references, but i do know that the things I use as references are so far altered that even the original creator would be hard-pressed to recognize any aspect of the end result. (It's just a lot easier to start with a non-blank canvas)

Ultimately, though, every sound artist should own a high-end mic and recorder, and every visual artist should own a high-end digital camera. Create your own references. No worries.
 

Helen1701

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The problem with the high end camera and mic and recorder is that some of us don't have literally hundreds of £ to spend on such equipment. Lets keep it simple and say we want a tileset which includes trees, outdoor B for instance. Nobody can copyright a tree, it is something that just exists in the natural world. Sometimes just paying attention to the way things look is enough, and then you can draw a tree, which isn't going to be exactly the same as a tree in real life (lets face it, we're working with limited space when doing pixel art), and so we can make something that looks like a tree without having to worry about copyrights, and no expensive camera is necessary.

For music, that's a bit harder, especially if, like me, you don't know much about how to make it. However, this website lets you choose your key so you don't make something that sounds like a complete mess: https://onlinesequencer.net/
It has lots of built in sounds you can use, and again, no expensive equipment needed, your laptop will be enough.

SFX, How about this nifty little program: https://sfxr.me/
This is just one of the scores of programs out there that cost you NOTHING, and allow you to create.

It shouldn't cost a bomb to make assets, and in my case it will cost nothing at all, free programs and websites to allow you to create are out there, if you look for them.
 

ATT_Turan

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The problem with the high end camera and mic and recorder is that some of us don't have literally hundreds of £ to spend on such equipment.
I don't think eric was suggesting you should own a high-end digital camera to take your own reference pictures...to create pixel art. I mean, the sheer difference in resolution and detail would make that quite pointless - he was talking about professional, photo-realistic visual artist and graphic design work.

It shouldn't cost a bomb to make assets, and in my case it will cost nothing at all, free programs and websites to allow you to create are out there, if you look for them.
This is true, and there's an entire sub-forum on here devoted to useful development tools. The question in the post you quoted was about creating professional-level products suited for sale to others to use.

There are some free tools that might be usable at that point, but in most industries you'll find the consensus that free stuff just doesn't have the power/versatility/features necessary to do professional work properly. I haven't tried to make sound effects, but I know it's true for musical composition and image editing.
 

ericv00

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The problem with the high end camera and mic and recorder is that some of us don't have literally hundreds of £ to spend on such equipment. Lets keep it simple and say we want a tileset...
ATT_Turan is right, I didn't mean to suggest anyone needs a high-end digital camera for pixel art. (Though, I do use my phone for references for pixel art occasionally) The advice is meant for beyond RPGMaker in the realm of graphic design. Sometimes you need a maple leaf for a poster or an ad, and it is easy to grab one online, but it is a lot safer to have your own stock image. And doing graphic design work can quickly pay for the gear you need. Also, making your own references often yields better results. You get the pictures in just the right angle you want, with just the right lighting.
For music, that's a bit harder, especially if, like me, you don't know much about how to make it. However, this website lets you choose your key so you don't make something that sounds like a complete mess: https://onlinesequencer.net/
It has lots of built in sounds you can use, and again, no expensive equipment needed, your laptop will be enough.
Well, there is a pretty big difference between musical composition and sound effects. You don't need a recorder to compose music, but you do want a recorder if you want natural-sounding things, and a catalogue of sounds that can be used for a variety of things. It might blow your mind just finding out how many novel sounds you can isolate for use from a single recording while walking through a neighborhood.
SFX, How about this nifty little program: https://sfxr.me/
This is just one of the scores of programs out there that cost you NOTHING, and allow you to create.

It shouldn't cost a bomb to make assets, and in my case it will cost nothing at all, free programs and websites to allow you to create are out there, if you look for them.
This is not meant as a slight, especially because I often fall into this category myself, but there is quite the leap of quality between 'good enough' and 'high-end craft'. People notice these things. I've used GiMP. It works. I pay for Photoshop. It works better. (still hate it though)
 

Helen1701

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ATT_Turan is right, I didn't mean to suggest anyone needs a high-end digital camera for pixel art. (Though, I do use my phone for references for pixel art occasionally) The advice is meant for beyond RPGMaker in the realm of graphic design. Sometimes you need a maple leaf for a poster or an ad, and it is easy to grab one online, but it is a lot safer to have your own stock image. And doing graphic design work can quickly pay for the gear you need. Also, making your own references often yields better results. You get the pictures in just the right angle you want, with just the right lighting.

Well, there is a pretty big difference between musical composition and sound effects. You don't need a recorder to compose music, but you do want a recorder if you want natural-sounding things, and a catalogue of sounds that can be used for a variety of things. It might blow your mind just finding out how many novel sounds you can isolate for use from a single recording while walking through a neighborhood.

This is not meant as a slight, especially because I often fall into this category myself, but there is quite the leap of quality between 'good enough' and 'high-end craft'. People notice these things. I've used GiMP. It works. I pay for Photoshop. It works better. (still hate it though)

In which case, my apologies, I misunderstood what you were talking about, I assumed you meant graphics for the games we make in RPG maker! But yes, if someone wants to do a professional quality graphic design project then those expensive cameras might be necessary.

I think I will be fine with the free stuff, mostly because the music I intend to make and the SFX I will want to use will all be 8-bit, because I enjoy retro chiptunes (I often binge listen to this kind of music on youtube). The tools I mentioned are the ones I am going to actually be using. So, what I am intending to say, is that I don't need hyper-realistic SFX or great recording equipment because realistic SFX would just seem out of place when put next to retro chiptune style music.
 

ericv00

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So, what I am intending to say, is that I don't need hyper-realistic SFX or great recording equipment because realistic SFX would just seem out of place when put next to retro chiptune style music.
For sure! RPGMaker is, in part, a nostalgia product that focuses on the limitations of the past. The necessary creativeness needed to make a handful of pixels and a small collection of wave forms into a compelling experience is the craft for these types of projects and is often the focus of the appreciation of a work.
 

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