What does it do?
The clumsily named as3sfxr, developed by Tom Vian, is the perfect example of a simple but incredibly useful web-based sound utility. as3sfxr is essentially a Flash port of sfxr, an open source tool originally developed by Tomas Petterson and described as “MS Paint for sound effects”, which should give you some idea of the simplicity of its approach.
How well does it work?
as3sfxr makes it easy to create a wide variety of bleepy, lo-fi sound effects, drum samples and synth tones. Start with one of the generator presets - explosion, powerup, laser and so on - then mutate the sound or adjust parameters manually until you achieve the desired result. Even the randomize option often spits out great noises. Once you’re happy, export your sound as a WAV file and load it in your DAW.
Whether triggered as one-shot FX or loaded as instrument patches in a sampler, sounds created in as3sfxr are perfect for adding a bit of 8-bit-style video game magic to your tracks.