The Free App That Allows You to Add Automatic Sound Effects to Your Favorite Read Alouds

It’s like getting a soundtrack, back-up singers, and sound effects for your read-aloud (for free!)

Stitched image of three TikTok teachers promoting app Novel Effect

It’s not every day that we see a teaching hack go viral that is easy, fun, and free. But it would appear that Novel Effect, a new read-aloud sound app that synchronizes with a teacher or parent’s voice, has TikTok teachers raving that it’s their favorite read-aloud upgrade.

How does it work? After selecting from over 300 books in its library, the reader simply begins reading aloud from their copy of the book. The voice-recognition technology in the app pops in with character voices, ambient noise, theme music, and other sound effects as the reader says the words aloud from the book. Cars honk below apartment windows, bells above shop doors tinkle softly, and wind whistles through trees. As all of these teachers below will tell you, it’s magic.

See it in action:

Teacher @shybeeeeee reading Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry:

TikTok teacher @shybeeeeee using Novel Effect

@meetmissalina reading Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae:


TikTok teacher @meetmissalina using Novel Effect app

 @mrsarensberg4th reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling:

TikTok teacher @mrsarensberg4th using app Novel Effect

Are sound effects not quite your thing? No worries. You can still create an immersive ambience for your read-aloud listeners by hunting down background noise that goes along with the setting of your novel. The YouTube account Ambient Worlds has amazing soundscapes, from Pride and Prejudice to Lord of the Rings (my favorite is Rainy Night at Hogwarts). Additionally, you can search up ambient noise for city streets, jungle sounds, mountain trails, or wherever your read-alouds take you.

Happy reading! (Can we get an invite?)

Have you used and loved Novel Effect? Let us know in the comments.

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TikTok Teachers Are Obsessed With This Easy Read-Aloud Upgrade