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Sound Effect Creation

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Need explosions? Blow something up. Seriously. I don't mean damage someone else's property. But if there is a place where some crew is doing blasting, ask if you could set up a tape recorder to capture the explosion sounds...

Ever blown into a microphone? You get this loud roar. Slow that sound down, blend it with the explosion of large fireworks, and you got yourself a roaring explosion.

For guns, go to a firing range and get the sounds.

For more difficult weapons, you may have to experiment.


Walking... Easy... set a microphone on the floor right where you are going to take a step. Record several passes, so there's a bit of variety.

Basically, just go around and record sounds of everything.

I reccommend a program called Cool Edit Pro. I used to work with it back when I worked in broadcasting. It lets you do all sorts of blending effects. With its Vocoder effect, you can take the sound of static, and cross it with spoken dialogue to get a very scary sounding voice, almost like the Star Trek: First Contact version of the Borg Collective.

Build yourself a library of digital sounds, both pure and processed.

Or you could pay a license fee to use someone's existing sound effects library.

Record everything. Experiment it. Cut and paste portions of a sound into each other. Reverse them. Add echos, distortions, etc. Get you a portable digital audio recorder. They're easier to obtain samples from than a tape.

Did you know that the sound of the Melenium Falcon's engines in Star Wars was in fact a modification of a recording made of a hotel room air conditioner that wasn't working right? And the laser blast sounds in Star Wars originated from recordings of someone banging on a metal cable, and then editied.

And a lot of times, in movies, where someone gets into a car with vinyl seats and you hear the squeak, it was in fact a recording made of someone simply pressing their hand down on a vinyl seat to make it squeak.

90% of every sound you hear in a movie will have been produced in a sound studio and dubbed into the audio track in post-production. The folks who do this are called Foley artists. They collect sounds. Anything from footsteps to breaking glass to explosions. Screams and laughter are another example... In Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, as the Genesis Planet was undergoing changes, and you heard Spock screaming, it was neither Leonard Nimoy or the acter who was playing the younger version of Spock that you hear, but rather someone else who did the screaming. And in War movies, how many times do you hear the same exact death scream on different movies?

Believe me, sound effects production is going to be a challenging element for my game designs. I am going to have to generalte a lot of the sounds myself, if I cannot find someone willing to vollunteer his own library or services to produce them. But I'll cross that bridge when we get to it.

Best of luck...


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