Production: How to Create Homemade Sound Effects

Sound design is a highly important and often overlooked aspect of production and part of great sound design is sound effects. Sound effects add to the illusion created by a film, and they have the power to draw a viewer into the story. For the purposes of this article, we will go over both foley and sound effects.

Make a List

Watch the rough edit and make a list of all the foley and sound effects that you will need to add. Sound effects are sounds that are vital to the story and need to be created, such as gun shots. Foley effects are sound effects created to enrich the sound track, such as creating the sound of foot steps for when a character is walking. Try to include as many sounds as possible in your list. After all, the more complex the sound design, the better. And, worse comes to worse, you won't use the effect if it's not that good.

Be Creative

Remember, when recording a sound effect, it doesn't have to be the real thing, it just needs to be a noise that sounds like the effect you're going for. In fact, movies and television have conditioned us to expect the more dramatized version of a sound instead of the real thing. Because people can not see a sound, use whatever you can to create the intended sound.

Record the Sound to be Loud

Record the sound as loud as possible, without getting into the red zone. It's easier to turn the volume down on a sound than it is to raise it up, while still sounding great. 

Record Different Versions of the Sound

Try to record your effect several different ways that all sound distinct from each other. This way, you have some options when you go to edit. Maybe one version doesn't work but the others do. The more choices you have, the better.

Add Dimensions to the Sound

Some sound effects are complex and are made up of two or more sounds mixed together. Movie gun shots are a classic example. In real life, most gun shots sound like a 'pop'. But, in the movies, they combine about 3 different gun shots to create a loud, deafening roar that echoes. 

Make up Sounds

You can also get very creative, too. if you're making sound effects for things that don't really exist. The TIE fighter noise in Star Wars was created by Ben Burtt who combined an elephant's call with the sound of a car driving on a wet surface. 

Keep your ears open when you're making sound effects, because the only limit is your creativity.

Popular Cameras for High Quality Photos: