Everybody recognises the themes to Star Wars, Lord of the Rings or Indiana Jones. While these musical tracks are well known, sound effects can sometimes get forgotten. Some sound effects become popular over time but few people know how they were made inside the recording studio.
Sound effects are several recordings of everyday sounds merged together to create a noise that can be used throughout the film. The original sources of sound effects can usually be determined if you listen carefully.
Jurassic Park needed a lot of creativity from the sound team as nobody knew what a Tyrannosaurus Rex actually sounded like. The final noise you hear in the film is the result of several animal calls merged together.
The noise of a Star Wars blaster is actually the sound of a wire being hit with a hammer. The original sound has been modified several times to make the sound more futuristic before it was featured in the Star Wars films.
The iconic sound of a TARDIS landing from the TV show Doctor Who is just house keys scraping along piano wire. To make the sound more sci-fi some static has been added in the recording studio. This is similar to the noise for the Balrog in the Lord of the Rings which is actually a cinder block being dragged across some wood.
Part of the brilliance of sound effects is that they start of as something very simple, and then they get polished in a recording studio. This means that almost anybody can create their own sound effects.
If you’re going to install a studio to create your own sound effects it’s a good idea to get the studio soundproofed. Not only will this prevent exterior noise affecting your recordings but it also means that you won’t be bothering anybody no matter how loud you play your recording of concrete blocks being dragged on the floor.
Acoustic Supplies offer soundproofing solutions for studios and home entertainment to help you keep the exterior noise out.