foley sounds need advice



Hi guys I struggling to think of how to create the sound of horses galloping, I can create the sounds individually by banging two objects together in cycles of threes to create that "doo doo doof" thud. Any ideas? I need to recreate a tumble drier so I was thinking of using a swimming pool pie and swinging it around to create the whirry sound and taking a metal box and put 2 loose objects inside and swirling the box around to create the sound of objects in the drum. I don't know how I'm going to record a laser blast or beam! also the sound of a tree cracking before it falls?


Posted 2013-07-29T22:42:52.177

Reputation: 365



As for the laser sound - try out the slinky trick. Get a metal (not plastic) slinky and stretch it out either horizontally or vertically and place a mic just in-between one of the coils and tap one of the stretched out ends. Zoooom :-) I've used this trick for my dissertation project - check it our here

As for the tree falling sound, I managed to create a very cool sound completely by accident. Get a roll of Sellotape - record a few seconds of it being stretched out - time stretch it about 100% (experiment with the amount) and it should start to sound like tree snapping and falling :-) let me know if this works for you. Have fun with it!

Stuart Ankers

Posted 2013-07-29T22:42:52.177

Reputation: 108


As for the horse, you can watch a top artist doing it here.

The dryer, why not record a real dryer drum. Just open one up and spin by hand. I've done this before. Sweeten it with the metal box idea. Usually the simplest idea is the best.

Laser should probably do something that no one suggests...that way it's original :) Old school method would be to contact mic a very large spring or cable. Usually this sort of design work isn't covered by Foley by the way.

The sound of a tree cracking: soak a towel in water, put it in the freezer overnight and crack away. Pitch shift real wood/bark cracks. Go out in the woods and find a large tree branch that has fallen, pick it up and drop it again.

Don't be afraid to experiment, I usually end up recording a ton of stuff before I stumble upon the right (hopefully) sound. There is so much trial and error in this field, and your can learn a lot from errors. Good luck.

Justin P

Posted 2013-07-29T22:42:52.177

Reputation: 5 344


Hey JM,

The horse is a classic! If you've not seen Monty Python and the Holy Grail then I highly recommend it. For many reasons, but the constant gag of using coconut shells as horse hooves is brilliant. And for us foley folk, practical.

Like Justin says the dryer seems like a no brainer, record a real one and perhaps layer it with the ideas you've mentioned.

Lazer. This one is much more ambiguous and lots of people would argue a thousand ways of starting it. To be honest I would go down a synthesised route and not really do it with foley (but I'm sure many people would argue with that).

Tree cracking. Get some branches/bark and crack slowly into a foley pit with earth in it. Also maybe try it with celery and pitch that down for extra 'crack'.

Best of luck with it, some awesome/classic sounds to get there.

Nicol J Craig

Posted 2013-07-29T22:42:52.177

Reputation: 327


If you want to synt the laser:

If it is a shooting laser:

Get a mettalic, somewhat dissonant soundsource with fm or wavetable synth. Use a pitch envelope the get the piuuu. Then use a filter lp/bp with another decaying envelope. experiemnt with resoanze till you get a pleasant piuuu. Try to layer it with some textures out of Omnisphere or whatever if it need some more life. Granulize and autoamte fitlers to let the shot disolve at the end.

To treat the sample you should go for a Doubbler Effect. it can work wonders! Especially the Wave Doubbler has some cool presets as a starting point.

Instead of envelopes you can use Sawtooth alike LFOs. so you can get the effect of a "railgun laser"

then use reverb and shelfing eqs to get the desired distance to position it in the sound field!

If it is a static laser you want to synth a sustained/modulated sound:

Get a synth and build a dissonant metallic soudnsource, double it and slighty hcange the pitch to get some phasing. Get tons of unsynced modulation on pitch, filter and maybe vibrato.

find nice organic textures that have a bright, shining feel to it. and layer them over the sound. treat with doubbler and reverb and remove any heave bass.

i hope this gives you a starting point to get a laser. gl


Posted 2013-07-29T22:42:52.177

Reputation: 142