Video tutorial: How to create explosion sound effects in audacity

I noticed a lot of people hitting my previous entry about how to make explosion noises in audacity via various google searches, and so it occurred to me to make a video, which I think explains it a lot more clearly.

Note, the camera used, and the audio compression tend to knock out high frequencies, so you will see instances where I do things which in the video sound as if they have no, or very little effect, but that’s mostly due to the lousy audio quality of the video.

Edit: Apr 17 2011: Google video flaked out. Here it is on youtube:

Edit, Aug 2, 2008: See also:
How to make laser gun sound effects in audacity”

~ by scaryreasoner on April 13, 2008.

8 Responses to “Video tutorial: How to create explosion sound effects in audacity”

  1. thanks for this, very helpful. do u have any other videos or any links to further information about war sound effects? cheers.

  2. You can try freesound…

    I was going to do a tutorial on laser gun sound effects, but 1) the only good laser gun sound effect I’ve managed to make seems to have been a fluke, and 2) I think audacity doesn’t have the needed features to get a really bad ass laser gun sound (I think what is needed is time-variant duty cycle on a square wave of perhaps varying frequency — maybe a chirp of about 1200hz down to 500hz in about 0.25 sec, maybe mixed with a time-offset version of itself, or mixed with a different, but similar chirp. But I really think the variable duty cycle on a square wave is the secret to a bad ass laser gun sound. Maybe nyquist programming could get it, but I haven’t figured that out.)

    And anyway, laser gun sound effects probably don’t fit into the “war” category you’re looking for. And, realistically, lasers are silent, apart from maybe the sound of a giant capacitor discharging.

    But, the technique I’ve shown can get sounds anywhere from a 22 rifle to a volcano… you just have to play around with it a bunch. stretch the time out (slow it down) to make it more volcanoey, and squash the time down (speed it up) to make it more .22 rifley.

    Probably what I sowed for the “fade in” on the “poor mans reverb” was fading in too short a time. Probably should have selected more of the wave and faded it in.

    From the video, the sound quality is so bad, that it’s sometimes hard to tell what the editing actually does to the sound. You will have to play around with it yourself with some good speakers, and/or good headphones. There are parts in the video where I say things like “that takes a little bit of the pop off the front end,” and listening to the video, you really can’t tell that anything happened. That’s due to the low audio quality on the ultra-compressed video.

  3. Hey d3v!
    For downloading sound effects i can recommend – i hope you can find what youre looking for

  4. Hi just wondering if you know how to create the effect how after an explosion has gone off next to your ear, all other noises sound dull and soft. An example can be found here: effect is at 1:48.

    Thx in advance PLZ REPLY! =)

    • Well, not sure, but it sounds like a very aggressive low pass filter combined with just plain old volume reduction, mixed in with some white noise on top, the white noise being run through… a phaser or ring modulator?

      Or, maybe just record the white noise inside a cardboard tube? It kind of has that sound like listening to a seashell, you know?

      So, I’d try drastic volume reduction of original source material, maybe some dtrastic low-pass filter as well, then mix in some white noise (maybe play around with band pass filter on the white noise) and maybe record it through a cardboard tube, then mix with the source material. You’ll have to just play around with it though.

      • Ok thanks heaps! 😀 I tried lowering the low pass filter cutoff frequency heaps and it worked. What im working on now is trying to find a program that can progressively undo the effect back to normal.

        Know of any?

        Thx 😀

  5. Great tutorial. Thank you very much. I am using the techniques you showed to create the sounds for my game. Jolly good.

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