3.5b Foley sounds

RECORDING FOLEY SOUNDS AT HOME

Low budget filmmakers often don’t have access to professional, soundproof recording studios. When you’re recording foley sounds find somewhere that’s quiet. Do your best to remove any unwanted sound such as air conditioners and refrigerators. Try to avoid recording in rooms that don’t have carpet or furniture. The unwanted reverb produced in this type of location will ruin your recording. Blankets can be used to reduce reverb and help capture a crisp, dry sound.

Use a tripod to position the microphone close to what you’re recording. When you start recording, slate the sound by saying something like, “Snapping celery to simulate bones breaking. Take one.” Hold your breath so you don’t inadvertently ruin the track with the sound of your breathing! Don’t be afraid to do multiple takes of the same sound effect to make sure that you get it right.

IDEAS FOR FOLEY SOUNDS

Bicycle. An interesting source of mechanical sounds. Spin the tyres, ring the bell, crunch through gears, squeak your hands across leather seats.

Blood. Recording tinned soup or baked beans hitting a plate can create an interesting splatter sound.

Bones. Snapping a handful of spaghetti or celery can create the realistic sound of bones breaking.

Buttons. Find anything with buttons that makes an interesting sound when you click it!

Cauldron. Blowing bubbles through a straw into a glass of water.

Clock. Find a ticking clock and record it for sixty seconds.

Door. Position the microphone close to the door handle, record the sound of opening and closing. Position the microphone close to the hinges and record the door opening at different speeds.

Drip. Record the sound of a tap dripping.

Egg. The sound of an egg cracking open, like the dinosaurs from Jurassic Park, can be achieved by breaking waffle cones.

Fire. The sound of cellophane or plastic bags can be used to create the sound of a fire burning.

Flesh. The sound of flesh tearing can be simulated by ripping citrus fruit, such as lemons and oranges apart. Playing with the inside of the fruit can also create interesting squelching sounds.

Footsteps. Position the microphone close to your feet. Walk on the spot using different surfaces – such as tiles, carpet and concrete – vary the speed of your footsteps and your footwear.

Gun cocking. Record the sound of a briefcase latch closing.

Hinges. Find interesting hinges around your house and record them opening and closing, including cupboards, barbecues, desk lamps…anything that makes an interesting noise!

Ice. The sound of ice cracking can be simulated by moving your fingers across the surface of an inflated balloon.

Mud. Make squishing sounds with a wet sponge.

Punch. Punching a leather jacket with your fist or whacking it with a rolled up telephone book or magazine is a great way to create punch sounds. Punching a lettuce or cabbage with your fist can generate interesting impacts.

Robots. Record the sound of computer DVD trays opening.

Sword. Creating the sound of a sword swishing can be achieved by whipping a thin piece of bamboo past the microphone.

Toilet. The sound of a toilet flushing, pitched down, can be used to create some interesting monster sounds.

Toothbrush. Record the sound of cleaning your teeth.

Toys. Toys can be used to make interesting noises. Find rattles, remote control cars, board games. Remember that toys that speak or play music should be avoided, this is about creating unique sounds and not infringing copyright!

Water. Record the sound of water coming out of a tap.

Whoosh. A large piece of PVC pipe can create an interesting whoosh when it is whipped past the microphone.