Hi everyone,

Iv been asked to create a number of swooshes, the type employed in martial arts movies etc. The visual it is being used for is an animation, but there doesn't have to be much character within the sounds. Im just a bit stuck for props I can use the create the swishes? I have a tight deadline (start of next week) so out of the ordinary props will be hard to come across in the time I have. Any suggestions would be much appreciated!


10 Answers 10


Don't forget to add plenty of cloth track too. Adding some quick flaps and whooshes of fabric can help sell the intensity of it too!

  • I want to +1 this twice. It's a shame it's down near the bottom. Commented Sep 15, 2011 at 14:16
  • Thats a good one. Remember that to make something sound loud and startling, something quieter and less assuming has to be in front of it!
    – ChrisSound
    Commented Sep 16, 2011 at 6:33
  • cloth is key .. it's sometimes all I use for fight moves / action stuff
    – studio13
    Commented Sep 22, 2011 at 12:20

A few that come to mind:

  • Dowel rod
  • Cat hanger
  • Shirt/blanket/cloth
  • Rope/jump rope
  • Tennis racket
  • Fishing rod (Or other flexible metal/fiberglass)
  • Chain
  • Branch with leaves or smaller branches

Things to tie to a string and swing:

  • whiffle ball
  • Cheese grater
  • Soda can
  • Plastic bottle
  • Empty metal or plastic bucket

And one of the coolest things you can swing: the microphone! Sometimes it even sounds great to leave the wind protection off. Just be careful...

  • Thanks Matt! Thats more than enough to off, trying to create somethings that sounds fairly full so will definitely try as many of those as possible. Commented Sep 15, 2011 at 9:47
  • 2
    I'm not entirely sure what a cat hanger is (you probably meant coat hanger), but I'm kind of concerned if you actually use something to hang your cat. ;) Commented Sep 15, 2011 at 14:15
  • I would say "damn you autocorrect", but it's more like "damn you tired brain" ... Yes, coat hanger :)
    – Matt Glenn
    Commented Sep 15, 2011 at 23:50
  • I think this is what you meant, right? joe-ks.com/archives_jan2006/CoatHangerCat.htm Commented Sep 16, 2011 at 22:12


should give you many ideas.

  • Haha that video made me laugh! I actually know Enos and he is recording those at my university! Commented Sep 15, 2011 at 10:52

You can check out Hiss and Roar's swish library as well. Lots of great stuff in there.


  • 3
    check the free sounds there too - theres a 16bit example of each swish you are free/welcome to use
    – user49
    Commented Sep 15, 2011 at 21:24

Take your mop! Pick the mop head off and use the stick :) Or you can use a hollow bamboo stick, I think that's the more traditional approach

  • Great! Bamboo stick was first port of call really theres one outside my back door! Think i have a broken broom handle also so will give them both a go, thanks Commented Sep 15, 2011 at 9:48

Just be careful not to accidentally smash the microphone with the broomstick or other prop.

I recall a terrible incident involving a baseball bat and a Neumann U87...

...just kidding.

  • Heart almost stopped then! Dont worry i will watch out :) Good job im not involving swords lol! Commented Sep 15, 2011 at 10:14

in addition of what has been said, you can use a XLR cable. Swing it like you're about to throw a grapple. Try different speed, pitch it down and up, "time stretch" it, you will have interesting results :)


Thanks for all the great tips!


Get some Eastern instruments, and process them into a whoosh with plugins


Can't really help, but I hope these videos do lol:



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