Hey all,

I've been given an assignment in school to cut the SFX for a car chase and I'm having a hell of a time trying to maintain engine continuity throughout the scene. Anybody have any advice, tips, tricks, etc?



6 Answers 6


Here's a nice trick: Take an engine start away and reverse it, makes for a nice aggressive in and idle. Works wonders for O/S cars too.

Sharp fades in and out of each engine "movement" help so there's no buildup, and try seeing out recordings that are onboard ext (usually with CH1 as engine block, CH2 as tailpipe). I know Soundstorm has these for many of it's vehicles, and many of them are long city driving movements and car chase aggressive movements. Having proper source is the key, I've leanred, with enough variety in that source set to do the edit.

The standard "car by" sounds of a vehicle set can help with blending the POVs as a vehicle goes by.

As Jay had said a while back, vehicles can be tough to crack and sometimes you may even trash it and do a complete revision or two.

Good luck!


Don't be too tied to car model or type. You can use several cars if similar. Go for drama not consistency. Work backwards sometimes. Don't always search through effects to match the shot, listen to a lot of engines, skids, bys, dirt, tires and pull out ones you like to put in the scene. Let the car effects play and you will often find serendipitous crazy matches. Skids and tires will cover a multitude of problems in getting from A to B. Cut to please yourself and the audience will come along for the ride.

  • @william3, I love your answer. Commented Nov 2, 2011 at 18:34
  • Too true.. we're the only one that notices tires screeching on dirt roads. audiences just want a wild ride.
    – VCProd
    Commented Nov 4, 2011 at 13:40

Maybe keep one layer going the whole time while alter the other layers?


Layers, layers, and more layers - to sort of paraphrase the sagely advise above. Make changes in layers that synch with the camrea shot changes.

Don't forget to check out the 'related' threads, I've read some great stuff about car chases here in the past.


try listening to some films with great car sequences. Ronin comes to mind (good flick, great cars). The Bourne movies do a great job with sound all around as well. See how they solved some of your problems. Also, i recommend listening to them with headphones to help pick up some of the detail work.


Hey Ask Steve Smith, he might know!

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