I'm currently working in a short animation where the "bad guy" is a bunch of hair fighting scissors, razors and other barber tools.

it's mainly foley but Im struggling to find the proper sound for this "hair monster" (faceless, just a bunch of hair, like a dough)

Any ideas will be great, layers, suggestions?


12 Answers 12


The fact he is fighting would tend to mean strong fast movement so maybe you could pursue sounds that are associated with hair eg hair brush scrapes & scuffs, hair or string through a comb... Could be worth borrowing a wig (or finding some plant material that is made of a lot of strands) and record swishes through the air, but also sliding across surfaces etc..... Even a feather duster might be of use, especially if you have some layers of loose string or hair-like material to keep the association going....

  • Sweet, the duster was a great Idea, thanks Tim
    – Pepe Gales
    Nov 15, 2011 at 6:06

three suggestions: two possible ideas, and one to help you find your own.

  1. I immediately start thinking of rustling sounds and cord whips. Something like Tim Prebble's Swishes library could be very useful. Ryan (Utopia) has given you some useful suggestions for generating rustling sounds, but I wouldn't be afraid to expand it out of the realm of fabric. Something like leaves and paper done correctly could be what you're looking for.
  2. Maybe concerning yourself with the creature's movement itself is the wrong approach. Have you considered the possibility that maybe it doesn't make any sound on its own to begin with? Experiment with sounds for what the creature is interacting with; i.e. those barber tools you mentioned, the surface it's moving across, etc.
  3. If you exhaust "relevant" ideas, try throwing using the weirdest things you can think of for the situation. Go completely off the wall. You may discover something by accident, or maybe it will give you an idea for an approach. In the very least, it will help you define what the sound shouldn't be. That can be just as useful at times.
  • Shaun! You said my real name!!
    – Utopia
    Nov 13, 2011 at 5:05
  • finally,the mystery is solved :) Nov 14, 2011 at 12:14

Steel wool?

I would experiment with getting two strips of astroturf and rubbing them lightly together.

There are also sponges you can get from bath&body type stores which are hard-fibered sponges - like those big sponge balls - they might create an interesting layer.

Horse hair brush? Like the ones used to shine shoes.

Raid a salon and steal all of their color samples.

Footsteps for a hair monster? Maybe sponges, experiment with soft fabrics, faux fur like windjammers are made out of...

This is a tough one because it has to be faked or fabricated from something that isn't hair (because hair doesn't really make much noise) and end up with something that the audience thinks hair would sound like..

I think you should experiment, experiment, experiment, and after you've done tons of experiments and are slamming your head against the wall, try something you wouldn't think would work in a million years and see how that sounds, then do some more experimentation. Then, when you think you're happy with it, do more experiments after that.

Then, when it's released, do more experiments.


When we were designing the soundtrack for Tangled (the Disney movie), one of the big challenges was how to create the sound of Rapunzel's hair. We recorded a TON of material, mostly plant-based but also using different types of cloth. Some of the results were less than astounding but there were some great discoveries along the way, and although they weren't big players in the final mix, they definitely played a part and contributed to the storytelling.

So, I would encourage you to try recording your own foley for your project. Experiment with different plants; the subtle textures and weights may be helpful in developing your character. Also try canvas, burlap, velvet, velcro, any synthetic fabric, etc. Go for small movements that are close-mic'ed - record at the highest sample and bit rate, then manipulate from there.

Good luck, and have fun!


My first thought is a Koosh Ball.

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Try a mop with some doppler


My first thought was a push-broom. One of those big long ones with a flat head and really stiff bristles. Perfect for your footsteps.


Use magnetic tape on a rough surfce, then you can play with the tempo or pitch


First thing that came to mind was a soft bristled brush on a rough surface (cement, sand paper).


Fire, human breaths, bean sprouts


Was walking through wal-greens today playing with random items. Christmas garland, reathes, and other stuff of that nature immediately brought up this topic in my head.


Not sure if this is obvious...but wouldn't scissors be a great choice? Or Sizzling?

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