Hey. im have a clip that i have to use in my uni project and there is a scene where peoples head explode, i was wondering if anyone could give me some advice on how to record this myself using foley.


  • 8
    Best. Question. Ever. Commented Feb 29, 2012 at 22:35

9 Answers 9


Not really relevant unless you live in the tropics, but the sandbox tree actually grows fruit that explodes on its own! Now that would be fun to record.



Could you pump a watermelon full of air until it explodes or at least cracks? That might be a good layer of sound to throw in there. Hm. Going to have to get out the foot pump and go to the market tomorrow.

  • that is a wicked idea! Commented Mar 1, 2012 at 18:28
  • This sounds freaking awesome.
    – lucafusi
    Commented Mar 1, 2012 at 20:22
  • 1
    You gotta make sure the air compressor motor is either off or far away so as to not get in on the recording!
    – Utopia
    Commented Mar 1, 2012 at 22:41

I agree with the other answers from Andy and Benjie for the use of fruit and twigs etc.

Also, ask yourself what stylistic approach you want/need to take for the scene. Do you want a 'realistic' sound or something more comedic? etc.

For a comedic or cartoon approach sounds of inflation from a pump and balloon, coupled with a balloon pop and a bit of light squelching from fruit may work well. It depends on how these heads are exploding as well as the context.

Hope that helps!


Drop a melon or a watermelon off a 2 story house to concrete.

Cut one almost in half before you throw it so it gets broken more upon impact.

Or just save your money and time and the harm of innocent fruits and buy Vegetable Violence from Tim Prebble's Hiss and a Roar company.


I bet if you got the biggest, hardest coconut you can find and then bashed it in violently, the results might sound horribly realistic.


Wow! Sounds awesome :) the obvious way forward seems to be with the use (and abuse) of fruit and veg! Something like hitting a ripe, soft (almost gone off) water melon with a baseball bat mid flight could be a good layer to start with. Prepare to get messy though ;)

  • you can also rip the watermelon for some skin stretching and straining sounds depending on how the heads are exploding. Have fun!
    – MarcoP
    Commented Feb 29, 2012 at 23:55

i agree with andy, very wet, and slimy sounding squish sounds with the crunch of bones from tree branches, lettuce, celery etc. I find oranges work really well for a good squish.


Use vegetables & fruits ! :)


  • lol thats a good name. Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 20:55

I can't really add much more in suggestions as what to use (people seem to have covered the best ideas) but I think which of the suggestions you try will depend on what was causing the head to explode! For example dropping or smashing up melons may not be as appropriate for 'spontaneous combustion' of a head as you'd get the unwanted thud of the bat / floor etc.

  • Good point. I think the transient made by the drop or hit could help sell the fact of the "explosion" but possibly throw a cherry bomb recording or other small explosive element in there.
    – Utopia
    Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 17:52
  • 808 never fails for a good thud. Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 20:56

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