I think it would be cool to hear about some foley sessions that people have done that involved recording very odd things to get a desired sounds.

For example, I did a foley session with a friend of mine a few years ago when I was working on sound for my mobile game Aries Revenge. We took 2 plastic bags and wrapped them tight around the end of a stick. We then lit the bags on fire. If you hold your mic about half way between the bags of fire and the ground you will hear a "Zipppp" sound from the melted bits of plastic falling off the stick to the ground. I ended up using that sound as the foundation for the main laser weapons fire sound for Aries Revenge.

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    Questions like THIS is why I love SSD. More, please - – Jay Jennings May 27 '12 at 2:47
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    I did a similar thing with some of those plastic beer 6 pack ring holders years back! lol they make a cool zippy noise too, and you're helping save animals get their heads stuck in them at the same time ;) – Andy Lewis May 27 '12 at 8:24

28 Answers 28


Hey, You should check out Diego Stocco´s stuff: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhQntkY1Ank

He has alot of videos online,showcasing his methods....very inspiring!


I once tried (very nervously) putting my zoom H2 in a plastic tupperware box and holding it in a bath of water. You can get a pretty convincing underwater ambience, and also if you run the taps at the same time and place the box in various positions around the bath - even under the taps - you can get some good watery rumbles. Word of warning; check the box is watertight first and if you're going record under the taps set the gain fairly low!

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    omg this one is amazing! I am going to Frys this weekend and getting a waterproof plastic case, I have to try this!!!! Did you try opening the bathtub drain and record the water flowing out? – Benjie Freund May 30 '12 at 16:00
  • will try this one soon. :D – Jake Jun 14 '12 at 18:20

I found by quickly running the back of the fingers together (or more so the fleshy middle joint section below the nail) in a fast up/down movement made for a pretty cool insect flight sound when pitched up and octave. Perform a few 'pass bys' at the microphone for added variety!


I used a box of fruity pebbles and a wood plank to make a scifi grain sound for a logo design last week. good times!

I think I'm going to do a mentos-diet coke record session sometime in the future as well.

  • dont forget to share the audio clip on SSD when you have :P :D – Jake Jun 14 '12 at 18:42
  • That's...that's awesome. I'd love to see that. – James Jul 7 '12 at 21:25

I know: using a violin bow ain't something new, but when I bowed the ironing board of my flatmate some real nice sounds came out of it:


and one thing I still want to build and record is the "jam jar jet"


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    Every sound designer should have a couple of bows and some rosin in their toolkit. With a little experimentation there is no end to the interesting things you can use them on with often surprising results. Don't be shy with the rosin. Sometimes it can take quite a bit, both on the bow and the surface you're using it on to get things vibrating. – Seph Lawrence Jun 28 '12 at 21:17

Haven't tried myself yet but I wonder how it would be like if you tape a contact mic to your stomach and record those noises, even though you have to pressure the mic in order to get response. Also, if you bury a hydro mic in the ground and jump over it you get great lower sounds. Great suggestions above! Nice topic!

  • So cool! I want to try the stomach one. Sounds fun. – Benjie Freund May 27 '12 at 18:40
  • I want to do that soon, I will share that then! – Melissa Pons May 28 '12 at 13:51
  • Check out videos on Diego Stocco. His Stethoscope microphone is incredible. Putting one up to a cat while it's purring is really intense. I think they buried a hydrophone for low impacts on Lord of the rings. It was that or pencil mics in condoms... – Jake Jul 3 '12 at 0:45
  • I've actually sort of done this, except from production. Basically, there have been numerous instances where the lavs picked up weird stomach noises at nice levels. I simply kept those files, cropped out the sounds I wanted, and applied a bit of NR. – James Jul 7 '12 at 21:26

Metals on dry ice is my favorite especially big knives

  • My list of things to record is going to be huge...! I like this one too. – Benjie Freund May 28 '12 at 19:06
  • This was used on Transformers. Awesome effect!! – Jake Jul 3 '12 at 0:44

Getting a lav mic and dropping it down a scaffold tube, you can get some very cool windy tubey noises which sound cool :)

  • ive actually tried something like this before, you get great sounds. – Benjie Freund Jun 24 '12 at 19:17
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    This is great - love the results it yields. Did something similar for a sci-fi short a few years back - ran the lav through one of those noise maker tubes they sell at dollar/toy stores, secured it at the end, and spun it around at various speeds to get a wide variety of tones. Lots of fun. – Rob D Jul 3 '12 at 10:46

I've always enjoyed coaxing unusual sounds out of an electric guitar and then experimenting with processing afterwards. Lots of great/usual tones can be generated by scraping a live TRS cable along the strings and pickups. I've used such recordings for everything from faulty electronics and lights to sci-fi atmospheres. Lots of fun to play around with.

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    @Rob Yeah Rob right on! This was also used a lot on Transformers. I've been thinking about violin bows on an electric bass too. I'm sure it's been done many of times, but it still sounds fun. – Jake Jul 3 '12 at 16:50
  • I have a wireless microsoft optical mouse, a fairly old one, but while recording guitar one night I was using the scroll wheel and noticed if i held it above the guitar pickups it created some interesting interference. It didn't seem to hold a note but created something like a morse code whenever the wheel scrolled. – ofa Jul 4 '12 at 9:55


Slightly out of the line, but a lot of great and versatile ideas in here, most very easy and cheap to accomplish.


I'd like to hear more stuff like this, so many tiny things in the world that we've never heard before.

  • Oh sorry I was too lazy to read the whole post before answering but that would be weird to have in a foley studio. – Stephen Saldanha May 28 '12 at 5:02
  • Probably not the weirdest things that have been in most foley studios ;) – Matt Glenn Jun 27 '12 at 3:21

I fried a piece of wholegrain bread dipped in lemonade together with a tomato till they burnt to the pan so hard it was nothing more than coal in it! Gave me some seriously nice squeaks and hisses :-)

  • very nice, ill have to try this. – Benjie Freund Jun 14 '12 at 15:34

I have found that peeling apart a bell pepper with your bare hands yields nice fleshy guts sound. It also yields quite a mess too... ;). Here's a sample:


For those of you who live in a house, I also would highly recommend recording your hot water pipes from the basement. Play with the shower/bath/sink. I lucked out and lived a year of college in a house that was less-than-adequately serviced, so when I turned my shower on my pipes sounded like a Transformers attack:



For THE sound of bicycle wheels I used the end loops of vinyl records! Worked well to get the feeling of an old bicycle.


I just found a few really cool videos of molten metals. Check these out! I want to try this.



I believe someone else posted this in another thread but I thought it fit this topic. Bird with amazing sounds.



for close up fireworks recordings, I've used large rubbermaid tubs. turn them upside down & toss the lit fireworks underneath, quickly put a brick or rock on top for safety & step back! You'll be surprised at the diversity of sounds that come from different fireworks at different points in their burn. certain firecrackers, like M80s can also be dropped in a bucket of water for a killer sound too.... but they're very dangerous. watch your fingers!


Awesoome! I will try and get some soundcloud links going with a few recordings i got. A few more are from Tribes: Ascend..The Thumper weapon sound is a Pringles can 'popping the top', and the inventory station sound is this rusted automatic door at the Mall of Georgia. The vehicle squish sound is one of our level designers KP crushing an orange in his hand.

I think its amazing the things you can hear through a mic that you would not hear otherwise. If you ever want a really low tone droning sound find a large gutter pipe going down a building (a mall is where i tried it at) and put a mic inside the bottom opening.


Just spent the morning recording 'stuff' being shot with a slingshot which as well as being greatly satisfying also yielded some interesting sounds and got me thinking about what else to shoot with a sling shot ... e.g. box of cornflakes, water melon or frozen chicken (a live one would be interesting but morally wrong). Another thing on the list to record atm is an analogue telephone exchange they make the best metallic clicking noises.


Lets keep this going guys, I would love to hear some more odd recording sessions that people have had.


Hey guys. I did a fruits and veggies recording session yesterday with my buddy Chris Nicholson. I figured I would share some pictures with you all. It got very messy very fast. I am still editing all the recordings, but they will be available for purchase on my website in the next day or so. getsoundeffects.com



I skimmed and don't think these were mentioned yet, so:

  • A BB inside an inflated balloon. Classic trick that I think animation sound guys came up with way back when.
  • Sounds through tubes. This can either be done as a way of changing the microphone's perspective, or as a re-recording "worldizing" method. If you're able to isolate the way that a mic is picking up a sound and channel it through something like a PVC pipe or a vacuum attachment, and then record different things, it sounds pretty cool. I think that's how the land speeder sound effect was created in Star Wars.
  • @James That's right. I do remember Ben Burtt saying something about holding out the window and driving down the street. I also used this technique to record underwater. I got a round Aluminum pipe, and a square steel railing and mounted 2 Oktava's in them with Auralex. The 2 pipes got very different sounds. Thanks for the balloon trick!! – Jake Jul 8 '12 at 17:10

I've got a friend who is stuck at recording potatoes. He puts a set of microphones ready above the oven so that he quickly can take them out and record them. It sounds, I don't know what to say, but they're singing.

I don't know the recipe but I'm guessing it is http://scandinavianfood.about.com/od/potatodishes/r/hasselbacks.htm


very cool! I love the green pepper recordings.


Finished my Fruits and Vegetables Collection. Check it out! :)



Lets keep this going guys! We have some really cool ideas already, and I have tried a few of them. I would like to hear some more things that people have done.


Whatever sound you're trying to create, if you're stuck... Record YOURSELF!


Hey guys!

I have another cool technique that I discovered.

We had a client project that had heavy animation and techie movements with text.

So I uploaded dozens of my already made sound recordings into my sound devices 702 set my boom mic to record the output of the 702 (from the headphones). I would then hit rewind / fast forward on various parts and record that real time into ProTools. That produced a really nice scifi glitch text type of sound. Keep in mind long airy sweeps don't work well, its best to have a sound with a lot of movement and random parts to it. Also since your fast forwarding and rewinding the playback time is going to be much shorter. I averaged about 4-5 solid seconds of good sound per minute of audio. So its best to use tracks 5-10 minutes in length. That way you can get a good 20-30 seconds of sound that is usable.

The link below is the bundle that I created with those sounds, and the second link is the client video that we did the sound on using those recordings that I had made.

Thanks for listening and I hope you enjoy!

(sound bundle) https://getsoundeffects.com/#/products-page/sound-effects/rewind/

(full client video) http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=nHFs6jPZGqU#!


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    Pretty cool! ;) – Andy Lewis Mar 27 '13 at 19:39

Here are a couple of mine I used while recording sources for one of my kontakt libs: - using a guitar pickup to record EM fields - toilet flushing water during a storm. This was a very cool noise, since the strong wind caused some sort of suction of toilet water :) - the stethosphone i built years ago: a couple of electret capsules inside stethoscope pipes. Great for recording low ends.

Just yesterday I made a new discover: inflatable punching balls makes a great bass sound! I'll definitively put this one in my upcoming hybrid percussions library :D

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