Hi guys, I'm a sound engineering student and we've gotten this project were we have to record foley for a scene that we're given.

Now the scene we got is a tennis match, and I was just hoping for some help on things I could use to create the sound of a tennis ball being hit, as we are doing the recording in class and I can't very well hit a ball around inside.

Any help would be much appreciated. (:

6 Answers 6


Try making a popping sound with your lips (for a lower pitched pop, keep your tongue flat against the bottom of your mouth) then high-pass it a bit, add a slight echo and some reverb and you should get a good sound. I'm only 16 and have no formal education so someone else may have a better idea. You could also try hitting the ball against the floor so it just bounces up and hits your racket and use the sound from the initial hit and add some echo and reverb.

  • Thanks a million mate. I think I could make it work with that. Appreciate it dude. (: Commented Aug 2, 2012 at 18:22

Just record it with a racquet and a ball in a place where it's feasible, e.g. outdoors or in a sports hall. Or search for recordings and sound libraries that have usable tennis hits.

I really don't see the point in trying to invent how to fake a tennis hit, even though it could be possible.

  • That's the thing. We're doing it in class, on stage actually and we're not allowed to pre record any of it. Has to be done on the spot and then we mix it later. Commented Aug 2, 2012 at 18:24
  • Well then why not hold a racket in one hand, the ball in the other and hit them together. You don't need to let go of the ball. A great part of the sound is the ping from the strings. If this was for a film though, you would definitely want to got to a court and record some proper hits. Commented Aug 2, 2012 at 18:31
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    @Christiaan I think your instructor lacks understanding if he's forcing students to reinvent the wheel and doesn't provide ground for doing the work (a suitable place, the props and recording gear). Sound libraries are allowed resource and if it's feasible to record the real thing, then that's the easiest and rational way to do it. Commented Aug 2, 2012 at 18:31

I agree with a popping sound, this will sound really stupid but record opening a jar of dolmio sauce ! Some e.q. N processing I recon you'll be close, hope you get there mate good luck


I like Ben and Jake's idea. You could also try hitting something that gives a similar sound but doesn't fly off around the classroom. Perhaps a tough plastic bucket ..

Given that it's a student exercise, I don't think you'll lose marks for not being completely accurate in the sound fx detail = probably the accuracy of placement of the fx, and how you use your mics will be more important. For example not close micing something that should be deeper in frame. The exercise here is to understand the effort that is put into foley, how to gain perspective with microphones and just how tricky it can be sometimes!

Don't forget the footsteps and the squeak of the shoes on the court!


Cate makes a great point,I think your tutor is looking for creativity & ingenuity to a tough task, thinking outside the box is a must. I remember watching a special on the foley for Sam raimes' spiderman films, for the sound of the web shooting they used a mix of analogue audio tape being dropped on the floor & yoghurt squelching ! Who would have thought !


(I'm Jake, just under another account) for a game my friend made on the iPhone, I took an idea someone else had on here. For a shooting sound, I melted a plastic bag and kept a mic held between the bag and the floor (about half way) and used the sizzling sound of the melted plastic. Thinking outside the box is always important and that's what your professor is trying to stress. But yeah, making a popping sound with your mouth (like I said, it would sound a lot more accurate if you did a deeper pop by keeping your tongue on the bottom of your mouth) but I like the idea of opening a jar.

Good luck.

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