Hi everyone! I need some sounds of really big iceberg crackling. I found some ice cracks in the sound ideas library but it's not enough. I tried also to pitch down some wood tear sounds and sound good. Anyone know how to create this sounds? I thought about goin to a mine and break stones, but i am not sure it will work. What I need is something like when the earth is breaking in a earthquake, big glaciars, big pieces of ice melting. It has to be super-big. Thanks!

  • you can contact me here: sonicsalute (at) gmail (dot) com Maybe I can help you out:) Aug 21, 2012 at 10:11

10 Answers 10


For the more close-up crackling sound, get your hands on some styrofoam peanuts and a very quiet mic/room. Crank up the gain and gather a couple handfulls. Very slowly squeeze and release the bunches of peanuts — it creates a surprisingly realistic mimicry of the crackle and creak of ice. HERE is a sample. It's relatively untreated, but you could play with pitch-shifting and filters a bit more than I did.

Combine that with various cracks, booms and thunder (as Ian mentioned) then send them all in various amounts to a reverb with a hi-cut filter. This will help create a sense of resonance through a large body.

Good luck!

  • Awesome! It really took me there!
    – Cat
    Aug 21, 2012 at 16:45
  • Great idea with the styrofoam and thunder! Aug 22, 2012 at 7:50
  • Impressive! Me gusta :-) Aug 24, 2012 at 2:27

Stick a contact/hydro mic in a plastic bowl of water and put it in your freezer and record the sound of it freezing OR once frozen take it out and pour water on it to have it start cracking. Sounds quite good, did it at University.

  • i dont have experience with contact mics, but is it safe to put it in water..i mean hydrophone is created to be in water, but what about standart contact mic?
    – Linas
    Aug 21, 2012 at 11:47

One word - thunder. Works a treat.


Try crushing smaller stones with larger rocks to layer under the ice cracks. Icebergs typically have some rock content based upon what was in the glacier from which the icebergs were calved.


I like Ian's suggesting of using thunder. Some pitch down lightning cracks combines with earthquake, volcano or avalanche rumbles for the low end. I'd also say rock crumbles work well. You may need to filter some of the higher frequencies so you don't hear so much of the debris and stones. If you have access to sound ideas try layering some of the footstep scuffs and impact to get snow / ice textures as well.

Good luck!



I just made an Ice bundle last week if you want to check it out. It has a ton of ice cracking , crushing and chunks of ice sliding on each other. Check it out, maybe this will help you.



add some fiber or cloth tear sounds to sweeten the top end, works surprisingly well on the kind of sound you were describing


You can quite easily make a contact mic yourself if you can get a piezo crystal speaker element such as this one from Radio Shack.
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I made one for recording the sound of ice melting. I soldered the leads to a 1/4" phone jack and sealed the cracks using a hot glue gun. Then I froze it in a bowl of water and recorded the sound of the ice cracking as I poured hot water over it. It did quite a good job of recording the cracking, just make sure to use a good quality amplifier. I'd also suggest buying a dozen or so and freezing them all, it's easy to mess up and the cracking doesn't last long for each. Good luck.


Check my Ice creaking Sound FX.


Thank you all!! You have been very helpfull. I will try to do some recordings with styrofoam peanuts and breaking walnuts so far. I will let you know the results. I share with you a recording of a big piece of plastic breaking that creaks very good also.


And I add a cool sound of ice crakling that sounds like laser (never imagined that could sound this way!): http://silentlistening.wordpress.com/2008/05/09/dispersion-of-sound-waves-in-ice-sheets/

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