Any ideas as to how to create some cannon sound effects, such as what can be heard here? link text

At the moment I'm thinking of three main elements - some sort of very loud, harsh deep bang or boom layered with either a distorted element or almost something like a plastic bag or newspaper for texture, and of course a residual decay. I've heard real cannons and they sound nothing like the cannons you will hear in pirate movies, so I think I would be better off to make one from scratch. Thanks.

  • 1
    I wouldn't completely agree on real cannons not sounding as in movies. I have recorded cannon shots alot the past 3 years ( whenever a royalty gave birth or got married), and have tried to record different locations each time. Combining these recordings, near and far, makes some pretty nice cannon shots. I havent found a way to recreate the size and crack, or even more importantly, the tail of a real cannon shot. Hope it works out for you, and would love to hear your final result. Cheers Mikkel Aug 26, 2012 at 14:18

2 Answers 2


Hey, i discovered a new technique recently. It can be useful to make some base material for cannons and blasts. In brief, you can make an syntesized explosion out of any impact sound.

Here are some examples.

http://rghost.ru/private/39901441/d9c82e1026e3eca1b7d243a3a3ddc312 http://rghost.ru/private/39901150/4322417d5062dc6a0d00baac8d11b45e


1) take a sound with a clear impact. 2) make a copy, reverse it, unite with a previous sound - now you have a "whoosh" with soild middle part. 3) process this "whoosh" with a pitch, the envelope should look like this:


Very fast attack, starting from the lowest point going up and then medium decay and slow release. About 48 semitones should be enough.

4) add some fuzz or distortion, equalize the low end, raise some high middle frequency. Some reverberation may be good too.

The resulting sound isn't very suitable for solo use, but you can mix it with actual blasts and explosions to get a fat and lush sound effect.

  • Thanks so much! Here's something I got using the pitch down method, still working on it: mediafire.com/?ge9ewbj4yk3kg6f It still needs to somehow have more of a decay I think.
    – davidreino
    Aug 26, 2012 at 11:14

I think that...

Sounds 1 and 3 in the link sound like they're hits/kicks on metal (e.g. a metal door) or dropping a metal plate hard to a hard surface. Slowed/pitched down.

Sound 2 sounds like a slowed down gunshot (with some natural echo in the recording).

  • @Mikkel You can delete comments. There's a hidden "X" on the right side of the comment. Aug 26, 2012 at 13:41

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