A couple of days ago I asked what your most annoying sound is. I thought that an opposite thread might be good too.

Two of my favourite sounds are when you open the cap off of a beer bottle and cutting through a pepper.

I wonder if it's more because of what they signify (beer and food) than the sounds themselves though.


14 Answers 14


Aside from the fact that my favorite sound is music, for non-musical sounds the following spring to mind:

  • Thunder (as said above). As a kid I used to be frightened by it, but as my interest for sound grew, the fascination for thunder did as well.
  • Certain car engines. Sometimes coming very close to a mechanical version of thunder, the roar of for example a McLaren Mercedes SLR with its sidepipes, or the original Mustang Shelby GT500, also with sidepipes.
  • The various metal noises a cargo train can make when standing still for a moment like when the brakes engage or disengage on 40+ carriages at a time.

With all these rather loud sounds in my head right now it's hard to think of quiet, subtle sounds that are also nice :)

  • +1 for the GT500, Aston Martin's and Porsche's can be full of character as well :) – Justin Huss Jun 26 '10 at 11:33

I am a big fan of nature and weather sounds. They are sometimes very difficult to properly record and are extremely calming to edit.


I remember, when i was a kid, it was definitely crinkly plastic or foil. That usually signified something full of sugar.

Also, because it's summer, tonic water pouring into a glass full of ice. And gin, but you can't really hear that.

  • Same here. As a kid I was almost conditioned to the sound of crinkly packaging. Whatever I was doing, I would always look up and find the source of the crackling sound because of the expectation of something sweet. – EMV Jun 26 '10 at 10:45

Easy. Vuvuzelas.

  • Are you sure you're not posting in the wrong category? I'm getting quite annoyed by them. The upside is that even if I'm at home but not watching the game I can hear the score if I leave the window open. – EMV Jun 26 '10 at 10:42
  • Just thought that the sound of a Vuvuzela is a great way of avoiding the football. – ianjpalmer Jun 26 '10 at 11:09
  • Judging from the games that I watched this weekend and today, it seems some broadcasting networks have actually implemented vuvuzela-filters to some extent, because the noise has decreased significantly. – EMV Jun 28 '10 at 17:57

Thunder may seem like an obvious choice but it is a phenomenon of nature that can produce some awesome sounds. The duration can vary immensely as can the timbre. Heard from a distance the low rumbles evoke a feeling of the impending. Heard at close range we feel the power of nature. And the low-end can really put your hairs on end. I once was about 50 meters from a strike and the sound literally tore the sky apart above my head - a really amazing tearing sound. Although the moment scared the hell out of me, the sound was something special.

In terms of it's use in film, thunder is often overused and can appear very cliché. That said, it can be used effectively. But in terms of the actual sound itself I think it's definitely my favorite!


My favorite sound is by far the sound of rain.

When I was young, I had insomnia problems. My love for sound and facination for it, came from the fact that the tranquility of rain hitting the glass window - made me fall asleep. My mum bought me a recorder to record the sound of the rain hitting the window and inside of a car. I used to listen to the recordings when I couldn't sleep and sure enough, I fell asleep. When I edit takes of rain, I become very sleepy hehe.

Other sounds would be birds and the reverb they can create while you're walking in a forest. Everything seems okay suddenly when you hear birds, and grim when you are not.

  • That's awesome. Have you seen this video? Your post reminded me of that. It's not -that- impressive.. something any sound designer could do without rain, but the fact that this is always out there during the rain makes it kind of interesting. youtube.com/watch?v=MOf72sAbjNQ – Dave Matney Jun 26 '10 at 16:06

Water rushing underneath the grates of flood defences is certainly one of my favourite - a really nice pulsating churning sound that can sound amazing if recorded in stereo.


Prop planes from the 30s to 60s. That's a pretty final answer from me! Definitely my favourite sound. It's why I like The Sky Crawlers so much.


Similar to people here, I love the sound of waterfalls (nature). Hoping to get out and record some soon!


I grew up, and now live, within 200 yards of a train track. For most people, that's an annoyance, but for me, it's pure bliss. I've learned to love graffiti from it, and it's also home to my favorite sound... Trains. Not train whistles, bells, or the engine, but the heavy sound of it just rolling along it's tracks.

Sometimes at night, when I'm having trouble sleeping, I'll just lay in bed and hope for trains to pass.

  • Wow. I'm the exact opposite. My uncle told me a scary story about a serial killer who would hop on random trains and go from city to city killing people so whenever I heard some train off in the distance (especially in the country in the middle of nowhere away from towns) I thought of that story and it made me NOT able to sleep. Haha! – Utopia Jun 26 '10 at 4:58
  • I get that way on old, unpaved, country roads when I see people walking, even though I spent a large chunk of my life in rural Colorado. – Dave Matney Jun 26 '10 at 7:39

Felt tip pen lid being popped off the end making a nice pop click sound


A gas leak, especially the one in COD Modern Warfare 2 with a nice metallic reverb of the container (a tank in this case, but a pipe would be nice too).


Gentle rhythmic breathing when someone is fast asleep, and gentle waves.

A common sound design trick is to speed either of them up to make the listener tense, and to slow them down to make the listener relax.


I have real soft spot for:

-any kind of metal lighter. More in the zippo family than a bic.

-squeaky bottle corks going in and getting popped out

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