I was very impressed with the foley in "Gravity". Not a single sound took place in space, but all from the perspective of the characters, from inside the suites, ships and stations.

I imagine it was done in part by using impulse responses. Would you guys agree? I'd think it would be much like the impulse they took of the INSIDE of a helmet for "Premetheus" - but opposite. Taking a microphone and putting it inside a helmet or structure and playing a sweep from outside.

I'd love to hear what you guys thought and if you have any information on how the sound was done.


6 Answers 6


I just saw Gravity the other day and really enjoyed it too, what a great sound experience. It was the first time for me to watch a film with Dolby Atmos, it was mind blowing, also the sound design was great and unusual mixing approach.

As for your question, here's a link at soundworkscollection that probably answer your question.


Interestingly, a lot of the foley sound was recorded using transducers (contact mic) as there's no sound in space but vibrations are still transmitted through our bodies.

Hope that helps.


I saw Gravity at the IMAX and was blown away by the visuals and sound design. The concept and approach to the sound design by Skip Lievsay is out of this world. This has to be my favourite soundtrack. I can't wait to watch it again.

  • 1
    Not to be nit-picky, but on this project Skip Lievsay was "just" the re-recording mixer. Glenn Freemantle has sound designer / supervising sound editor credit. But regardless, I totally agree: best soundtrack in years.
    – Alex
    Commented Oct 7, 2013 at 8:52
  • Yes I also can't wait to see it again, the 2nd time will be in Dolby Atmos!! It's true that the foley team did record a lot with contact mic's to get the vibrations of objects which Lievsay then took and mixed it brilliantly into the film. It was a great team effort!
    – Jake
    Commented Oct 7, 2013 at 23:07

Gravity was by far the best use of Atmos I've heard so far- the panning resolution allowed on the sides and across the back contributed so much to the constant sense of motion and drift. You immediately notice it on the voices as the characters float around you, but I began to discern and follow parts of the music as the broke off from the mix "whole" and began to move around the space. At some parts it seems as though the whole score has broken apart and is swirling around (so appropriate!).

As far as the foley goes- it sounded to me like much of the spacewalk material was recorded using contact microphones (maybe even hydrophones on the parachute detachment scene). Really an inspired use of that equipment and I expect to hear that treatment of space replicated across movies and games in the future.

If you're on the fence about driving an hour to your nearest Atmos theater to check it out I say it's absolutely worth the trip! This movie was made for it!

  • I was on the fence about seeing it again just for Atmos, but you guys sold me! I'll go today or tomorrow! Thanks guys!
    – Jake
    Commented Oct 9, 2013 at 18:51
  • "At some parts it seems as though the whole score has broken apart and is swirling around (so appropriate!)." SPOILER ALERT: Exactly, that's what i found to be so compelling. The whole time everything sounds weightless and bounces around. Only in the end of the film, when Bullock rises from the mud there is a stable grounded soundscape. Very well executed! Commented Oct 11, 2013 at 15:18

I also just saw Gravity, and it was my first Atmos experience. Totally worth it. Seriously. I may need to trek back to the theater to retrieve the rest of my brains that I think I left splattered on the back wall.


I agree the sound design in this film is remarkable. It sounds like they used several layers of sound effects for the spacewalks and tools. I love the sound of the water in the ISS, i felt like I could just grab it with my hand.


The sound design was very well done. It sounded to me like achieved great foley by using contact microphones and EQing. I was impressed with the scene where the water was filling up the module and they kept sweeping out the sound completely every time she was pulled under water. This movie was great, but Captain Phillips was my pick of the week. Great intense story and an amazing realistic performance from tom hanks.

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