I don't know what's the correct technical audio term for it. How do you create the sound effect to simulate hearing a sound source from far away through thick walls? Kinda like you would hear standing outside a club house where music is playing loudly inside and you only hear the muffled bass.

Please be technically detailed.

7 Answers 7


As the other comment said. Try a low-pass parametric filter. Adjust the frequency down to about 300 Hz, maybe lower, and see how you go.

  • Can you be more technically specific about the best practices since I'm sure it's a well defined solution by now. i.e. what Q factor to use and what slope for the filter? Also, since this type of effects are commonly used in electronic music in a transient way, are all filter parameters typically kept constant and just the cutoff frequency is changed during playback?
    – xster
    Commented Jul 30, 2013 at 6:37
  • 2
    use your ears - consider the context: dialogue (male? female? raised voice? quiet?) sound FX & foley (subtle? violent?) all need to be treated to varying degrees to achieve a result that an audience will find plausible & 'real' - there is no best practice Q factor & slope, best practice = 'use your ears'
    – user49
    Commented Jan 26, 2014 at 0:33
  • I followed this advice and it worked. 300 seems like the right frequency. I also suggest you lower the volume a bit. I wrote a post about my findings. consortya.com/content/…
    – Gandalf458
    Commented Aug 26, 2016 at 14:29

I agree with what's been said, although don't forget that part of what gives a sound its off-axis/down-the-hall timbre is how it resonates through the building materials. So yes, highs will drop off but you'll likely need to bump sonewhere between 180 - 400 Hz where there's a nice resonant quality, just be careful of the 300 Hz muddiness. This is where a bit of reverb, or better yet an IR, will help seal the deal. Sometimes a short slap delay will help to, since early reflections are how our ears identify the space in which a sound propogates.

EQ is but one part of the puzzle.


To create a muffled sound, you need to alter the equalization of the audio clip. If you're familiar with highs, mids, and lows, it is natural to eliminate the treble in order to create the desired effect. Afterwards, you can also decrease the mids to keep it below the decibel level of the bass. If you have the bass, mids, and trebles in decreasing levels of decibels you should have your muffled sound.


I've had great luck using a home made impulse response created by slamming a 2x4 plank on the floor upstairs with a hammer hard, while recording it downstairs. Try taking the top of your sound off with a filter and send it through an IR like that.


I'm a little late to the party, but I've used ProTools' 7-band EQ plugin for replicating sounds coming from inside of a building, and it sounds great. There are some other things I would do to adjust for specific needs, but this is a good start.

Here is a screenshot of the EQ settings: EQ-Outside the Club

If you were still looking for it, I hope this helped.


I use recordings of knocking on walls captured by contact mics as IRs. You then get filtering and resonance but no reverb. This sits in the mix better as it lets you add your own reverb.


if you're using Adobe Premiere, there's an audio effect in the Effects Panel called, "Low Pass." It's PERFECT!!!! I'm using it for a scene that takes place in the back part of a club where you can still here the club music through the walls.

  • 1
    Any real daw will have a low-pass filter, not just adobe premiere
    – user22688
    Commented Oct 19, 2017 at 16:51

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