Is there a commonly accepted filtering process to make sounds appear as if they are recorded underwater

It could be a generic low-pass/band-pass filter?

What cutoff frecuencies could I use?

  • 2
    It is indeed a low-pass filter. You could just try different cut-off frequencies and hear what suits your needs. Keep in mind that the in real life the cut-off frequency will be related to depth. So if you're trying to simulate a sound deep underwater the cut-off frequency will be lower than close to the surface. This article (ogp.org.uk/pubs/406.pdf) contains some interesting info on sound under water. Not knowing your final purpose makes it hard for me to say if it is of any use for you. Commented Nov 18, 2012 at 10:58
  • Very helpful, thanks... I'll try with half way between 20 Hz and 20 KHz (the limits of human hearing, as the document states), and then half way between my new value and the above and bellow previous limits... this way of aproximation appears to be very fast and effective
    – rraallvv
    Commented Nov 18, 2012 at 22:42
  • 1
    See also: avp.stackexchange.com/q/1666/1530 Commented Dec 5, 2012 at 3:04

3 Answers 3


Low frequency oscillators modulating pitch, amplitude, filter/resonance amount, or combinations of these would produce an underwater effect. This could be done as a direct effect or in combination with a vocoder.


Mid EQ works aswell. Alot of Metalcore/ Hardcore use this for intro effects.

  • 4
    Could you elaborate this answer a little bit? Maybe a link or explanation to what you mean by Mid EQ and even better would be a link to a Metalcore intro using the Mid EQ. Commented Dec 5, 2012 at 0:25

Another option could be to add a chorus effect to your filtering, this often blurs the sound slightly and extreme chorusing can give the slight gargling effect associated with the "underwater" effect


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.