Has anyone got any tips on creating/recording electronic spark/arcing sounds? Is there anyway to create these without an arc welder or a tesla coil?

  • Have you got max/msp? Aug 13, 2010 at 9:12
  • I don't have it at the moment but I have had a bit of experience using it. What would you recomend? Aug 13, 2010 at 10:48

3 Answers 3


There was a thread on Twitter about this last year - challenging, eh? While ideas thrown around included miking fluorescents, buzzes, hums, and even the sound of packing tape for short static-y bursts, the best idea I came across was this brilliant guest contribution on Chuck's blog. Bug zappers, who knew?

  • Cheers, that looks like the way to go. Aug 13, 2010 at 16:03
  • UPDATE If you're willing to wait, Chuck might have you covered...via Twitter: "I will be doing an electricity sound library. ETA unknown. lots of planning to do." 8/13/2010 Aug 14, 2010 at 0:10

Fireworks -- Specifically sparklers. Every year, my friends and I get together for the 4th of July, and one of our favorite things to do is to bundle as many of those cheap metal sparklers together as we can (200 is our current record) and light them all off at once The sound is awesome, but don't look directly at it.


I've had some good results in the past by close miking incandescent bulbs with highly directional mics. The buzz and hum they give off are a good starting point. Just watch out you don't burn your mic. lol

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