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It's been a while that I have this question : Is there anybody who knows how the sound of the Sonic Gun in MINORITY REPORT has been done ?

I can't find how it's been done, and I've always wondered how to create a sonic gun so if someone has an idea don't hesitate !

Here the clip of what the sound's like

  • you need to be more specific. which part of the sound are you interested in? the blast or the loading? and what have you tried yourself? – Arnoud Traa Jun 30 '14 at 17:40
  • Yes you're right, In fact I was more interested in the blast. I've tried rapidly with big guitar note and old vacuum – user8205 Jun 30 '14 at 17:59
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    The clip is not embedding for me.. odd. It's here: youtube.com/watch?v=2VpLRpcL9CAMi if anyone else is having trouble. – Mark Durham Jun 30 '14 at 23:47
  • Same issue here, i always have that and just go into edit mode and copy the link.. Probably what you did as well.. – Arnoud Traa Jul 1 '14 at 8:35
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I don't know specifically how the sound was made, but you can get something very similar using just software. When trying to recreate a sound, it helps to break it down in to layers. This sound for example has an initial transient, a quick sub-drop and an oscillating trill.

Start with the trill, for this you can use a sampler that has LFO's and a LP filter. Import a pink noise type sound (i used the sound of footsteps in snow because i find real sounds less sterile) and a low sine tone. Set up an envelope so the length of the sound decays at the same rate as the one in the film. You can also use this envelope to very lightly modulate the pitch to make it more interesting. Next use a LFO to modulate the volume level and the frequency/cutoff of the LP filter. The LFO rate should be set around 30Hz and will give you that 'trill' effect.

Next layer is the sub-drop, this can be made with any softsynth that has a sine tone. In this case it is a low frequency transient that decays in around 500ms with a pitch envelope roughly the same. It helps to A-B this with the original minority report sound to get it right.

Lastly is the transient, it may seem odd adding something bass heavy since you already have a lot of sub bass, but find a bunch of punchy and dirty kick samples and put them along with the sub drop, try lowering their pitch, scooping out the mids etc until you get what you want. Your sound will no doubt clip by this stage, but dont worry, this sound requires unconventional use of compression. Put a soft limit compressor followed by a brickwall compressor on the whole sound. By pushing these harder than you normally would, and setting an appropriate release, you can get the sound to break and mask in a way that is akin to our own auditory response to loud transient sounds. Keep in mind that some of the impact of this sound is also related to its effect on other sounds around it.

I used the above process in Ableton to get this result:

https://soundcloud.com/lukofinc/sonic-gun-minority-report/s-xba5u

Obviously its not exactly the same but I hope this helps in some way!

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