I'm looking for the name of this kind of effect as I always end up needing it but have never been able to find something similar. It's kind of like a low-tech power up, power-on sound - associated with building pressure / airlocks but I've no idea what to search for to find it.

The best isolated version of it I can give you as an example is when Darth Vader's Mask is put on.


Thanks for any help!

  • Maybe try pitch-shifting a dentist drill
    – NReilingh
    May 18, 2015 at 14:16
  • Thank you guys for your responses! Very helpful indeed. I have seen that Ben Burtt clip before - always very interesting watching him reveal his magic. I love how laser blasts are a spring being . . .sprung! Cheers :):)
    – SonicAaron
    May 19, 2015 at 9:16

2 Answers 2


I'm not sure it really has a name, but as we associate sounds with the objects that produce them I'd try searching for similar elements and edit them together. For the air pressure part I'd be searching for terms like pneumatic, compressor, air movement, hiss, air release etc. You could also try adding in small electronic/mechanical sounds like the dentist drill,camera flash pops etc already mentioned. Often using sounds like this reversed adds a nice sound and disassociated it with the original source.


I don't have the reputation to comment on Mark's answer above, but wanted to share this.

Typically there is a lot going on in a sound effect like this. From the same universe, you MUST see this!!!

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