How can I recreate the sound of this shuttle taking off? From scratch.

What sounds should I record and manipulate?

Thank you very much for pointing me in the right direction!

1 Answer 1


Whenever I want to recreate a sound synthetically, I start by analyzing the envelopes, source, filter and modulations and effects.

The source will certainly be white noise since there isn't any tonal content. The main filter is a low pass but to add realism, I would also use some band pass filters and/or eq peaks. I would use one eq peak or BPF (in a separate channel) boosting a rather low frequency to the point it clips to imitate the rumble and the camera clipping (the always seem to do when rockets are launched).

To modulate the main filter, I would use the output of one of the BPFs as CV on the filter cutoff. This cutoff modulation should give it that variation that should differentiate it from plain filtered noise. Almost forgot the most important part - an envelope with long attack, no decay, almost full sustain and long release on the filter cutoff to imitate the launching. This could also be your amplitude env but I'd rather use a separate one with similar setting for more versatility.

Since the rocket is flying away, I would also use some Doppler effect or pitch-shifting. But also a HPF because I feel (although can't explain why) there is less low end as it flies away.

  • 1
    The only thing I would add,(but it's quite important I think) is a overload/clipping distortion effect on the whole sound, blast the sound through something until it breaks up. You could smooth it a bit afterwards if you like. Always good for jet engine effects. Gives illusion of real loudness. Plus really fun to do.
    – n00dles
    Sep 20, 2017 at 20:42
  • 1
    Yeah. You're right. After all when the camera mic clips, the whole sound will sound clip. Sep 20, 2017 at 21:47

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