I'm working on a military sf game, and I'm running into some hurdles with Flak Cannon samples. I can hear that thudding, puffing mortar-like sound in my head, but I'm not quite sure how to achieve that. I've been processing bullets and mixing them with fireworks, cannons, and base kicks, but it's not there yet. I say abstract sources because I don't have a budget to record actual military weapons. I would also like to avoid purchasing 3rd party libraries. Any thoughts or experiences with this sound design technique most welcome! Thank you everyone.

  • have you heard of soundjay.com you might be able to find good sounds there. It's free to use in apps. also maybe you are looking for the sound of a cork being pulled out of a bottle for that mortar type sound Apr 13, 2018 at 23:23
  • Do you have any real or virtual synthesizers you can use? Very fast VCO sweeps can create great percussive noises. Apr 17, 2018 at 19:31

2 Answers 2


For any 'tube' sound, you can get a lot of mileage out of 2" plastic plumbing/drainage pipe. You can slap it, on the side or over the end of the tube [it's almost a drum played like that], blow down it, play it like a trumpet. hit it on things or with things.

They have an interesting resonance, tuneable by length & bore. Interestingly, though you never get the same hit twice, because the resonance is always the same, it nicely falls into 'families' of sounds you can use repeatedly without it sounding mechanical.

Maybe mix that with some cannon &/or fireworks for the low puff.


Think of it in 3 layers: - Low frequencies (the heavy shot and explosion) - Mid frequencies (the core of the sound) - High frequencies (the mechanics and the reverb tail)

Sound sources Low: kick drum with a lowpass filter stomp on the floor processed with tape saturation and a lowpass throwing a ball on the ground processed with lowpass and some heavy compression

Mid: Fridge door slams work great for the the core of the shot/cannon element, process the recording with some tape saturation and overdrive, compression and have an eq with a bandpass setting

High: mechanic sounds can range from the mechanics of old vhs players and cameras to cutlery climpering

Just experiment and process the heck out of your sounds but this approach to breaking the sound down into the three main layers can make it a lot easier!

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.