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There are a lot of great resources for weapon design, but I don''t often hear about projectile design--the sound of the laser, bullet, or shell moving through space. I'm working on military space shooter, and they have huge weapons that traverse across the entire map, often just missing players.

I know a lot of that is handled via sound engine backend--i.e. doppler effect to fast moving samples. But does anyone have advice in crafting immersive, intense projectile sounds? That's a huge part of the audio soundscape not just in war games, but film as well.

Thanks everyone!

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Great question! More like this, please.

I work primarily in film so there is no backend engine; everything is custom-designed to fit the image on the screen. Some methods I've found helpful in the past:

  • Go recording! Depending on the type and size of the projectile, you may have luck with various small items shot from slingshots. Think pennies, bolts, marbles, even pine cones! Anything that will catch the air as it passes by the mic. Wiffle balls come to mind.
  • Manipulate recordings of things that are already moving fast, ie. Indy cars, jets, helicopters. You have even more leeway since you're working on a space project, the sounds you generate don't have to be grounded in Earth reality.
  • Use your voice! That can generate some really interesting content, and even if it doesn't really fit it should at least spur some brainstorming.

Good luck, and share what you make!

Jay

  • Thank you so much! Those are some fantastic ideas--going to do some voice recording and throw some objects around a mic. I was watching clips from Fury, and definitely noticed some race-car samples for shell ricochet vfx. Had a really aggressive, threatening tone--going to try that as well for larger weapons. – Windtalker87 May 11 '18 at 2:15
  • Great! Glad to help. As a reminder, don’t forget to upvote and star answers you find helpful. – Jay Jennings May 11 '18 at 7:44

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