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If anyone knows how the iconic Predator "click" vocalizations were created (for the original film, that is), then please, do share! (This means you David Stone, Richard Anderson and John Pospisil!) If you don't, then I'm open to your theories!

GO!

PS> Let's keep this thread dedicated to this question; if you want to discuss a different iconic sound and how it was created, please start a new thread following the convention of Vol. 1, Vol. 2, etc. etc.

  • The ones that sound like a woodpecker? – Justin Huss Dec 1 '10 at 21:28
  • @Justin, I always thought they sounded like crow clucks. – Jay Jennings Dec 1 '10 at 21:47
  • I can make the clicks in my mouth with tong Mabey they just found some one who could do it – user3790 Apr 20 '12 at 1:36
  • Nice glad I found this thread. I heard it coming from my pecan tree this morning around 4am. Very creepy! – user4096 Jul 25 '12 at 11:58
  • Looks like most concur w the rear throat vibration . However, a woodpecker in action, from a distance, makes me look around for laser pointers, yikes. – user18485 Jun 9 '16 at 3:42

12 Answers 12

4

It's hard to find hard facts on the subject, but after a bit of Internet searching it appears that the clicks were actually performed by voice artist Peter Cullen. He is listed on IMDB as being the un-credited voice of the predator and I have read in a post on the Avid forum that it was a voice artist who performed this sound effect. If it's true it just goes to show how effective the voice can be when creating effects!

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  • @Colin, great research! Wonder if anyone could verify this? – Jay Jennings Dec 1 '10 at 23:03
  • @Colin and Jay - I would not doubt that it was done by an actual person -- Have you guys seen the voice acting on Gears of War 2 for the Locust men? Its the same type huge alien predator deal - they make sounds that have no good reason for coming out of a human...ever. Just look up some Gears voice over videos - its pretty neat. – C3Sound Dec 1 '10 at 23:37
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    It is indeed possible to create the Predator clicks with the human voice. I used to make them all the time during quiet moments in high school classes. If I can do them, a master like Peter Cullen can do them masterfully. :) – Tyler Dec 2 '10 at 9:25
4

designingsound and sonic spread asked David Stone but he deferred to Steve Flick as the originator of these sounds. I'm going to try and bug Steve next time I see him around the halls @ WB. Below are links to those interviews BTW.

http://designingsound.org/2010/08/predator-1987-exclusive-interview-with-david-stone/

http://thesonicspread.com/2010/08/10/industry-classics-predator-with-david-stone/

Jake

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  • Welcome, Jake! Great to have you here, and thanks for your ongoing contributions to the community. like tracking this minutiae down for us sound nerds! :-) – NoiseJockey Dec 8 '10 at 4:46
2

+1 on the Raven sounds. I was outside my house yesterday and there was a Raven in a tree about 30ft from me and it sounded exactly like the Predator Clicks. Just a dab of the right reverb tone on it to make it sound a little wet and that's it. Once I heard it I immediately thought of this thread.

Next time I have a chance to sit outside and record them I will. I'll post the recordings if I get the right one's. I've noticed them up in that tree many times since I moved into this house 2 months ago. They are very vocal birds that can mimic everything from other birds and creatures to humans, music and etc. When they are separated from their mate they will mimic their mates call to locate each other. Definitely not just the stereotypical caw/screech that you're used to hearing in movies. They can get downright demonic sounding too. I'd love to make a bunch of good versatile recordings of them and use them for a horror film sometime.

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  • @Syndicate Synthtique - It sounds like whoever created the predator clicks was probably influenced by the sounds of ravens. Remember a major characteristic of the predator was it's attempt to imitate the sounds that it heard, much like a raven. Would be great if you could post some recordings. – Colin Hunter Feb 22 '11 at 11:24
  • Very good point, mimicry and blending/multi-sensory camouflage was one of it's main traits. So that would make something like this all that much more painfully obvious if the sound designer/editor knew about those characteristics of a Raven (and amazingly observant). Hopefully I will be able to record them. As we all know, there are no guarantees. I do stand a good chance since they hang out outside my house though. That and I have to remember to do it alongside being distracted by work. – Syndicate Synthetique Feb 22 '11 at 11:38
2

This guy, Fletcher901, is doing a good job - he explains how he makes the Predator sound too:

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1

I think recordings of dolphins were the main ingredient for the clicks.

I like a lot of the sound design in Predator, the clicky sounds were very original & different to any other monster vocals Ive heard.

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  • @Haydn, is that your theory or do you know that for a fact? – Jay Jennings Dec 1 '10 at 21:06
  • @Jay Jennings, its just my guess. A little while ago I spent some time trying to recreate these sounds and i got reasonably close using frog, whale, and particularly dolphin sounds. – Haydn Payne Dec 1 '10 at 22:18
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I've heard ravens (actual ravens, not crows) make a very similar stuttery clicking like that. I think some wildcats (jaguars?) also make sounds like that, especially cubs.

Then there's this whale recording someone posted at gearslutz:

whale_growl

I can also make those sounds with my mouth :)

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1

One of the sound designers for Alien vs Predators gave a short seminar at my university and he said that the predator clicks were performed by an actor. So as long as he wasn't lying, I can vouch for that claim!

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1

I'm pretty sure I watched a programme about the “clicks” used in The Predator and I'm sure they said a Magpie was responsible for the sound.

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  • Any sources you can dig up for that would be extremely interesting to read/watch! – user9881 Aug 30 '16 at 21:52
1

The giant storks in Marrakesh make this sound!

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  • thanks for sharing! Do you have a recording of said storks? – Jay Jennings Jul 6 '18 at 6:36
0

This exact sound is actually something I make quite often to train myself in making vocal noises! It comes from the back of the throat :-)

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    Im pretty good at doing those Predator mouth clicks too! Maybe we should upload a few and compare on the Dropbox ;) – Andy Lewis Nov 10 '11 at 13:19
-2

sounds a bit like pouring through one of these really fast -

http://www.worldbarsupply.com/images/tapered-pourer.jpg

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-2

My father sounds like that when snoring.

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