I'm currently sound designing for a presentation movie of a new interface system and i'm trying to figure out this shot : somebody jumps on a hi-tech, blue illuminated ground . A shockwave starts from his feet and distorts the ground all around. This is supposed to sound light and hi-tech, not harsh or heavy like a earthquake. Some low rumble wouldn't harm though, I guess.

I've thought about a synth with an organic high-resonance filter that swipes from low to high frequencies, with some kind of light phaser. If you have ever ridden the "Rock'n'Roller Coaster" thrill ride in Disney Land Paris and remember the launch sequence sound design, you should have a pretty good idea of what i have in mind.

Not sure it's gonna work, though, so what kind of sound would you design for this, and how ?


Here is what I would do (without seeing the picture it goes with is hard to guess):

I'd emphasize the ambiences before he jumps down or out of or from wherever he is, then fade to zero before he hits the ground.

Then use a regular-old oscillator starting about 80 Hz and sweep it down to 25 (depending on what it will be played back on, add a DBX 120A, compress it maybe) as well as using a monotone element like bowed glass or something shrill and that has high-frequency content and pitch it using the same envelope, and then I'd try something cool like modem noise or 8-bit distortion or something really low-fi might sound great there. Or try turning the previous sine-wave into a saw-tooth or square wave and filter it and do crazy stuff like on one of those Korg mini-keyboard synths. Might be awesome.

The reference I'm thinking of for you to check out is in the Prologue to Lord of the Rings - Fellowship, when Sauron gets killed by the King and it fades to zero and theres just a low sine-wave blaring like a sonic boom.

But, things like this it's best to experiment and as you experiment you'll ditch previous ideas and go with new ones now acquired and just have fun - that's what designing sounds is all about.

P.S. don't forget to post what you end up with! Good luck!

  • Great ideas here, i'll try to mix that with Iain's high pitched helicopter blades instead of the low-fi element. This is for later today ! – Lexington Dec 30 '10 at 11:58
  • The low sine wave going down and bowed glass with doppler did the trick. The helicopter or 8 bit material was too harsh to fit the picture. Thanks both for your answers ! – Lexington Jan 2 '11 at 16:26
  • @Lexington Hey! Awesome! Glad I could be of assistance! Good job! – Utopia Jan 2 '11 at 20:30

How about a pitched up helicopter rotor blade passed through a doppler so that the pitch drops as it emanates away from the character?

I would also include a blade scrape on each cycle so that it provides the feel of the wave 'cutting' through the material.

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