I'm doing a trailer for an action/thriller film and I need to make some of those big boomy sounds that they use to emphasise picture cuts. Does anyone know where I could start with making these effects?

Thanks in advance.


Virtually any subtractive synth with an LFO. Get a sound that is close to what you want and then start tweaking.


Modify and tweak large metal impacts, layer then with synth material etc. Basically anything with a clear transient and impact and ideally recorded at high resolution will be useful source material - just start thinking big and boom and layer everything up :)

  • Garage doors make a great base layer for these kind of things. Jan 19 '11 at 14:15

Just before we switched from an oil fired boiler to gas, I recorded the 1200 liters oil tank, hitting its side. It made an extremely low, and eerie deep tone. Back in protools I cut some of mids and added some Altiverb reverb, and made a send to a DBX120a. It had the lows and a naturalness that I found nice.

I could send an example if you want to?

Best wishes,


  • thanks mikkel, it would be great to hear an example. unfortunately, we have gas heating but i'm sure i could find a big water tank somewhere. my email is phobic4king@hotmail.co.uk Jan 21 '11 at 11:51
  • thanks everyone, some great ideas here that i'll try out. Jan 21 '11 at 11:52

You could start with a 40 hz sine tone, add reverb and send it to the sub. Try slowing it down using vari-fi. You can also use explosions, pitch them down an octave or two and add reverb. You could use a reverse explosion for the beginning of the sound. You could also use an electronic bass drum sound like a 909 or an 808 to trigger the reverb.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.