I'm right now working on a film with an intro much like The Hurt Locker but this film is in India. Estab shots on slums and poverty-stricken streets.

I really like the intro to The Hurt Locker with the megaphone speech and the gritty ambiences.

Has anyone been to India? Do you know what a street such as this one would have included sound-wise?

7 Answers 7


It depends on what sort of urban setting the slum is in. Hard carts are a rare sight these days and a lot of the slums even have televisions. You could layer these sounds:

  • Crows (lots of them)
  • Indian Koyal (bird)
  • Pigeons (wing flap/cooeing depending on location)
  • Chickens
  • Distant television
  • Dogs
  • kids playing
  • Two wheelers
  • three wheeler auto rickshaws
  • Metal utensils (maybe something cooking on a kerosene stove)
  • Radio
  • Hand washing clothes
  • Faucet/water running
  • Traffic ambiance (trucks, motorcycles, cars..make sure there are enough horns heard)

Email me (nothingtokeep[at]gmail[dot]com), I probably could share a few sounds with you.

  • that's a pretty cool sound diary entry! nice one!
    – user6513
    May 18, 2011 at 13:33
  • Yeah @ntkeep covered pretty much everything you hear there. I'm visiting right now 3 days before I leave, I also don't mind giving away some of the stuff I recorded here, they probably won't be as good as his but I got a few rickshaw recordings and those three wheeler trucks. May 19, 2011 at 12:34

If it's a busy market street. A lot of traffic, small cars and mopeds, rickshaws both pulled by motor bike or horses, lots of people.



I have been in India last month and record a lot of sounds. You can ear some examples on my blog : www.faunethic.org

Maybe i can share some sounds too.


  • nice recordings! May 18, 2011 at 15:27

Indian musical instruments


Don't forget the street vendors! Indian street vendors tend to be pretty vocal.


A search on youtube shows that a street market's ambience includes all the elements that the rest of the guys have indicated.


Harmonium in the background. We had a lot of street vendor stuff (check your region/language). There are horns constantly and we found that we had take a heap out because they would drive the audience nuts. Agree with the crows as well - we had an interior dialogue where a crow got into the building, it took forever to edit it out. I went back and watched Slumdog Millionaire. Have a look at The Waiting City

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