So I'm working on a game where i need to make some magic Attack sounds. Im messing around with whooshes with grain delay. Formant plugs, but man I'm really missing something here. Any suggestions for awesome sfx?

EDIT: @noisejockey Good Idea

So the spells are mostly green orbs that grow out of the mages hands,heads,staff. Then they whiz into the enemy, or they appear on the enemy. If anything its almost typical RPG 2D type of animations.

  • 1
    This is an incredibly vague question, Amar. Can you be more specific about the spell type, visual effects that are being used, or other pieces of context? I think the community needs some more clues in order to suggest some ideas that are most applicable to your specific challenge. Aug 18, 2011 at 22:15
  • That helps a lot, Amar. Thanks for the clarification...it's getting you some great answers! Aug 19, 2011 at 20:45

5 Answers 5


Try and avoid anything metal or mechanical. A big part of magic lore/stories is the fact that the magic comes from the earth and is channeled through the witch/wizard. So use wood and dirt and stone. Wind, fire, water, thunder.

That said, fireworks seem to be really popular in magical Sound Design.
Electrical static probably wouldn't go wrong for a bit of texture either.
Gusts of wind underneath to give the spells a bit of natural heft.
The sound of a tree's trunk splitting as it falls in a forest.

That kind of thing.

  • I like the thinking behind that, the conceptual approach is helping defeat my writers block
    – Amar
    Aug 18, 2011 at 22:58
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    I get overwhelmed often and easily, so I've developed the habit of breaking stuff down to it's elements/constituent parts. Makes life much simpler.
    – g.a.harry
    Aug 19, 2011 at 1:40

Chimes are a great addition to magic if it's kind of a silly game, or the character is a fairy of sorts.

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    Chimes through spectral blurring filters maintains the magic and removes most of the cliché. It can add a nice sparkle without being so, errr, sparkly. Aug 19, 2011 at 20:44
  • Even reversing the chimes changes them up enough to not sound silly. Aug 19, 2011 at 21:59

Try layering human voices (words and ahs),use dissonance for evil spells and major chords for good spells. Reverse some of the voices so that they blend more smoothly, and pass it through a doppler effect so that you have a sense of evolution or movement.


Out of your description of the spell, I'd recommend to record the sound of what blowing into a bottle makes, vocode that with a wineglass chime and then reverb it. Make 3-4 different versions with different pitches for the chime - so there is some freshness to it, and if you can, make them randomly play. For the impact, fill a cardboard box with screws and nails or just find a package of that, shake them and record that. You might wanna experiment with a chorus and flanger for the recording of the shake.

If it is stuck to the enemy, record a subtle wineglass chime that can loop while it is stuck. Be careful with high frequencies though, players get very tired of those sounds quickly.

Good luck!


Try mixing in some synth sounds, or building one from scratch in Omnisphere if you have it. Even just using tails or attacks can get a great fantasy sound. Good luck!

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