As with many things in film and production, it’s the little details that take things to a higher level. Foley sound effects intensify the impact of every day sounds, make audiences grimace when used with gore, and create a heightened viewing experience. Let’s take a look at what Foley sound effects are, and how you can create and record them yourself!
What Are Foley Sound Effects?
So, what exactly are Foley sound effects? Foley is the art of recreating sound effects in a studio, to be layered on top of footage. Seemingly mundane sounds that most wouldn’t realize are Foley can intensify and heighten movie scenes and bring more realism into your work. Sounds include things such as walking, setting something down, running water, ambient sounds, trees, gory sounds such as stabbing or punching and so on.
How To Create Foley Sound Effects
What To Use To Create Foley Sounds
The following ideas work great for creating specific sounds:
Violence / Gore: Vegetables and raw meat work great for this type of sound effect! Crunchy items such as celery or dry pasta are perfect for the sounds of bones breaking. Chopping a lettuce also works great for beheading sounds.
Walking, Leaves & Dirt: A pit of dirt filled with water can be used to create mud sounds. Old film tape is great for long grass or dried leaves, and AstroTurf for walking in short grass.
Ice & Snow: For snowy scenes, pillowcases filled with rice or cornstarch will do the trick.
Swords: Scraping knives together can mimic the sound of unsheathing a sword pretty well!
Tubs & Trays: Tubs or trays filled with gravel, sugar, sand etc can provide various walking sounds if you walk/press your feet into them.
Explosions: Fill a big garbage bag with bottles and cans and then go to town! You can drop it on the floor, hit it with a broom, throw it at the wall and so on. Pitch some hits down, distort them, and layer them for a grander feel with more impact.
Washing Dishes / Water: Most think that getting as close as possible when recording water is the best option. However, backing off a little will make the sound more realistic. Head into your kitchen or bathroom, as this should be an easy one!
Recording Foley Sound Effects At Home
Firstly, you will need some sort of mobile rig. Basic equipment ideas can include an audio recorder (such as the Zoom H4n Pro), a mic, a mic stand and some headphones. Another option is Spire Studio, which offer all in one wireless multi-track recording.
It’s best to do a little prep before recording. Export the scene’s audio and practice along with it to get timings right. When recording, you can loop the sound and pick out your best take.
Get creative with your Foley sound effects! The examples that we have given are just the tip of the iceberg. We’re sure you have now started thinking of your own, too! Take inspiration from research, listen out for Foley sound effects in movies and think about what a sound could sound like. Experimentation and practice will also help, and soon you will have a catalog of Foley ideas that you know work well in practice.
How Audiosocket Can Help
In terms of sound effects and sound design, Audiosocket can help! We offer a wide catalog of over 2,000 sound designs that you can quickly drop into your production. Starting at just $10 a month, you can have unlimited access. So, what are you waiting for? Get started now!