How To: Sci-Fi Sound Effects


In this video, we will show you how how is it possible to obtain some simple yet effective sound effects for a sci-fi movie using just a bunch of ordinary objects

All of the sound effects we realized were obtained through a two-step operation.

First, we recorded real sounds through the microphone of a laptop; then, these sounds were individually processed using Audacity, in order to adjust, where required, the sound’s loudness or add particular effects such as echoes and reverberation to give more volume and smoothness to sounds themselves.

1) Force Lightning


In order to obtain the lightning noise, we recorded two distinct sounds: the one of unrolling scotch-tape and the noise made by a crinkling aluminum foil.
The collision noise was a result of a middle weight object thrown against a rigid surface covered in fabric and of a pillow energetically thrown against an elastic surface.

2) Light Saber

saberFor the lightsaber power up, we recorded the sound of a credit card as it ran quickly along a smooth platic surface. To this sound, we added the one made by tap open at maximum pressure.
The hum was achieved recording the sound of an electric razor.
The accent hums were obtained recording the noise made by a transistor radio set up on the amplitude modulation while searching a channel.

3) Blaster


To simulate the sound of the blaster’s shots, we reused the one made by the laminated card, altering the volume and reducing the echo level. Again, we duplicated the sound, obtaining two different tones but which still were harmonious between them, in order to increase their depth.  At last, to recall the typical blaster’s sound, we generated and added a sine wave chirp signal.

The explosion sound, given by the shot’s block, resulted from the sum of an open tap’s sound and the one made by the vibrations of a tin foil.

The sound of the air movement, caused by the attraction of the blaster, is given by the softening of the radio noise already used for the lightsaber.



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