Today was a day creating the sounds of things flying through the air and hitting things, literally. I have been wanting to add some fresh arrow impacts to our free sound effects library for a while, so today I took some time out to do so. I also created some new body impacts.
Creating arrow impacts
Depending on where you live in the world, you may remember a specific advert for a cider company where two arrows come flying into show and hit a target. The whoosh of the arrows as they zip through the air and the thud as they strike the target became one of their trademark sounds and it shows the power of a good sound effect.
I wanted to create a sound that was similar, in that it they had a very fast whoosh, then a pronounced sound when they hit their mark. There are some easy ways to achieve this.
The whoosh in
The noise that arrows actually make can be heard in our main library, in a real recording by our contributor Still North Media. The sound is fantastic, but I wasn’t trying to emulate the real sound, just get something close. To get the whoosh of air as the arrow flies towards the target I experimented with a selection of objects being whipped through the air fast. I ended up using a USB cable, because the sound it made was the cleanest and closest to what I wanted.
The arrow impact
The sound of the arrow hitting for each take is actually a combination of two sounds. Firstly I used a generic thud sound that I’d recorded previously for body impact sounds, and secondly the sound of a ruler twang. I changed the pitch of the ruler sound for each take so some where high and some low, then synchronised the sounds in my DAW.
Lastly today I created a selection of body impacts. These are the kind of impacts that may have been made by an axe, sword or some other object. I used the same USB cable swooshes as for the arrow impacts and also the thud. I also used a recording of a kick drum to add some ‘beef’ to the thud.
Next I needed to create some bone breaking noises and gut squishes. I already had some I’d recorded previously, but wanted to add some new elements too. I used a combination of recording me standing on wet towels, t-shits and some thick jumpers, some sounds of oranges being squished and also some wet pasta sounds. Combined in the mix, these worked really well and added just the right element. Some of the sounds are over the top, but that’s often what I get asked for.
Can’t find the sound effect you need? Let me know.