Nov 16

Crashes and Creaks, Motors and Modulation

It’s time for another round-up of some of the latest sounds we have for you and this time the offerings come from PMSFX and Zapsplat, We’ve got over 60 sounds to cover so let’s get started!

(Enter PMSFX with a Bang)

They’ve done it again! We really are grateful to PMSFX for the number and quality of sounds that they’ve has given us and they just keep coming. Last time it was rain and coins, this time it’s seven metal impacts with lots of body.

They are all wonderfully resonant. With a bit of compression you could use the tails of some of these on their own as source material for some interesting sound design. The impacts themselves are rich and full. Some come with reverb to start you on your way to some cinematic sound design and some are dry. Some of them are linear crashes while others are more intricate, with other elements surrounding the main crash. All of them are full of possibility for a wide range of applications from straightforward crashes to more hyper-real stylized contexts.

Here’s an example, perhaps the most resonant one of the pack.

Sounds from Zapsplat

The latest sounds from Zapsplat are, as ever a mixed bag – you never know what you’re going to hear next. The majority of these latest sounds comprise household Foley, but there are also some sci-fi effects based on frequency modulation, some of them gritty, some very tonal and metallic. I particularly like this one.

There are a number of design elements for electricity as well. While these don’t necessarily fit my conception of electrical sizzles by themselves, they still make excellent source material and, as layers in a larger surge, explosion or discharge, they could work very well. Plus, if you are making a retro game or app, sounds like these could make nice “your character has just been shocked and lost some health. Watch out!” notifications.

The blessing and the curse of the sci-fi/fantasy genres of sound design is that they are so abstract and definitions are so elastic. One man’s spark can be another man’s UI sound so check them out and see what you like them for.

You might think that household sounds have been done to death. Not so! What I particularly like about Zapsplat’s contributions to the Household and Foley categories is that Alan manages to tease out nuances that aren’t often covered, fleshing out barer patches in my sound libraries or filling gaps altogether. For example, this latest addition includes some chair scrapes. I’m always on the lookout for furniture Foley. By themselves, such sounds may be considered mundane and perhaps that’s why there aren’t many of them about but, when added to a scene, they can make the difference between it sounding canned and lifeless and it coming to life and really immersing the audience.

This chair scrape is particularly versatile as it contains three different bass notes, which could be left in to emphasize weight, removed with EQ to lighten the chair and make it a more subtle sound or isolated with EQ and then mangled, perhaps time stretched and pitch-bent, to make some sinister moans.

There’s also a host of leather furniture creaks, an antique cupboard door latch, some rain-coat Foley, (clothes Foley is another thing I can never get enough of), a fan motor which is nice and weighty and seems to be calling to me saying “distort and modulate me! Distort and modulate me”, and also some hair being pulled from the bristles of a hair-brush. At first glance, you might wonder how often you would use such a sound but, on listening to the variations presented, I think the sounds would make excellent layers in something gory.

That’s it for now. Don’t forget, we’re always looking to get behind new contributors so if you fancy hosting sounds with us for exposure or just to reach out to the community, get in touch.

Thanks to all our contributors once again. Next up, a quick tour of sounds from a new contributor.

About The Author

Justin Macleod is a sound designer based in the UK who runs SkyClad Sound. You can check out his sound effects here at and follow him on Twitter @SkycladSound

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