Scratched Surface

Trucks, cars and traffic and lots of new scratching sound effects

If you’ve followed my rambling posts here in the blog, you’ll probably know I love nothing more than spending time outdoors in natural environments from the beach to the forest. It’s a great excuse to get out and record in those environments so I relish the chance when I get it. However there comes a time when you’re called on the record other sounds, so yesterday and today I’ve been out recording a variety of vehicles and traffic and also delivering some sounds that have been requested.


I wanted to add some new traffic sound effects to the library so went out armed with my Sony PCM D100 and got to work recording. Often us field recordists spend more time trying to avoid the sound of traffic than actually recording it so it’s somewhat a relief when you don’t have to worry about that! First up I parked my car on the side of a main road within a local town. Being a quieter time of day, there were few cars on the road, with short bursts that were busier due to traffic lights just down the road. I captured a few one minute bursts.

I moved on to a few other smaller roads within the town and recorded much the same thing. Occasionally when just a single car came past, I logged the make and model and isolated these in the edit so that some specific car passes were also included.

Lastly I parked up in a lay-by just off a busy motorway and recorded several versions of the traffic passing. This was great as there were many different vehicles, from cars to vans and a lot of trucks. All these are free to download as mp3s and wavs here.

Various scratches on different materials

I was asked to add a set of scratches on wood, cardboard, plastic and metal recently so today I gathered up some items and recorded some. I used a metal bicycle pump, aerosol can, child’s plastic axe, empty plastic tub, cardboard and a wooden plank.

I wanted to get a few different scratches on each so I used a small but sharp knife and a screw driver. For each item I performed a range of different actions, from gentle scratches to harder ones, fast and slow. I also recorded the knife digging into the cardboard, tearing it and also piercing through it.

I’ll add some more soon, but hopefully for now there are enough if you need such sounds.

I'm the founder of, creator of a large portion of the sound effects you'll find here. I hope you enjoy the site and sfx 🙂