Creating Common Sound Effects
Underwater bubble effects can be difficult to create but they're used in all kinds of games, with a recent example being Dr Toonz. This game takes place in an underwater laboratory, so there are plenty of bubble noises. This means that they need to be authentic but not distracting, so how do people go about making them? The most common way to make bubble noises is to actually blow bubbles in water, often through a metal straw to achieve better reverberation. However, the noises in this particular game are certainly made using a synthesizer to achieve a more futuristic feel. This can be a fun one to experimentwith yourself as even the most simple technique can yield surprisingly effective results.
Another common sound effect that features in so many video games is gore. Whether it's wolves eating from a squishy carcass, or something even more horrible, the need for gory sound effects is present in so many games. You'll be pleased to hear that nobody is ever harmed for gory sound effects, except quite a few fruits. It turns out that soft fruits like peaches and oranges can be squished in a satisfyingly gory way. The sound of tearing flesh or splintering bone can be created with celery sticks, simply by slowly snapping and squashing them. Whilst it might seem a little silly actually doing it, you'll be surprised at the authenticity of the sounds when you record it and listen back.
Most Famous Sound Effects
The noise that the Balrog makes was created by dragging a scratchy breezeblock across an old wooden floor, while the sound that the Nazgul makes was created with party cups. They simply rubbed the two plastic cups together, added a couple of effects, and that spine-tingling shriek was created, proving that even the biggest budget films can have some pretty lo-fi sound effect solutions.
Career Paths Within Sound Effects
There are plenty of career paths within sound effects. Films, television programs, music albums, and video games all have need of sound artists. Some of them like to use artists who create their sounds physically, like in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Others will prefer to have sound artists that work electronically, such as in the Dr. Toonz example. Generally speaking, most people will specialize in one or the other, but it's a good idea to have a basic grounding in both. It would be mortifying to land a filming job thanks to your background in technical effects only to be left embarrassed because your junior came up with the idea of using a donkey braying when you'd been wasting hours trying to create the same noise electronically instead. Thinking outside the box is definitely a key skill for this career, so start experimenting at home to see what you can come up with.