How To Successfully Record Foley Sound Effects

Before learning the ways of how to successfully record Foley sound effects, it is important to know what Foley really means. Foley is a type of reproduction of the day to day sound effects which are being added to either a video, film, or other media in order to enhance and give a marvelous effect on the audio quality. These Foley sound effects can come from footsteps, floors squeaking, glass breaking, and clothes swinging.  Having the best Foley sound effect can sometimes be integrated in any mode of media without the audience noticing it. It gives the video or film the sense of reality. It is because of these effects that the movies or other films become naturally comfortable to listen with.  Aside from this positive effects, Foley sound effects can also cover unwanted sounds which are captured when filming the movie or film.


above image taken from soundcrafter

Several Foley artists create this realistic ambient and relaxing sounds that the film portrays for it to be more realistic. The sets of the film and other effects do not usually give the perfect reaction the same way as they are in the real life. This type of sound effect is used in order to give a pleasant auditory experience to the viewers.

The real fun in using Foley is the Specifics. It can access or allow you to portray the real picture with the sound itself and recreating the real movements in the film in a much enhanced method. Most of the magic that is being created with the sound effects come from a Specific. It can enhance the sound even if the target is to create a sound of face punches or a body falling off the building.


above image taken from pyramind studios

An accurate and convincing visual can be given life by Foley work. Although using stock effects may create great results and save a lot of time which can be crucial to the production, the results of the Foley sound effects can do the work and even create a better effect than the usual. Many of the famous and professional videographers or filmmakers know that a certain film or movie can be lifeless if it is not accompanied by sound. No matter how magnificent the footage is taken or how brilliant and expensive the camera being used to shoot the footage, without sound, the footage will have no life and can never attract viewers. Most people are captured not by the brilliant footage of the film, but mostly because of the sound effects.


Image taken from dare to be digital

In order to have a maximum impact on the emotion of every viewer, the Foley sound effect should match with the actions or movements in the film or video. You may take from this article all the inspiration needed to start your own productions. We have also found this useful guide for sound mastering which is an inseparable part from creating good sound effects. Below are just some of the basic tricks or tips that can enhance your film by using Foley sound effects.

Acoustics And Others

To have a good capture of the recording, it is important that the quality of the sound has a sonic width, depth, and height. These important spatial features make the difference among the lo-fi and hi-fi recordings. Recording in a typical room with an average-sized home can give you an inferior acoustic effect compared to a room which is large enough to handle the acoustics that you have in mind. You need to create your unique Foley soundstage in order for it to serve as an aid in squeezing the sounds out of the average and typical room. More so, it is important to minimize the distortion of the sonic height, depth, and width. This can be done by just simply incorporating the sound absorption and sound diffusion for it to cancel or lower down the room boundaries. Also, it is required to eliminate or disregard the reflections while you maintain a high quality 3-dimensional balance.

Selection Of Microphones

Try using Audix SCX1/HC, Neumann KM185, OktavaMk-012, or other microphones which are hyper-cardio. It is important to capture the good quality of the audio in order to make it more realistic. Closer microphone placements are needed when you want a close-up shot.

Foley Materials

A lot of Foley artists make use of several objects or materials in order to achieve the accurate and precise depiction of the movements or actions. The Foley materials used in making the film depend on the genre of film or movie you are making. Determine the appropriate materials and start the fair game of perfection. The first step before recording your sound is made sure that you have reviewed the film and compiled and listed the numerous sound effects applied to the film or video. Next, you have to determine whether what kind of materials or objects is appropriate for every sound effect. By doing this, it will save you more time rather than struggling on what to use every time you proceed to the next sound effect. Below are some of the techniques or objects which are used by Hollywood artists engaged in the art of Foley.

  • For gun shots or noises – staple guns (heavy-duty)
  • For exceptional whooshing effects – dowel rods or thin sticks
  • For body punches that will sound more realistic – large phonebook which is rolled up
  • For bones breaking – sticks of celery (just snap and twist it)
  • For controlled and stable creaking – old stools or chairs
  • For a good snow crunching sound – put a corn starch inside the leather pouch
  • For bird wings – cleaning gloves

For the execution or recording, make sure to concentrate and do not stray away from your plans or ideas. Make it precise and accurate. Focus on what you want to achieve and just feel free to open yourself to some of the best suggestions you may encounter.


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