To create the sounds you know and love from your favorite movies, sound engineers and sound artists need to get creative. To create sound effects, you need a knack for the dark and the ability to think outside the box to emulate complex noises. Objects need to be used, abused and deformed in specific ways – although of course a lot of those movie noises don’t exist in the real world – so how do they do that?
“Anything you can think of that may not have been recorded when filming the original scene, we have to recreate,” says sound artists Chris Moriana and Alyson Moore, who worked on The hunger Games and Frozenin an interview with Variety. “Sounds of eating or walking – we physically produce these sounds because it’s our job. We don’t use any library sounds or re-recorded noise, it’s all authentic and we create it.”
Read this next: 12 Killer Movie Soundtracks
Rustling clothes, broken glass, footsteps and creaking doors are all examples of noises that need to be created in a studio environment. Footsteps are generated by the performer wearing a certain shoe and stepping on a specific surface (e.g. wood floors, asphalt, grass, etc.). Foley and the sound artists also re-record low-quality sounds from the first recording, which become the majority of noises heard in a movie.
We’ve compiled a list of some of the most interesting techniques used on movie sets to create the sounds of things that often aren’t real or are too delicate to simply rely on a microphone picking up the real sound. Much of this work goes unnoticed, but if you listen carefully, without these sounds the movies just wouldn’t be the same.