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- September 11, 2009 at 10:20 PM #41706KenParticipant
I’m going to start shooting a short on the 19th of this month. I did some testing for a fight scene in the short. The problem I’m finding is that ACTUAL PUNCHING SOUNDS don’t really work well for punching sound effects.
I believe that this kind of stuff is less than 50% what you see, and the rest is what you HEAR. Anyone on here have any hints or ideas as to how I can go about getting
realistic-sounding punching, kicking, slamming, or other violent fight-scene type sounds?
Here is a clip of a test I did last night – this test was to determine if I wanted to shoot 24p – As you can hear, the sound FX leave something to be desired…
Foley work is an art. You’ll find punching a big brisqette gets ya a perfect punch sound. What you wana do is recreate these sounds. Think along those lines and you’ll often find things around the house or studio that work fine. Fights have endless scuffle sounds (hence the term.. a scuffle) so scuffle away while recording. Layer that under the punches you add. Careful of the “uhs and ohs” as adrenaline masks pain and punches are seldom actually felt in a real fight. As a metter of fact, they just piss people off more unless knocked out. Conider them motivators from your spand point. By that, increase intinsity until someone gets knocked TFO. A fight builds to a climax, at least in movies. For body shots, ya can’t beat a good beating of a punching bag. If that aint around try various pillows on the bed. Your gonna actually be punching things until you get the sounds you need. Location of the fight matters. If it’s in the garage, that’s where you’ll punch things. Outside? head to the backyard with yo bad self.
Have fun man. Looks like a fun project.
Grinner’s right about foley work. However, you guys look more like you need help with basic sound design. After I watched your clip, I listened to it a couple more times. Though it’s just a test, you need more than just the punching sounds. Your clip sounds ‘thin’ because as Grinner mentioned you don’t have ‘layered sound’ accompanying your live action.
Sounds that are missing: basic room tone, every interior and exterior space has specific and unique audio frequencies associated with them. Always prior to shooting a scene tell everyone on-set to shut up and be still then record about 10 to 30 seconds of the ‘silent’ room. You’ll be surprised what you hear. You’ll use room tone as your baseline audio track and lay all other sounds over it.
Next, you need the sounds of footsteps and foot movements associated with the action on camera. Remember, wet or dry sneakers don’t make the same sound on concrete that leather shoes do. Clothing moving and the sounds of active bodies impacting the surfaces present onscreen. You can get most of this stuff in the field or on set by booming specific areas (feet, legs kicking, etc.) with a shotgun mic. Make sure there’s no dialog going over it so you can single out specific sounds easily.
Lastly, when you don’t have an area to be used as a foley stage, ‘canned’ sound effects are the next best thing. There are tons of great SFX libraries out there that won’t put you in the poorhouse. Do yourself a favor and make sure they’re Royalty-free. Unless your a prominent production house with serious and regular clientele, it’s not worth getting contracted sfx. Sony’s got a great 5-10 disc library that’s affordable and works great with Vegas, Premiere and Avid products (I don’t use FCP, it should work with it too.) Even with canned sfx, you still will have to layer your sounds to make convincing punching impacts and so on to make them convincing.
So when you’re putting together your audio tracks even if you’re going to lay a heavy music track over the action, you’ll still need to set up layered sounds like I just mentioned. It’s a bit more work, but unconvincing sfx will kill a flick faster than Joel Schumacher. I look forward to seeing and hearing the updated clip.
Cool. Thanks for all the pointers guys. I had planned on getting room tone. I think all the scuffling, feet shuffling background noises layered with the impact sounds will help create the right kind of audio environment.
We start shooting Saturday, so I’ll be sharing stuff on here soon, and looking forward to more feedback.
you’ll seldom use room tone but do capature these sounds not only in the proper environments, but with the same camera/mic you shoot the scenes themselves with.
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