For this month's interview post I sat down with Brad Meyer, a sound effects editor here at Boom Box Post.  Brad spends a lot of his time designing exciting, signature sound effects for his shows, especially vehicle sound effects, using both custom recordings and sound library material.  Brad sat down with me to talk about his process for creating the signature sound effects for a demonic race car that is possessed by monsters.

How did you approach creating new sound effects for this unique vehicle?

This vehicle acts like a normal car physically, so I needed all of the same sound components I would use the normal car, but with some scary monsters in it.  I needed accelerations with monster growls and ruckles, revs with roars, pass-bys with roars and growls and an idle with a ruckle.  I created all of the elements in advance to use throughout the episode and give them a common sound.

Can you break down a few of the elements for us?  How was were the revs created?

The source for the vehicle material was a 1975 Cobra. I took the plain rev from the Cobra, and sweetened using some zombie screeches, as well as large animal roars that I processed using the Waves Doubler.  This doubling effect de-humanizes the sound a little, masking the animal source and darkening it.  I also added in some custom goblin recordings we had made previously, to add some high end.  I layered them together, lining up the peak of the rev with the attack of the growls.  I generally tried to use a similar monster sound to whatever the car was doing.  For example, a rev is similar to roar, an idle is similar to a ruckle.  Using like elements helps tie them together.

What was the key to creating a dynamic acceleration file for the vehicle?

Similar to the revs, I took the natural acceleration recording of the 75 Cobra, and layered in a zombie group recording.  Within the group record there are ebbs and flows so I took the ebbs and flows and lined those up with the natural movement of the engine.  To finish it off I added a layer of ruckle underneath.

How about the pass-bys? How were they created and sweetened?

I basically took the monster elements I used on the acceleration file and processed them with Waves Doppler.  I used a similar technique as I did with the revs to line up the monster material with the regular Cobra pass-bbys.

In general when you are creating custom vehicles, you don’t want to stray away from the reality of what actually vehicles can do.  Even if it’s made of or full of monsters, demons or aliens you still want it to act like a real car.  

What are your favorite movies and shows for car sound effects?   Let us know in the comments!


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