Our sound effects editor Jessey Drake has been working on a lot of fun and creative things for us lately so for this months Focus on the Creative post, Jessey is going to break down how she created a unique sound for mind control.


For one of our shows here at Boom Box Post, we are constantly pushing the limits of creative sound design. Not only does the show call for humor to drive the story, we also employ that humor in the sound design as well. Sometimes that’s very obvious and “on-the-nose,” but other times, if you’re really listening you’ll see that its woven into very specific and signature sound effects.

A great example of that is this a Control Beam that I had the pleasure of designing for an episode of this show. The character creates this device that has the ability to control the minds of anyone he wants it to.

First things first, we had to dig in our library and find some really great beam sounds. 

I then went into Native Instruments’ Absynth synthesizer and created a simple buzzy saw tooth wave steady. But at that point it wasn’t quite where I wanted it. I remember when I was creating it saying to myself, “This isn’t as intoxicating of a mind control beam as it needs to be.”

What it needed was a fluctuating, almost pulsing and ringing nature to the whole sound. So for all of that I opened up Waves’ Enigma. I first attacked the ringing element that I needed and processed the original sound effect I created with a type of ring modulator in the Enigma plugin. Finally, I took all the final elements, the sawtooth, the original sounds and the now ring-modulated sounds and processed them by changing the oscillating rate in Enigma to get that pulse-like quality to the whole sound. And presto-chango we have our Saw Tooth Mind Control Beam!

I did create a higher pitched addition to the original beam sound effect. Sometimes after you’ve already designed something, you need another element to take the design and really drive the point your trying to get across to your audience, home. For that, it was pretty much the same process, but using different elements that were higher in pitch and more buzzy. The two different but similar mind beam designs played very well together and created the ultimate Mind Control Beam.


Have cool sound effect builds of your own? Share with us in the comments below!

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