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Old March 30th, 2005, 06:46 PM   #1
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punch/kick sounds?

I'm editing an action flick, and it's the first time that I've used sound effects so I don't have any kind of library. For the trailer, I used some crappy soundeffects (you can watch the trailer at http://www.newshots.tk) but they sound like someone hitting a cardboard box...

I would like to record the sound effects myself, what is the best way to make punching and kicking sounds?
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Old March 30th, 2005, 07:42 PM   #2
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Take a good mic and recorder, go to a martial arts studio, and ask to record some sparring.
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Old March 30th, 2005, 09:14 PM   #3
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A phonebook on a table should work.

Bones breaking: Get (multiple) sticks of celery and break them in half. Do not smash them on a table (I tried this, it just flies everywhere).

(This is just working off memory from reading Jay Rose's book Audio Postproduction for Digital Video. Great book.)

There may be some online resources that tell you how to do the foley for hits... it's a fairly common foley sound.
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Old March 30th, 2005, 10:39 PM   #4
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Just put a wireless lav on yourself and then start a fight with a drifter... make sure you're in an area w/o a lot of outside sounds or traffic noise...


Okay seriously, get into a quiet room without too much reverb and put on some headphones and start experimenting... even really good sound-effects get obvious if it's the SAME sound-effect repeating. Real punching sounds don't pull an audience in anyway... you want something that's subtly exaggerated. I'm gonna' play around with this and see if I can come up with something for you by tomorrow.
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Old March 30th, 2005, 10:59 PM   #5
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Yeah, I watched your trailer, and the SFX unfortunately turns it into a comedy (I was laughing pretty hard). If it's a serious action film I highly suggest axing the SFX you have now and finding new ones.
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Old March 30th, 2005, 11:07 PM   #6
 
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There are LOTS of sound libraries with these sorts of sounds, too.
Sony's SFX library has a whole disk of them. I ripped them from the disk and mapped them to a keyboard that I can trigger via midi, it helps a lot when placing them.
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Old March 31st, 2005, 12:13 AM   #7
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Okay I've played around with this a bit. I got pretty good results using a shotgun in fairly close proximity to the hit... 6" away or closer. I also tried some more accurate studio mics and they were definitely WORSE in that they were too accurate. You can get a little extra proximity bass with a shotgun... which is good in moderation. About the only thing that's an issue is you have to keep your fist planted for a second or else you'll hear your skin and the fabric or other surface peeling back apart... you have to hold it for a second so you have a clean sound to edit rather then "thud"... "PEEL".

I can't tell if I'm kidding myself or not on the punching sounds because I KNOW I'm punching and to me it sounds like Hollywood punches... so maybe I'll post some of the sounds and see if it sounds like punches to the rest of you guys.

Now here's the funny part... I'm making these sounds by mounting my good shotgun about 6" away from my thigh... pointing down at it from a 45 degree angle... then I can punch with the flat of my fist on to a bare leg or one with jeans on... and the sound changes for different parts of my leg. (I'm at mid-thigh and out closer to my knee... and I'm sitting if that helps paint the picture.) Anyway, it doesn't take any substantial force of any kind to make a really solid sounding "thud" with the accompanying "slap" that adds up to the sound of a punch.

I think rustling cloth and micing in the same way would help make some convincing "flying" for those scenes... and kicks? Well I'm still working on that...

So far we can rule out "corduroys and jumping jacks" with the shotgun aimed at my business.
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Old March 31st, 2005, 05:47 AM   #8
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Gee, thanks for all te replies! I'm honored. I'll post the updated trailer as soon as it's ready.

@keith = good idea, i might actually try that.

@xiaoli = hehe, i know it's pretty cheesy. Actually it IS a comedy, but the action scenes are supposed to be pretty decent. Did you like the choreography though?

@matt = i'm definitely going to try punching my thigh! Thanks for all the help.
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