face punch foley effect

Video: The DIY Guide to Foley Sound Effects

Long ago and far away—in a time before you could download unlimited audio files off of the Internet—radio dramas had to create their own sound effects with the tools available. This required great ingenuity, like flapping gloves to simulate birds taking flight or crumpling wax paper to mimic a crackling fire.

The movie industry soon caught wind of this trend. Audio guru Jack Donovan Foley joined the Universal Studios sound crew and invented many, many methods for generating such effects. Thus, the art of Foley was born.

Since then, Foley artists like Ben Burtt have introduced us to unforgettable sounds like Chewbacca’s wookiee growl (hint: it involves the roars of several large mammals from both land and sea).

Although you can now easily get any sound effect your heart desires from AudioBlocks, we still hold a special place in our hearts for bizarre Foley techniques. Some of the most convincing ambient audio comes from sources that are still surprising 80 years later.

See (and hear) the secrets behind four of our favorite Foley effects with the quick do-it-yourself video above

Or, if you don’t have time for homemade Foley, download these pre-packaged audio files instead.


Stock Audio of Bird Wings Flapping


Stock Audio of a Punch in the Face


Stock Audio of Tires Screeching


Stock Audio of Fire Crackling


Explore All the Foley Sound FX


  • Trevor

    This is a great video. We take these sounds for granted and this video shows how brilliantly matched foley works so well to be unnoticed as an addition to the footage. This has given me some ideas!

  • Matt P

    So often a companies emails and blog posts stink of self promotion and thinly veiled “sponsored contest” types of posts. This was actually really cool to see, and big kudos to audio blocks marketing team are in order.

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