For decades, musicians have used talk boxes to combine guitar sounds and their voices into a robotic effect. Dunlop sent harpist Emily Hopkins one of their analog talk boxes and some other effects pedals, and she gave them a whirl to see what kind of sounds she could make. Mostly, it’s just a video of Emily cracking up.
If you think that a guitar is just meant for making music, you’re wrong. Musician Cameron Cooper shows us how to get some crazy and unusual sounds out of an electric guitar, including a horse’s whinny, a church bell, police sirens, and some creepy evil clown sounds.
Cars in racing games don’t have the most realistic-sounding engine sounds. AngeTheGreat’s Engine Simulator not only can replicate the mechanisms and physics of a car engine, but it also produces realistic procedurally-generated sounds. You can grab the source code for Windows on GitHub.
You can do all kinds of fun things with magnets, but we never thought of them as musical instruments. The guys from Magnet Tricks and Magnetic Games teamed up to create a series of sounds from magnetic vibrations, sampled them, then turned them into a synthwave track.
Ready to make your own horror movie? Sound effects are a big part of building the suspense, and this unique musical instrument from AzzamBells makes unsettling sounds. It has bars, springs, and clackers that reverberate to create its creepy noises. Three built-in microphones let you easily record its sounds.
Here, kitty kitty! What’s that you say? Meow’ll be back? Get to the catnip? Littlebigdaddy redubbed a series of cat videos, replacing the the meows with an exaggerated impression of Arnold Schwarzenegger. The result is internet gold… at least until it gets really annoying.
The Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro is an insanely powerful race car with a 6.5-liter V12 engine that revs to 11,000 RPM and makes 1000 hp. Aerial Automotive shared this footage of the cars zooming around Laguna Seca Raceway and wowing gearheads with ear candy. He also shot some epic in-car footage. (Thanks, Nathan!)
Long for the startup sound of your old Macintosh? Or perhaps the squeal of a dial-up modem? Save the Sounds’ Museum of Endangered Sounds offers an online soundboard where you can enjoy the sounds of retro technology any time you’re feeling nostalgic. Try playing them all at the same time for fun.
Do you love tabletop role-playing games? Tabletopy is a Windows PC app that adds a soundtrack to your games for added immersion. The soundboard includes more than 160 ambient soundscapes, music, and sound effects to help set the scene for various locations and actions. Listen to a 5-minute sound sample on Soundcloud.
It’s pretty easy to meow like a cat or bark like a dog, but Finnish entertainer and voice artist Rudi Rok is a verifiable show-off. Watch and listen as he impersonates the sounds of 40 different animals, including tricky ones like a screeching eagle, a chirping cricket, and a woodpecker pecking on a tree.
It doesn’t matter how many domino videos we watch, we always enjoy watching them topple. But if we ever have a pallet of bricks delivered, we’re so doing what the family in this video did, and use them like giant dominoes. The sound they make is so incredibly satisfying.
Feeling stressed or anxious? There’s nothing quite so calming as the sound of a rain shower. To help us unwind our minds, UK designer Jez Burrows put together a compilation of soothing rain sounds captured entirely from video games. Since this clip is titled “Part I,” we imagine a follow-up will appear at some point.
myNoise is a wonderful website where you can customize ambient sounds. Use its EQ sliders to finetune over 250 soundscapes for relaxation, meditation, or just to provide a calm background for your workday. Sounds can be bookmarked, played in a mini-player, or purchased as a downloadable MP3 file.
During the creation of Halo Infinite the audio team at 343 Industries turned to an unusual method to make some of the game’s sounds. Instead of just playing this piano, they used a hammer, baseball bat, and other tools to demolish it, making some truly dissonant sounds. That dry ice on metal is especially disturbing.
A crackling fire, advancing a mechanical camera, and a well-struck golf ball are among the most satisfying sounds in the world. Musician Dan Mace recorded and edited together some of these great noises into a soundtrack that’s engineered to be even more satisfying than its individual components.
Musician Davidlap has become quite the expert at replicating various sounds on his electric guitar. In this video, he does a mighty fine job reproducing sound effects from the Mushroom Kindom, from the satisfying coin collection “ding” to the urgency-instilling “hurry up” music that kicks in when you get a star power-up.
Relaxing sounds and music can help overcome insomnia, reduce stress, and improve your state of mind. The Relax Melodies app provides a library of soothing sounds, bedtime stories, meditations, and more to help you unwind and get some rest. Grab a deal on a lifetime subscription in The Awesomer Shop.
The electronic squeals of dial-up modems were truly unpleasant, but also brought us our earliest internet memories. If you’ve ever wondered what those sounds might look like on a graph, you’re in luck. Scotty H generated a spectrogram that shows the frequencies being generated during a moden’s handshake phase.
What sound do you think a chunk of ice would make when dropped into a 300-foot-long borehole in a glacier? If you guessed anything besides “pew pew,” you’d be wrong. Back in 2018, glaciologist Dr. Peter Neff of the University of Rochester Ice Core and Atmospheric Chemistry Lab recorded this clip of the unexpected sound.
(PG-13: Language) Skateboarders Tony Hawk, David Loy, and Keire Johnson spent a little time in the studio and on their boards, helping to record more than 650 different sounds that skateboards (and skateboarders) make. Then, the creative minds of Bonamaze set to chopping up the audio into rhythmic music track.
NASA scientists took images captured by the Chandra X-Ray Observatory and other telescopes and turned them into music. The soothing sounds you will hear represent the brightness and positions of the stars as the cursor moves across the image using a technique known as “data sonification.” Learn more about the proect here.
Need to find a sound effect for a recording project? Freesound.org is a collaboratively-managed database of sounds you can use under one of several Creative Commons licenses. We found all kinds of unusual noises there, from a growling ogre, to creepy atmospheric music, to a delightfully ASMR pencil scribbling on paper.
We’re already quite familiar with the evolution of Windows sounds. Now listen to a variety of Windows startup, shutdown, and error sounds played on piano, courtesy of Bored Piano, where you can also check out digital piano covers of familiar game console startup sounds. More on his Japanese language channel.