Thursday, October 12, 2006

Sound Effects

I once worked with a group of teenage truants. The teacher in charge told me that it was unlikely that many would turn up to my class, but in fact they nearly all turned up - much to the surprise and delight of the teacher.

Instead of trying to teach animation I started with the idea of making a soundtrack for a haunted house. I asked them if they could scream, groan, and work out some grisley sounds; they could and did, and loved it.

We never actually got around to making a movie for the track to go on, but did quite a bit of other noisy recordings, and in the process released a lot of pentup tension in the group.

With young children it's a good idea to start with animal sounds. You can find many sites with these, but a good one is

Of course, all children can make animal sounds, but it is interesting to know what sound they make.
Trying typing in Animal sounds + Africa and then change the country.
You will find how different the animal accents are around the world at:

Another site at has a huge library covering just about anything you can think of. Acting out movements with the sound effects is good fun.
Another interesting site is

It is a good excercise to try and create your own sound effects with your voice, and things you can find in the class room. Shake, rattle, and roll things around; tap, drop, and scrape things. Then suggest how one can make sounds like the wind and rain.
UNESCO offers a free digital training kit at: which contains both audio files and an editor. Also

Here are some other sites to get started on:

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