Make an Explosion for Your Game Today

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Sound effects are integral to how your game is perceived by the player, and you’re here to make an explosion for your game today. Unfortunately, most of us don’t have a car that we can blow up to get that perfect, license-free explosion sound. Fortunately, there is a free tool called Audacity that allows you to edit sounds on your computer, and you know what we’re going to start with? A clap. That’s it. We’re going to start with a clap and end with a believable explosion sound. So let’s get to it!

Step by Step Instructions to Make An Explosion Sound with Audacity

  • The first step to make an explosion for your game today is to install Audacity if you have not already done so. Click here to go to Audacity’s download page.
  • Once you’ve installed and run Audacity, you should see the following.
Opening Screen of Audacity
The opening screen of Audacity from which we will create the Explosion Sound.
  • Next, we’re going to record your clap which we will convert into an explosion. To do this, click the record button (the red circle highlighted below) and then clap somewhat near your microphone. After your clap, click the stop button to stop the recording. You should end up with something very similar to this. It sounds… like a clap. 
The Record Button - Audacity
The Record Button – Audacity
  • Let’s do some preparation work. Leaving about a third of the trailing sound, select the rest and then press delete to remove the sound. Then, select from the beginning of the track until just before the clap starts, and then press delete. This will ensure that your explosion occurs on demand. 
    Recorded Clap with Sections to Remove - Audacity
    Recorded Clap with Sections to Remove – Audacity

     

  • Press CTRL+A to select your whole track and then we’re going to click the “Effect” menu, and select Paulstretch as shown in the next two images. If the settings are not already as below, adjust them.

 

The Effects Menu - Audacity
The Effects Menu – Audacity

 

Paulstretch Effect - Audacity
Paulstretch Effect – Audacity
  • Next return to the Effects menu, and select “Change Pitch…” Ensure that the settings are as below, and apply the change. It is important to make sure that “Use high-quality stretching (slow)” is selected.
Change Pitch Menu - Audacity
Change Pitch Menu – Audacity
  • Click the effects menu again, and select “Bass and Treble,” set the settings as below, and click apply.
Bass and Treble Options - Audacity
Bass and Treble Options – Audacity
  • For the second last time, click the effects menu and select “Add Echo” and set the settings as below.
Echo Settings - Audacity
Echo Settings – Audacity
  • Two more steps, now that the sound is stretched out, we want to get rid of some of the noise. This part may be up to your discretion a bit, but select about where you see my noise jump up about 60% of the way through the sound, and then highlight until the end. Click the Effect Menu and select “Noise Reduction…” You have to have the section you are working selected with before you click this option and you’ll have to click “Get Noise Profile” and then the window will close. Open it again and click “OK.”
  • There you have it, you’ve turned your clap into a passable explosion sound. You can play with the settings above, and other settings too to tweak it, but this should be a great place to start.

To the trained ear, of course, you will know it’s not a major explosion, but it’s a passable one if you don’t want to expend too much time or energy on your game at this point. You can also use these methods to produce other sounds, such as bubble popping, add bass to a knock on the table to make it scarier, you can do a lot with Audacity to help you make your game today. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial to make an explosion for your game today!

Here’s the end result from above!

An Alternative to Make an Explosion for Your Game Today – Plugins for Audacity

I made this guide relying on methods that involved only the Audacity program as downloaded, however, if you do some searching online you will find that there are many plugins for the program, and I even stumbled across one which allows you to generate an explosion sound on command. You can find many plugins on the Audacity Wiki here!

More Home Made Solutions For Even More than Making an Explosion

Audacity certainly isn’t the only free program available to help you with your game making adventures! Check out my article on Medium about various tools you can use to get started making games! For even more reading check out my guide here with even more information!

The Easier Way, The Ultimate Sound FX Bundle from the Unity Asset Store

Of course, when you’re looking to get your game done today you have to consider the total amount of time you’re going to invest. When it comes to making each sound using the above methods you’re going to be spending a lot of time, and if you’re like me you’ll be using the microphone on your computer, or your phone, and the end result won’t exactly be professional quality. It’ll be close, but not quite there.

You can save yourself a lot of time by grabbing the Ultimate Sound FX Bundle from the Unity Asset Store. This bundle contains 1370 different sound effects that you can use in your games. I spent about 45 minutes just trying to come up with the tutorial above and I’ve used Audacity before, not a lot, but I have. If I had to make each one by hand, well let’s just bump that release date back now.

Ultimate Sound FX Bundle

Save yourself the trouble. Seriously.

Until next time, keep at it, game development is a long game, and every day you put in more effort, the closer you get to your goal!

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