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Bullet bypasses

Im trying to create nice bypasses but seems can't find proper material. We tried doppler effect on jets, winds and dozen different whooshes. It all missing that buzz and tone that has real bullet by.

- Any suggestions for this please?

- Does bypasses are ever created from something?
- Maybe they all are just recorded?

Alexey Menshikov

Try whipping a pencil very quickly by the mic. Try other writing instruments. Sanford Pocket Accent highlighters seem to have a little more pitch to them. This will give a rather subtle pass by.

For something a little less subtle but far from over the top, take a bic pen, remove the plastic cap, hammer the end of it flat (leave one end un flattened so you can put it back on the pen). Cut strips in the flattened end to let some air pass through. You can "tune" it by how many cuts you make.


It depends of the sound you like to recreate but the best way of doing your own whooshes is by moving really fast different objects with holes in front of the mike.

Also you can get a nice homemade doppler effect. Try with sieves, tennis rackets, a cheese graters, pipes, anything you can find at home.

Jorge Galocha

You can set up mics on the target side of an outdoor shooting range or vacant field and go at it with various guns.

Miguel Rivera

Maybe you can try layering a vocal sample underneath it. It's hard to transcribe the sound i'm talking about but start by making a ssssssss sound then closing your mouth quickly, to get the feel.

Then start with the ssss again but now "throw" the ssss out of your mouth quickly and close your mouth. LOL, sometimes I try to get a little too creative, but it's what I would try, just to get that fast bullet zoomin by you sound.


We worked with some race car bys (pitched up) for some of ours. They had a nice gritty sound that was pretty believable.

Rodney Gates

Actually, real bullets do not make a sound, other than the "crack", when they pass by. The sound is the bullet breaking the sound barrier. Any other sounds are heard AFTER the bullet impacts something and the non-aerodynamic fragments go whooshing by.

Real silencers sound like a very fast steam release, the gasses from the bullet expanding in the silencer. There is no musical "zing" like we all use.

We all have to remember that in many instances we are making representational sounds, not actual ones. So it's okay to use your imagination.

Bob Kessler

Bob ; I have to disagree with you , after having just auditioned some bullet whiz by recordings that we did .The shooter was about 1/4 mile away or more, the recordist in a trench so as to be out of the line of fire , and in the recordings you can hear the distant crack of the gun , followed by the bullet whizz by . I guess not all rounds are supersonic.

Harry Cohen

I have to agree with Harry about the bullet bys- there is a whish as well- the bullet may crack as it goes past, but you will generally hear a whish as well- the projectile can make a big difference as well- like if it is a 12ga Deer Slug for instance... Bigger projectiles whish also- like Tank and Artillery rounds.

Charles Maynes

The buzz you're referring to is probably the sound of the bullet tumbling end over end. The same kind of motion is the source of the sound we associate with ricochets, and both are frequently heard in actual gun battles where lots of bullets are being fired and the bullets are bouncing off of various objects. If the velocity of the bullet is low enough it produces a buzz rather than the "peeeeowwww" ricochet signature.

The fundamental frequency of the ricochet decreases as the object slows down, and is subject to doppler too, both of which contribute to the "peeeeowwww." You can get variations of the buzz sound by shooting a flat object like a coin or washer through the air with a slinshot and bouncing it off an object like a rock or even the ground at a shallow angle.

It's hit and miss, and the higher the velocity the more likely it will happen, but at least 10% of the time you should get a very audible, and recordable, buzz as it tumbles end over end after the collision.


Randy Thom

Be sure to read, understand and follow the instructions that come with your power tools. And remember, there is no greater rule than to wear these: Safety glasses.

David Steinwedel

Outside definitely. You sort of have to do it outside unless you have access to a very large interior space where they don't mind you putting holes in the walls with your projectiles. If you're recording in a reasonably quiet place ambient noise isn't a huge problem.

Randy Thom

Alexey Menshikov wrote:
Im trying to create nice bypasses but seems can't find proper material. We tried doppler effect on jets, winds and dozen different whooshes. It all missing that buzz and tone that has real bullet by.

Find a nice quiet spot in the country, and buy a slingshot (elastic thingy that can chuck small sized objects quite far). Put a stereo mic setup somewhere down-range and shoot away. You can try shooting coins, stones, anything that might actually make a cool sound when launched fast.

You might want to protect your mics with a wooden plank (not too close so as not to mess up your stereo image).

Steven Ghouti

Sling-shot stuff outside... Unless of corse you have a huge space like the music stage at Skywalker... Washers, and wingnuts... Also the good ol' fashoned bow and arrow... arrows with crappy fletching and dragging tape and such are the BOMB!

Also with a compound bow you can shoot from very far away and get reasonably close to the mic.

Subsonic rifle fire is cool, but supersonic rifle fire is really really cool.

Safety glasses and earplugs kids...

Coll Anderson

I'll try slingshot. Also i though use sport pneumatic gun like this:

It's firing with metallic balls but its possible to load them with metallic foil balls or something like that.

Alexey Menshikov

Almost all of the best bullet-bys I've heard have been recordings of actual bullet bys. You can get some interesting stuff by shooting flat, roughly coin-shaped, objects with a sling shot and bouncing them off a rock or even flat ground. It's hit and miss because the object doesn't tumble just right every time. The "buzz" of a bullet-by comes from the bullet tumbling end over end. At higher velocities the same tumbling generates the tonal sound we associate with ricochets. As the object slows down the fundamental frequency of the sound produced falls as well, producing the well-known piiiiiowwwww ricochet signature. When the velocity of the object and the tumbling decrease sufficiently all you hear is the buzz.

Randy Thom

Use a slingshot with some bullets of various sizes, You'll also want to use other material in the slingshot as well. Shooting stuff that is long and hollow and if you can get it to spin will give you that really buzzey flyby.

Set a guard up in front of the mic, and aim just a little to the side of the guard.

Kerry Uchida

Try pitched/processed Indy Car bys, as well as pitched/processed bullet ricochets. Load 'em all into a sampler and have fun.

Chris Clanin

Thread "bullet bypasses" started Jan 26 2007at Sound Design discussion list

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