The Lightsaber: How to Make One of the Most Iconic Sounds in Cinema

In the latest video from youtuber, Doctor Mix, he shows us how to make the sound of the lightsaber. It’s one of the most identifiable sounds in cinema, crafted from a dollop of synth, a dash of white noise and the “doppler” effect.

The Lightsaber has to be one of the most memorable sounds in the history of the silver screen. Watch as Doctor Mix puts it together with some choice ingredients and clever sound design.

Doctor Mix details the ingredients needed to create a convincing emulation of the Star Wars sound.

Playing the original sound as a reference, he uses the twin oscillators of the Minimoog to dial in the appropriate pitch and just the right amount of detune. A layer of white noise is then added to bring to the mix to produce a sound similar to radio static.

Then, to create to characteristic movement the saber, Doctor Mix follows the lead of the original Star Wars foley artist. Waving a hyper-directional shotgun mic in front of the monitor, a slight variation in pitch in time with the movement (aka the “doppler” effect) is created.

Et voila! The lightsaber is born.

Check out Doctor Mix’s demonstration below.

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