Designing slow and menacing handling movements for a sword


Hello everyone! I’m currently working on a comedy with very stylized scenes. In a thriller/mistery scene, the main character meets a friend who he thinks is now an enemy, a menace.

They are standing in front of each other and this friend is holding a sword and he handles it slowly in a scary way for our hero. These are very slow movements, up to 5 seconds, of the sword.

I’m trying to make it “vibrate” in the high end. I’m thinking of an exaggerated low end too, like Kylo Ren’s force in Star Wars.

I don’t like the scrape sounds I have, I don’t want that sound. I want a clean metallic resonance, and I’m going with gongs and such, but still I’m having hard times since it’s not a fast movement but a long one, which would clearly be better if performed to picture.

Any suggestions? Thank you!


I had to do something very similar a few years back and I was able to create a “singing” metal sound for the swords in Absynth.  I can not remember the patch I started with but it got me pretty close to where I wanted to be.  I also used some sounds of wine glasses being rubbed with a wet finger along the rim to make it “sing”.  Then I pitched and modulated them heavily.  Not sure if that can work for your situation. Sounds like a cool challenge.


If you have access to Izotope Iris, you can extract upper harmonics from metallic or glass samples and get them a lot more focused than the full samples. As Tim said, you can then modulate them to add movement. This may not serve as the entire sound but could be an interesting layer. Playing with granular re-synthesis can also add some control for moving the sound.


For the higher vibrating sound, you could try playing with sustained metal ringouts. A tuning fork, singing bowl, even just hitting various metal poles and such. Then you can doppler them, pitch shift them over time, and potentially send them through effects, and use the sound of the effect over the original. Like putting an 8sec reverb on a metal pole impact you’ve pitched shifted over time, and using only the reverb tail to construct something. For the low stuff, there’s a lot you can do, but I’d just say to likely try and make it feel like it’s always moving and changing. If you have some low sound just in your face the whole time, it’s not going to feel like it went anywhere. You want the impression it’s moving fast, just that you’re watching it in super slow-mo.

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