This rifle was some of my first adventures in creating sci-fi weapon sounds. The excerpts are taken from my old blog where I broke down what each sound is comprised of:
The first thing I noticed was that the Shock Rifle fires very slowly without much animation to explain why. So, I wanted the audio to be drawn out: partially to explain the slow rate of fire—but also to provide the player an additional sense of the gun’s timing. The trick was to make a recognizable sound, that wouldn’t be annoying when heard in for the umpteenth time. I created two different versions of electrical noise from the same recording of electricity arcing. I just applied time compression and editing in different ways, this makes the sounds different but very cohesive with each other. When you fire the gun I set the cue to randomly pick a sample and apply a healthy dose of random pitch shifting. This gives some variety and hopefully longevity to what could be a very repetitive sound.
Weapon and Ammo Pickups
This is the pickup noise for the weapon (and I also used it as the weapon switch cue). I disassembled an old FNP90 Airsoft Gun that’s been just for show since my younger days and recorded myself reassembling it’s chunkier parts. This gave me a pretty convincing start for handling noises. To give it more sci-fi flair I wanted the gun to sound like it was powering up. It’s can be pretty hard to find a device that gives you a real powering up sound; but it’s actually pretty easy to find devices that sounds super cliché when powering down. I recorded a vacuum cleaner turning off and reversed it to achieve the sound of the gun charging up for the first time. The ammo pickups consist of a time compressed electrical arc and synthesizer note.
Secondary Fire and Combo Explosion
There is a swing band in this sound: I kid you not. I was doing post audio for a short film and they needed a giant brass hit—you know the scandalous kind. So I was chopping and stretching whatever brass I could find in the samples I had legal access to. Turns out stretching brass to various lengths provides an amazing wealth of sounds: such as the laser sound in this firing mode. Yeah, there are also some guns in there that would make a NRA chairperson blush. The combo explosion contains a 'sonic palindrome' that makes it sound like it collapses back into itself.