What is the origin of this sound effect?
June 10, 2009 8:28 PM   Subscribe

The "ssshw-oonk" sound when Mario falls in the pit about 1:20 into this video. I swear I've heard this sound used in other places, as it's fairly distinctive; is this a stock sound effect of some sort? What can you tell me about this sound? I don't need it for anything, I'm just consumed by curiosity.
posted by NMcCoy to Media & Arts (12 answers total)
I think the sound you're referring to is a slide whistle. It's like a recorder with a piston inside. Sliding the piston changes the length of the tube and if you blow one long note as you slide it, that makes the whistle hit every pitch. Here's a vid of someone playing a song on one (using mostly the lower part of its range- they can go a lot higher). And you can make one out of a large carrot or radish if you're feeling crafty.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 8:35 PM on June 10, 2009

Ah, here's a good video of a kid showing how to play one.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 8:38 PM on June 10, 2009

Response by poster: The sound I'm referring to doesn't sound much like a slide whistle to me; it's the one that sounds like a combination of a cork being pulled out of a bottle and a guy saying "euh".
posted by NMcCoy at 8:57 PM on June 10, 2009

are you sure you've got the right time index on the video?
posted by Jon_Evil at 11:00 PM on June 10, 2009

It's, uh, quite possibly a combination of a cork being pulled out of a bottle and a guy saying "euh".

I mean, foley artists do stuff like that all the time. I remember finding out (as a kid) that the movie Tron featured shrieking monkeys mixed into some of the sound effects to make them sound more terrifying, and thought that was the coolest thing ever.
posted by davejay at 11:25 PM on June 10, 2009

The sound at 1:20 when Mario falls into a pit doesn't sound anything like "ssshw-oonk" to me at all - that's a noise I associate with loading a pneumatic tube. It sounds like a whistle.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 3:59 AM on June 11, 2009

I'm similarly fascinated by sound effects and often have questions about what the sounds are... but I'm also confused about which sound you mean here... Can you be more specific?
posted by Cygnet at 6:51 AM on June 11, 2009

Yeah. There are a million sounds here. You need to be a lot more precise about the exact time.
posted by originalname37 at 8:12 AM on June 11, 2009

Response by poster: Okay, here's a wav file clipped out of the video. They appear to be linked, but I'm less interested in the whistle-y part than the cork/"euh" part after it.
posted by NMcCoy at 9:28 AM on June 11, 2009

I hear:

An electronic keyboard playing some music, on top of
An electronic "slide whistle" going up and then down into a rubbery "scrunch", followed by
A single drum beat.
posted by chazlarson at 12:01 PM on June 11, 2009

The drum beat I'm thinking of is something like this, only shorter and generated electronically.

The "slide whistle" goes down into that scrunchy rubbery sound because it, too, is coming out of a synthesizer.

I don't hear the cork or the "guy saying euh".
posted by chazlarson at 12:13 PM on June 11, 2009

Response by poster: The same sound occurs at 0:22 in this trailer for Scribblenauts. The plot thickens?
posted by NMcCoy at 1:32 AM on June 15, 2009

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