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[Solved] Sfx terminology question

Posts: 3
Topic starter
Joined: 3 years ago

Was wondering if someone can answer this:

Is there a distinct terminology for a sfx that is created from within an environment? for example when a person pounds a table, knocks at a door, turns on the radio, wind, etc. I just call it an environmental SFX.

As opposed to a name for a SFX that is not really a part of the environment, such as a base hit, drone, demonic screech, that may not be the result of an actual physical interaction, but is added to give the audience an emotional emphasis.

Any info on this would be greatly appreciated.


1 Reply
Posts: 305
Joined: 2 years ago

Depends what the sound is as to what I label it, but one thing you can do is consult the Universal Category System of "standardised" tags to see what it will fit. BaseHead even has this list inbuilt to help with tagging files (Ultra) which you can hover over and get an explanation of the sound: 


However I personally find some tags missing from the UCS list so end up adding a few of my own tags and this is actually a perfect example of a tag I feel is missing from the list. 

person pounds a table

I tag this as a "Hit". Anything that is a short hard hit sound such as hitting a table, bumping something hard, knocking a surface with something I refer as a Hit but the closest UCS tag I can associate with this is "Fight > Impact"

knocks at a door

That would be Doors > Knock

turns on the radio

Communications > Radio


There is a whole "Wind" category with different cub classes of what kind of wind sound you have: 


drone, demonic screech

I use to refer to these as "Soundscapes" (still do in music production) but if you use UCS these would be: 

Designed > Drone

Designed > Eerie

Worth looking into UCS as a way to standardize your tagging and if you ahve BaseHead Ultra you can tag all your files using DnD onto the UCS categories to quickly update your sounds.




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