Fly-bys and swooshes are a huge part of sound design. While typical library solutions might work, you can’t beat originally created material. For me this is usually done by designing each sound effect individually, and this takes time. You might see how an article by Charles Deenen titled “100 Whooshes in 2 Minutes” piqued my interest.
Charles’ method involved choosing 10-20 SFX elements, and processing the crap of them (the technical term). He recommends using single-shot, continuous tonal sounds, as well SFX with your desired characteristics. I won’t go into much more detail, Charles did a great job of explaining the process in his article.
I tried out this method yesterday and was amazed by the results. I was surprised how quickly I was able to get some great swooshes/fly-bys out of sounds I would’ve never tried before.
I had no specific purpose for the swooshes, so my SFX elements were a little random. My first element, however, was my cat, Boogie. Boogie has contributed different purrs, growls, meows, and hisses. I don’t pay her enough meow mix. Other elements included Toxic Bag Productions’ Zombie Voices, my Aluminum Foil SFX, Hiss and a Roar’s Seal Vocals, and many others.
I ended up with over 100 sci-fi style swooshes and fly-bys. I’ve decided if Boogie was a flying robot, this is what she would sound like. Just listen to Boogie fly!