Building a jet engine for the „Whoosh“ plugin

[Video] Using Melted Sound’s Whoosh to build a jet engine

If you experience technical issues or have a slow connection, watch a lower quality version on Youtube.


Recently I had to create the sound of a jet for a short video that featured several passes and fly bys from various angles and distances. Doing this simply by adding samples to the time line and trying to edit them to fit to the picture felt a bit tedious; so I was looking for an approach how I could somehow create and automate a jet engine sound that could be performed like an instrument. I remembered then that Melted Sounds added a nice update to their Whoosh plugin not long ago which could possibly make this task a bit easier.

Whoosh is an ensemble for NI’s Reaktor plugin and basically consists of several granular samplers with a sophisticated Doppler engine and some additional FX; it does a great job with creating all kinds of whooshy and moving sounds. With the latest update, importing custom samples has been made much easier; furthermore the playback position inside Whoosh could now be manually controlled and even assigned to custom MIDI controllers.

All I needed now were some samples as a starting point to import into Whoosh.

First I grabbed a hair-dryer and recorded its engine micing it very close to the air intake with a Sennheiser M/S setup at a sample rate of 192 kHz. After some heavy processing with pitch shifting, distortion and EQ I got something that could be the starting point for a jet sound. It was still lacking some movement though and I was also missing that typical whining element of a jet engine.

So I took a recording of a combat jet fly over I did a while ago at an air show and imported both samples into Whoosh. By assigning the playback position to my keyboard’s mod wheel I could scan with the wheel through the samples: after some tweaking of granular, pitch and Doppler effect settings I was able to make a jet engine either running in an endless loop without sounding too static, or having it pass by at any speed or distance simply by scanning through the sound with the mod wheel; as these are MIDI data this can also be recorded and automated inside the DAW.

I added some EQ (mainly to bring back some high end and to control the low end with a dynamic EQ), a limiter and some reverb to the Reaktor outputs in the DAW to polish the whole sound a bit in real time; and vòila, there was my custom jet engine ready to be played with my hands 🙂

I still have to automate the panning of the sound to follow the camera angles of the video, but nevertheless I felt this making my life a bit easier here. I can not show the video I created the sounds for due to copyright reasons; I have made a short clip though trying to show how the jet engine does sound and react to the mod wheel in my DAW. Enjoy!