What's with Hollywood's "swishing" sound in sword fights?

I don’t know when it started, but watching Empire, it was hilarious hearing the “swish” sound every time anybody swung a sword. A bull whip, maybe, but a short sword?

Seems to me I’ve even heard this in fist fights when somebody throws a haymaker? Perhaps I have a hearing problem, but in real life never encountered this. :slight_smile:

Maybe it started with the kung-fu films?

I’m sure the swashbuckler, and if your ever had your swash buckled you know how painful that can be, movies had the same sound FX.

Basically, it’s cool.

Well, it all started with this movie*.

    • No, not really.

I knew what movie that was going to be before I clicked on it. :smiley:

Veeeery funny, even if unPC!

I, too, knew what that was going to be before I clicked on, especially after BayleDomon and KlondikeGeoff chimed in with grinning smilies. Well done Ponder Stimmons.

Now, what did I do with my whip?

I’m sure Mr. Maplethorpe has some ideas.

***Diego (Zorro): ** Spead the news… that he is back! To help the helpless! To befriend the friendless! And to defeat… the feetless! *

I’m not so sure swords don’t some sort of swishing sound when swung quickly. Maybe not all swords, but anything that’s thin enough to cut the air correctly.

Yes, a foil or rapier will, but last time I lopped off heads with my broadsword and a scimitar, there was no sound at all other than the screaming.

Oh, they do. I have a thin cane sword which makes a satisfying sound when you whip it through the air. My larger sword, which is much heavier, requires a more powerful swing but also makes a sound when it’s swung fast enough.

You’re not doing it right. There should be no screaming. :wink:

A nice cut should make that whipping sound. If you turn your wrist a little or don’t make a nice flat arc it doesn’t make that sound. It’s one of the few things in movie sword work that they get right.

There have been a number of Japanese destroyers named Tachikaze, which means “wind from a swinging sword” or “wind from a sword stroke”.

The whooshing sound is certainly exagerated in the the movies, at the very least.

I’ll confirm tomorrow at my martial arts practice (since I’ve never really played attention to the whooshing before :slight_smile: ), but I recall NOT hearing a woosh when making a proper cut, and definately hearing one when NOT making a proper cut (turning my blade slightly as it hits - or before it hits the target).

I think the sound guys in movies need to try to justify their existance or something. It’s even worse in movies with guns (which is, what, about 93% of them?) - every time anyone points a gun at someone, it somehow cocks itself, and every time someone pulls the trigger on an empty gun on a non-DA gun, the hammer falls. There are all sorts of inaccurate but omnipresent sound effects in movies. I guess if there’s no swoosh or click, we’ll forget we’re looking at swords and guns.

Foley artists have to eat too, you know. :smiley:

Well, you know what show people are like. rimshot