Advice on creating sounds of flowing liquids and bubbles

Next week I will have to design a VCV patch simulating the sounds of liquids of different viscosity, situated into or flowing through closed spaces like pipes, hoses or membranes. Examples:

  • liquid concrete, out of a bag through plastic pipes
  • boiling oil in a cauldron
  • blood flowing into veins
  • subterranean river
  • mayonnaise squeezed out of a tube

The imaginary vantage point would be inside such spaces, or into the liquids themselves. No need for background/contextual sound or for scientific accuracy.

Any tips or pointers to other resources would be very welcome.

only advice i can lend in this area is that the Audible Instruments “Macro Oscillator 2” has a mode called something like Particle Noise that works very well at getting running water sounds.


Boiling oil in a cauldron is a classic. Sample and hold to a BP filter cutoff with high resonance to a VCA controlled by an EG with short attack and decay. With tons of reverb.

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Hmm, making vaguely watery sounds is fairly easy but those are some very specific cases! Concrete for example is thick and heavy so would have lower frequencies, I have no idea what blood flowing into veins would sound like as it’s not something you can easily hear. Generally, pinging filters will get you close as auretvh mentioned. You want as many instances as your computer can handle, to thicken up the sound. Polyphony is useful here to use extra channels. I find the Nysthi phaser can make quite watery sounds when pinged with sample and hold (a phaser is a type of filter after all), and another good one is a module called Droplet, which is a highly resonant BP filter. I think I posted a patch on another thread asking about underwater sounds if you do a search…

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Reverb can be your friend here, too. I don’t mean super long cathedral type deals, but subtle ambiences and slap backs, having a mono reverb going into a delayed stereo reverb, using EQs and filters to process the sounds going into and out of the reverb, and so on. No sound is “dry” in the real world, after all. (Unless you’re in an anechoic chamber, that is. :slight_smile:)

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