Make gunshots sound more realistic

Hi guys!

I am making a war film and I need to make the gunshots sound more realistic. The battle is taking place in an open field, surrounded by a forest.
A lot of the sound effects found online sound like they’re being fired in a small room. I need to give them a lot more echo and make them sound like they’re actually being fired in that field.
Here is what I mean:
Listen to the attached file. The first sound is the stock sound effect, and the second one is the weapon being actually fired in the open.
It has much more of an echo and it sounds way more realistic.

How do I do that in audacity?

We can’t take echoes out, so all those samples that sound like they were fired on a closed range, were, and while you can try to take that “recorded in the kitchen” echo out, it’s usually an uphill battle (so to speak). Note shots fired in the second example are flat and clean. It’s the long delayed echo that carries the impression. That’s what open field sounds like.

And the long delayed echo is going to be difficult, too. The longer the echo is, the more diffused and scrambled it’s going to be. You’re not listening to the far side of a stadium with one or two slap-style echoes, you’re listening to a million trees and the wooded hills behind. That takes high processing and I don’t know that we do that so well.

Have you tried Effect > Echo?

Can you find echo-free, clean shots? Without that, this process is going to be very painful.


I get incredulous and scornful stares every time I advocate going out to a field and shoot it…sorry, record shots yourself.


My mobile connection is running too slow to download even that small file but I have heard gunshots in the open.

The echoes from each shot are irregular in interval.

Try adding one echo to a shot, then another to a copy of that shot but with a different delay.

Play both tracks back and see if it sounds the way you want.

Tweak the sound levels. You might need to select and silence one of the shots to give the right balance between shot and echo.

You might get the right effect by loading the shot in more than one track and time shifting them.

Some shots I have heard in the fields here have a quick echo followed by the shot and echo being echoed.

Take into account that lots of guns firing together will drown one another’s echo.

The length of delay will vary from gun to gun as they will be different distances from the trees.

Have you been to ?

The sample is of a clean report followed by a fractional second later echo from trees and hills. Clearly an open field shoot. I don’t know that one simple echo is going to do it.


The length of delay will vary from gun to gun as they will be different distances from the trees.

Right. And after you get one convincing report, rapid fire will smoosh everything together, but the two ends of the firefight have to work to carry the effect.


I downloaded your file. That’s reverb rather than echo. The sound of the shots is changed by the reverb in a way that could be easy to simulate. It sounds like the way a drum beat is changed by reverb and compression. Search YouTube using the phrase Classic Drum Sounds: How to re-create Phil Collins’ ‘In The Air Tonight’ . The full Collins effect uses a noise gate to shorten the reverb. Don’t you use it for your gun battle.

Use Voxengo Oldskoolverb and almost any compressor. You might need to tweak the wet/dry mix on Oldskool.