Indiana Jones Punch Sound Effect Recreated!

The Indiana Jones Punch is a classic sound effect.  It was created by Ben Burtt and his team at Skywalker Sound for Raiders of the Lost Ark.  While I was creating my Punch Sound Effects Pack, I decided to figure out how the original punch sound was created.

First of all, I had to do some research.  Here is a great video on Youtube showing off the punch sounds in Indiana Jones:

I also checked out a lot of interviews with Ben Burtt about his Indiana Jones Punch Sounds.  I gathered this information:

  • The Punch was created from hitting gloves and jackets with a baseball bat
  • ALSO, they recorded a whip and distorted the analog pre-amps (which created a boom-y impact)

From these two pieces of information, and listening to the sounds in the movie, I believe it was a combination of the whip they recorded AND a baseball bat leather hit.

So, I went to work.  First I recorded a bunch of punch sounds.  This particular sound can be found in my Punch Sound Effects Library:

I then went and bought an authentic David Morgan Bullwhip (the same whip maker and type of whip used by Harrison Ford and recorded by Ben Burtt's team for the Indiana Jones movies).


I watched a bunch of Youtube videos and learned how to Crack the Whip!

I recorded lots of whip cracks and whooshes with this whip.  You can get all of them in the Combo Punch Sound Effects Library.  Here is a whip crack that I used to make the Indiana Jones punch:

I took the tail of that whip crack and added it to the meaty punch that was shown before:

I then ran that through Analog Channel and Decapitator to get an analog distortion sound.  Below you can see my Decapitator settings:

The "Drive" knob is set really high to get the sound to distort.  Below is the result of going through Decapitator:

Now I have the distorted sound I think Ben Burtt got with the whip.  Here is my punch sound that replicates the leather jackets getting hit by a bat:

Put all of that together and you get the Indiana Jones Punch:

That is one technique.  Just because I wanted to try it out, I also went and recorded a whip and clipped the mic pre:

If you add that with the distorted tail you get a similar Indiana Jones Punch as well!  It's just a different technique:

Two techniques to getting Ben Burtt's classic Indiana Jones Punch!  I created a whole library of Indiana Jones punches (I even created some Matrix style punches and much more)!  Check out my Punch Sound Effects Library if you are interested!  Also, I made a Youtube video that goes more in-depth on the creation process.  Enjoy!