Ships’ Horns

Various Ship's Horns from freesound.org

The story

Trawling through the immense and wondrous site that is freesound.org (a bit like Pianobook but for sound effects), I came across these wonderful sound effects of ships’ horns.

The first, lower and bassier set, recorded on the River Derwent in Tasmania, are by user digifishmusic. They say:

“Sounds of a ships fog-horn at close range (about 200 meters). This is part of a 3 recording set. The ship made the same sound three times as it came up a harbour. This recording was made at night. Temperature 5 degrees C. The horn reverberates off the surrounding hills. RECORDING CHAIN: Rode NT1-A stereo pair, spaced array (70 cm), – Sound Devices MixPre > Edirol R44 @ 24 bit WAV.”

The second, higher set, is by user hoersturz. They say:

“Foghorn of the big ferry “Color Fantasy”, recorded on a foggy day from stern. The ship is leaving Oslo through the Oslofjorden on its journey to Kiel. Another ship is crossing and honking its foghorn, already close.
Recorded with Telinga Pro 8 Stereo Dat (without dish) on Zoom H2n.”

Packaging them into this instrument sounds like a mixture of brass ensemble, organ, and, well, Ships’ Horns.

Reviews for Ships’ Horns

  • Sound
  • Character
  • Playability
  • Inspiration
  • GUI

Leave a review to let others know what you thought of the instrument!

  • Very simple and warm tone

    Sound is nice, warm and simple. However, there is no parameter, so given that you cannot create your own sound, it might be a little difficult to fit in to some music.

    Asuka Amane17 October 2021
  • Beep Beep!

    There are four different samples here. Three of them are in a velocity layer on the lowest part of the keys, and the fourth covers the upper range. The lower samples are mapped from 1-42, 43-84, and 85-127. I found it nearly impossible to trigger the 1-42 range. It probably would have been better to compress these ranges more towards the top. The middle velocity range has a sound not dissimilar to a tuba or a bassoon. It's kind of fun. The upper range unfortunately has a lot of what sounds like diesel engine noise in it. It's a lot less unique and characterful. overall, this instrument is well edited and fun.

    Sam Ecoff03 November 2021
  • Just a standard square wave...

    I was looking forward to hearing what this library sounded like, but it is basically a square wave synthesizer. There is definitely some noise and hissing especially in the higher ranges, most likely since this sound wasn't recorded in a studio setting. I think it definitely has potential to be a really cool instrument, but some more work is needed.

    Christopher13 October 2021
  • Unique sound but not for me

    Theres no doubt this sound is unique but for me personally its not very usable. It kind of has a brassy synthy quality in the mid range but the sound itself is pretty honky and jarring so i think its only useful in these kinds of situations. For the most part my music is really chill so i don't think i would ever use this. Its an interesting sample idea and i hope others like it more than me but for me personally i wouldent use this. I think the low end is pretty cool and fat. I think it could be fun to sound design this into some kind of unrecognizable bass sound

    septemberwalk09 November 2021
  • A ship horn can be too noisy I guess

    I can't imagine how hard it actually is to properly sample a ship horn. This one contains a lot of noise, but aren't they super noisy by default anyway? The samples spread across the keybed sound overstretched, so for example, if you go somewhere in mid to high range you might get the sound of a car horn. Is that useful? It's up to you to decide.

    Alex Raptakis28 October 2021