Deadpool 2 is a huge hit around the world, and its soundscape is just as action-packed as the rest of the movie.

Here’s the in-depth story on how that sound was created, covering everything from wild katana shings, massive fireballs, and punchy explosions – to the challenges of keeping things focused, unexpected, and delicately shifting between light comedy and heavy action:

Written by Jennifer Walden. Images courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox. Contains mild spoilers. 

Marvel’s sassy superhero Deadpool returns to the big screen in Deadpool 2 and this sequel is just as fun as the first film. There are huge explosions and impossible melee fights. Deadpool even deflects bullets with his katana swords — er, at least he makes a valiant attempt.

This time around, Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) builds a team of new ‘superheroes,’ dubbed X-Force, that help him to save a young mutant named Russell (Julian Dennison), who has the ability to shoot fireballs from his hands. Russell is pursued by a time-traveling cyborg named Cable (Josh Brolin). He wants to eliminate Russell, aka ‘Firefist,’ in order to alter the future and save his family. But Deadpool believes he can save the kid and still change the future. All it takes is love and a dose of luck.

A Sound Effect talks with Formosa Group’s supervising sound editor Mark Stoeckinger, sound designer/re-recording mixer Martyn Zub, and sound designer Alan Rankin. They’re joined by sound designer Chuck Michael, who was also an integral part of the sound team. Here, the four team members share details of how they created the sound of Deadpool 2.

Deadpool’s trademark katanas get some good use in Deadpool 2 — taking out bad guys and deflecting bullets. Can you tell me about your approach to the sword sounds in the film? Did you do a recording session of shings? Was there any processing or filtering to enhance those sounds?

Sound Team: Several of us worked on Deadpool’s katanas. There wasn’t any specific sword recording done for Deadpool 2 however very few sounds in any film nowadays go “untweaked.” Deadpool 2 is broad so the sounds in the entire film need to be broad at times as well. We all hate loose sounding guns yet in this film that was part of the comedy.

Real katanas (and pretty much all swords) actually clack instead of shing. Over the years, we all have made sword sounds with machete hits, metal rings, and tuning forks. We processed those with EQ and compression and various pitch bends and reverbs to make libraries of those types of sounds.

For sequences that Chuck covered, he had a ton of really great material that was recorded for The Wolverine (but don’t tell this to Deadpool). On that film, Chuck went over to the metal shop at Fox Studios and just banged on stuff. Anything that made a good sound went to the Foley Stage, where Dan O’Connell (who also did Foley on Deadpool 2) recorded hours of material.

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