Car crashes

A scrap yard – heaven with a sledge hammer.
– Mark Estdale

Actual car crashes sound lots different than swinging & smashing cars with hammers & such, because of the mass involved. When you run a 1 ton object into a concrete wall, the huge energy dispersion that takes place actually does translate into the audio, most notably in the initial transient. There’s not a ton of debris flying around in an actual wreck. We had to Foley the debris ourselves, and we did it on-site, using all kinds of car parts dropped from various heights onto various surfaces.

Most times, a lower speed collision will actually sound more violent than a high speed collision, because you can hear the car material “crumple” a bit, whereas in a high speed (70 mph +), the car gets pancaked so fast, that you get a big ol’ transient, but not a lot of “detail”, if you will.

Anyway, if I were trying to Foley an actual crash on a budget, I’d figure out a way to smash something with a lot of mass into an actual junked out car. Maybe just dropping a wrecking ball on it might do the trick, if you can talk the junkyard guy into it!
– Mike Carviezel

For recordings of metal breaking, bending and being smashed, this sound library will get you started.