Learn what’s behind Diablo III’s best sound effects from Blizzard’s sound designers.

We gathered the sounds of our favorite monsters in Diablo III and had sound designers Joseph Lawrence, Michael Johnson, and Kris Giampa explain the unusual ingredients in each of them to us. Read the full feature by Yannick LeJacq for more. 

The festering maggots in the Witch Doctor’s “Grasp of the Dead” spell

Mike: The Festering Maggots were made by me by combining two predominant layers: The first was a recording of a wet silicon oven mitt being folded back and forth, and the second was various goo and gore sounds that fellow sound designer Jonas Laster had recorded by utilizing hand soap and other gruesome things.

The Toad of Hugeness

Mike: The vocalizations for the huge toad from the Plague of Toad spell were made by pitching down real recordings of bullfrog croaks. The tongue-whoosh impact on the enemy target was a bullwhip highly saturated and compressed for effect. The swallow was just a recording of someone taking some gulps from a cup of water and really close mic-ing it for that proximity effect that you get. That really sold the size of the frog for me.

The Demon Hunter’s Rapid Fire ability 

Kris: Rapid Fire took many iterations before we stuck with the one we shipped with. We wanted to have it sound aggressive yet organic at the same time. It basically consists of a few layers that are triggered randomly with every shot, which happens very, very quickly. You will generally hear the wooden “chunkiness” of the crossbow, along with some low-end thumps mixed with a ricochet type of sound every now and again to give it a little bit of a machine-gun type feel. Along with each projectile shooting off, there is a “firey” type of loop attached while also triggering aggressive sounding one-shot whooshes as it flies away from the player. We didn’t want the loop to be too audible for the player, as it could easily cloud up the mix too much. So you don’t hear the “firey” loop of the projectile too much as it flies away from the player, but you will hear it more obviously as it flies by your head if you play co-op with another Demon Hunter.

The Demonic Hell Bearer

Mike: The vocalizations for the Demon Hell Bearer (Siege Wall Monster) were performed by voice actor Fred Tatasciore and recorded by Mike here at Blizzard. Once we had the recordings from the voice actor I pitched them down quite a bit and layered in all sorts of animals—primarily pigs, tigers, and bears. The Vomit Soldiers (Demon Troopers) were basically Fred Tatasciore pitched down with some bass-enhancement plugins, and then layered back on top of themselves, offset, and recorded out as a final audio file. 

The Witch Doctor’s “Acid Cloud” ability

Mike: The actual spellcast sound was a mixture of verbed-out voices, lava bubbles, paint splats, and some steam iron chuffs. The residual acid loop that you hear after the spell is cast is actually Mike recording some heated-up olive oil in a skillet with water being trickled down into it.