Job profile Foley artist

(ger. Geräuschemacher*in, named after the US American Foley artist of the 1930s, Jack Foley)

A Foley artist is an artistic profession in film sound. The job is the recreation and generation of non-vocal human sounds and non-human sound events inside and outside the image, as well as sound effects and ambiences, if needed.

Duties and Tasks:

Key aspects of the work of Foley artists are

  • the making of synchronised foot steps and movements and
  • the creation of sounds of actions by the actors handling props

Foley artist employs a variety of props, shoes and floors, as well as their own body and the tonal characteristics of microphones for their work. They work closely with Foley mixers, who record the performance and assess it with respect to technical and artistic criteria and co-shape the outcome.

Further aspects are the

  • creation of special sound effects and ambiences and/or the
  • fabrication of basic sound material that sound designers can form into the final sound result. Ideally, the sound designer is present during the recordings.

In the era of analogue tape recordings, Foley artists had to create many sounds at the same time due to the limited numbers of track and editing possibilities then available. Today, sounds are increasingly recorded in multiple layers and complex sound events are created layer by layer, especially for cinemamatic releases. These multi-track recordings are then edited and mixed to match the picture.


Until the present day, there is no official training for Foley artists in Germany. Training is commonly carried out by a senior Foley artist. In the process, the development of individual approaches in creating different types of sounds is highly important. Over time, every Foley artist accumulates an extensive stock of items for the work that are unique in form, size, operation and sound.

Web links

The Foley artist on wikipedia