I'm working on a scientific novel where I need to describe the futuristic drones are initiating and booting. How do I describe that kind of sound? The sound that is similar to the sound when an auto-machinegun turns, or when a robot start moving?

Thank you!

  • You have an idea in mind, probably based on sci-fi sound effects on TV and in movies. There is no standard startup sound like you describe. Computer booting is silent unless it is designed to produce sounds for human feedback, or you can hear the sound of small fans or tiny motors spinning up (which you wouldn't even have on something like a tablet). Can you link to something like a video clip that it similar to what you envision? – fixer1234 Apr 25 '17 at 3:20
  • @fixer1234 youtu.be/iA742n_Bs88?t=23m43s Listen to the sound when he turns on the turret. – Xipu Li Apr 25 '17 at 3:55
  • "Whirring", maybe, if you're talking about the relatively quiet "motor" spinning noise.. – fixer1234 Apr 25 '17 at 4:00
  • I’d call that turbine whine – Jim Apr 25 '17 at 4:50

If you're okay with using a little creative wording in your novel, you could describe the sound as a tintinnabulation.

a jingling or tinkling sound as if of bells

If you're looking for a mechanical sounding noise, you could use revving, whirring, or clanging.

If you're looking for a more futuristic, electronic sound, you could use blaring, bleeping or humming.

EDIT: After watching the example clip in your comment, I'm a little bit dizzy. I'm thinking I would call that sound a fitful shrill whining. But I'm not sure, it's a tough one.

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  • Thank you. And I'm looking for a word that describes the "booting" or activating sound of a futuristic machine. Something sounds like this: youtu.be/iA742n_Bs88?t=23m43s Listen to the sound when he turns on the turret. – Xipu Li Apr 25 '17 at 3:36
  • @AssenRobin, this is tough, but I edited my answer with a "creative" proposal... – RaceYouAnytime Apr 25 '17 at 3:52

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