[Clarification after some of the answers given below: Specifically, the sound is a "thwap" "thwap" type of sound, repeated at irregular intervals. I have found 5 different mob spawners in my world, and have checked for the sound on peaceful and non-peaceful modes. The only places near my spawners and areas that I have completely cleared out that I hear the "spawner noise" is in a radius around the spawner. I hadn't done the experiment to determine range, figuring this was common knowledge. The initial answers below, lead me to believe it is not, or that I have a unique install.]

I have a long (1Km) minecart track, and I'm astonished at how many mob spawners I hear as I move along it. I'd like to find them, but have been unsuccessful in my searches. I suppose I could carve out a 17x17x17 region around my location. Seems excessive. Looking for something better.


On the wiki, I have found no indication as to the range at which a spanwer makes noise. Is it 17m Euclidean? (That is the activation range.)

Does the noise change as a function of range?

An obvious approach to finding them, once the range is known, would be to move around to several different places that are "on the edge" of the "noise envelope" and then find the center (using F3 and the coordinates therein). Is there a better approach?

[Note: I have tried to use fraps and other tools to record these sounds. There appears to be issues with some installs of Windoze XP and use of these tools to record sounds. Can't figure out how to record sound. Any help appreciated.]

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    I have not experienced mob spawners making any type of sound. What exactly are you hearing? – user9983 Mar 19 '12 at 12:35
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    I can't speak for others, but I can hear in stereo very well it seems (maybe its all in my head?) and can usually tell where something is by walking around and listining to the direction I hear it from. I'd be more inclined to think I'm crazy except I've actually found many things in minecraft doing this. – Ender Mar 19 '12 at 12:51
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    @Ender Yes, all sounds in Minecraft are in stereo — you're supposed to be able to do that. The questionable part of this question is the claim that spawners have a specific sound. – Kevin Reid Mar 19 '12 at 13:11
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    @kevinReid Sweet, it's always great to learn that your not crazy. – Ender Mar 19 '12 at 16:50
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    Not sure what to do here, question is totally bogus. Turns out, for each of my monster spawners there was a lava lake underneath, and the sound I was hearing was resources\newsound\liquid\lavaPop.ogg With release 1.2.2 (or was is 1.2.1?) I started hearing that sound, I had never heard it before. Since the sound doesn't sound like lava, at least to me, and since the lava lakes were buried underneath the spawners, and I hadn't searched them out, I attributed the noise to spawners. Mea Culpa. – John Mar 24 '12 at 14:16

It turns out the "thwap" is the "lavapop.ogg" sound. To find the source of the sound, I just had to dig down to the lava lake under neath my spawners. Turning the lava lakes into obsidian (using water) stopped the annoying sound, and now I can go back to my experience grinder in peace. Sadly, there appears to not be a spawner specific sound. I was so excited when I thought there was one. The lavapop.ogg sound got turned on in 1.2.4 (or so).

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Do you mean Ambience?

This was apparently added to multiplayer in 1.2.1 however doesn't indicate that a mob spawner is near, rather it indicates that an unlit cave is near.

For ambient sound to play, the game requires a space of at least 1x1x1 blocks positioned 10 - 20 blocks away from the player in any direction, and completely filled with a light level less than eight without any lighting from the sky.

To my knowledge mob spawners don't make any specific sounds which would allow you to identify them from a distance.

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    To be clear, is this Alpha 1.2.1, or Beta 1.2.1? (it's been around since before Minecraft 1.2) – Unionhawk Mar 19 '12 at 15:42
  • @Unionhawk Whatever this refers to – Justin Mar 19 '12 at 16:50
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    Dungeons are always unlit caves (unless lava spills into one), so they will produce ambience sound — they're just not the only thing to do so. – Kevin Reid Mar 19 '12 at 16:57
  • @KevinReid Yes, but this answer could explain exactly what sound the OP is hearing. – Unionhawk Mar 19 '12 at 17:16
  • @Justin No, it is not Ambience. Very familiar with all the Ambience sounds, and definitely not one of them. Also, double checked my install, and listened to all the ambience *.ogg files just to make sure I wasn't crazy. None of them match. – John Mar 20 '12 at 11:39

Spawners do not make a particular sound. The best you can hope for is "noisy neighbors", which is when you hear the sounds of the mob that the spawner will spawn.

Dig towards the sound. There isn't much difference between a dungeon (that has mob spawners) and an unlit cave with a pile of enemies, though.

In some areas of a desert biome, if you see a large sunken section of sand in a roughly square pattern, that might be a case of where a dungeon is close to the surface. The sandstone holding up the sand was overwritten by the air required as part of the dungeon - and the next block update caused the sand to fill it in. I've found one dungeon this way, so it's rare but possible.

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Yeah. I thought it was a slime spawner, but it's just the sound of lava pouring. If it is still and not pouring it's silent, like water that is running makes a sound.

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Specifically, the sound is a "thwap" "thwap" type of sound, repeated at irregular intervals.

I am almost certain that what you are hearing are slimes jumping. Slimes spawn only in certain areas (y ≤ 40 and in specific randomly-determined chunks), and do so even if they are fully lit. There is no known relationship to the locations of spawners.

It is still worth your while to track down the slimes, unless you already have adequate stock of Slimeballs with which to make Sticky Pistons and Magma Cream.

To track things based on sound, wear headphones so that you have good stereo separation. Get in the area, wait for the sound, then turn around as it continues to get an impression of the direction, and dig in that direction.

This can only determine horizontal location. For the vertical dimension, you must simply dig up or down and check whether the sound gets louder or quieter (but remember that if you dig a staircase then you might also be moving further away horizontally).

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  • It is not slimes, because I hear the sound on peaceful. – John Mar 20 '12 at 16:16
  • @John Once upon a time, tiny slimes would spawn on peaceful. The wiki says this is currently broken, but maybe it's out of date. I strongly suggest exhibiting an audio or audio+video recording (you asked how elsewhere — please mention your OS so we can recommend software). Or, you could go to your minecraft/resources/ folder and browse the sound files there until you find one that matches what you heard. – Kevin Reid Mar 20 '12 at 17:25
  • @KevinRead Windows XP. I've browsed the resources file, and not found anything that matches, which concerns me, when I get home tonight, I'll double check slimes, but I did check them once already. – John Mar 20 '12 at 19:03
  • @John My understanding is that "Fraps" is good software for recording video and audio from games, and can be used for short videos without purchase. I don't use Windows so I don't have any personal suggestions. – Kevin Reid Mar 20 '12 at 19:56

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