Where did the laser sound in STAR WARS come from anyway?

Twenty Thousand Hertz is a very cool podcast hosted and created by Dallas Taylor that explores the stories behind iconic sounds — from cartoon voices to tape reel mastering to the backmasking tactics of the "Satanic Panic." And just in time for May the 4th, they've just released a teaser for their upcoming episode that focuses on the sound design behind the Star Wars universe.

Because everyone's familiar with the mod specs on Han Solo's coveted BlasTech DL-44 blaster pistol. But the actual real-world origins of that iconic pkew pkew sound are less well-known. Check it out.

As it turns out, sound designer Ben Burtt quite literally stumbled onto the tone by accident while he was out hiking. After his backpack got caught on a guy-wire in the Poconos, he knew that the twang of elasticity was right — he just had to find a way to replicate and perfect it. Along the way, he also found the sound of a Y-Wing engine.

The full episode will be available on May 13th, with Burtt and host Dallas Taylor going even more in-depth into the physical and material voices that brought the Star Wars galaxy to life. But for now, this little clip is a nice snack for May the 4th.

Twenty Thousand Hertz Podcast

Image: Jon McCormack / 2ok Hz. Used with permission. Read the rest

The sound of All is Lost

I saw All is Lost a couple of weeks ago. It reminded me of Gravity in a way - both movies are about trying to survive on a damaged vessel. (I liked All is Lost a little more, mainly because it didn't have a wisecracking George Clooney.)

Because All is Lost has hardly any talking in it, the sounds of the water, the weather, and the ship are very important. This excellent short film has comments from All is Lost's re-recording mixer, sound designers, supervising sound editor, and the music composer.

The Sound of All is Lost Read the rest