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The Man Who Makes Hollywood's Smallest Sounds (priceonomics.com)
52 points by ryan_j_naughton on Apr 1, 2015 | hide | past | web | favorite | 10 comments

Awesome. I have a lot of respect for people who do this for a living - such an interesting profession, and one that, at its best, is completely unnoticeable.

In music, I always love weird samples - things that you don't get out of sample packs or drum machines. I think I got into it from IDM music, and the work of the Japanese artists Kashiwa Daisuke and World's End Girlfriend - they'd use these samples that make you feel like you're in a movie scene, yet fit beautifully in with the music. The breath sample at 4:58 in Kashiwa Daisuke's Stella is a memorable one.

Also interesting to see weird samples hit the pop consciousness - obviously the multitude of "Ha", "Uh", and "Hoo" samples in modern hip-hop come to mind, but also the weirder ones like the bed springs you hear in Jersey Club and trap music (google "trap bed springs sample" for examples).

The level of creativity is astounding. I remember a documentary where Ben Burtt walks out into a field, hits a high tension cable with a tuning fork, and that becomes the sound for blaster rifles in Star Wars.

I doubt many HN readers are also fans of serial radio melodrama, but if you listen to "The Archers" podcast and think about the sound effects it's pretty incredible how you can feel like you're, say, outside on a working farm when all the sounds are being generated by a talented sound artist/editor.


Radio drama is a great background filler while working.

Though I have to admit, a part of me wanted 'The Archers' to be about the continuing adventures of Sterling and Mallory.

65 years, 17,622 episodes... my god...

Here's a wonderful old Jam Handy documentary about radio sound effects.

Back of the Mike: https://archive.org/details/Backofth1938

With apologies to this guy, I found the foley in Breaking Bad... bad.

I specifically remember watching the scene described in the opening paragraph because Gus's shoes distracted me out of the scene. It didn't quite fit for me.

You sure it's a foley issue? Because it's his job to make complementing sound effects and it's someone else's job to decide how to use them in the final mix.

For those of you who are interested in this kind of thing and fans of The Wire, be sure to check out this AMA with one of their sound editors. Fascinating stuff!


Reminds me of Frank Welker, Hollywoods 'animal voice' guy, who has voiced the likes of Scooby Doo and Nibbler in Futurama

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