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Old January 30 2014, 03:51 AM   #18
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Re: TOS Sound Effects

Robert D. Robot wrote: View Post
^ I saw a local, Central NY PBS special on Ben Burtt, Jr. which included him recreating some of the Star Wars sounds. One segment showed him hitting a support cable hooked to a utility pole, which created the "pew pew" sound that was modified and used for the blaster/laser fire. (His dad, Dr. Ben Burtt senior was a chemistry professor at Syracuse University who was the instructor for my freshman biology class years ago!)
Yes, that is in fact how the photon torpedo sound effect was made.

urbandefault wrote: View Post
I read somewhere that the transporter sound was of a toilet tank filling, recorded in a studio restroom.
Whoever claimed that was either joking or lying. The box set of the full TOS soundtrack reveals that it was created by electronic music pioneer Jack Cookerly, who'd invented several electronic instruments used by Alexander Courage in the pilot scores, including the "magic box," a proto-synthesizer made out of a Hammond organ, which was used to create the transporter sound. There's actually a track on the CD set where you can hear Alexander Courage and "magic box" operator Jack Cookerly discovering the transporter sound by accident as they experiment with tones while working on the shimmery "planet atmosphere" sound effect for Talos IV.

Redfern wrote: View Post
CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
Warped9 wrote: View Post
The photon torpedo sound effect was originally from the 1953 film War Of The Worlds.
I thought that was debunked? That is to say, I remember reading on the board that they used the same idea, but it's not literally the same recording. I have no link to that though.
Hmm, first I've read that it was "debated". Now, it is true the "wing tip" blasters of the war machines were fired in rapid succession and as such each "Thoong!" partially overlapped the prior, but I reasoned the base sound started with a single "Thoong!" and the sound labs that provided Trek's audio effects just played them at different rates.
No, they're very similar sounds, but not identical. The WotW sound is softer and less resonant with a narrower pitch range, more "muffled"-sounding, as well as considerably shorter. No doubt they were both created in the same way, by striking taut metal as described above, but they are distinct sounds. At least, if it is from the same origin, the WotW sound has been heavily processed. But it seems more likely to me that they were created separately, or perhaps were different variants of the sound created during the same session (although in that case you'd think the WotW sound would be used more often).

I also heard a single dramatic "recoil" used for comic effect in an early Martin and Lewis film. Jerry and Dean are riding a train and try to setlle for the night in a sleeper car. Jerry Lewis strikes his head against the the underside of the upper bunk and I heard the famous photon effect with a great trailing "echo". That film, like WotW, dated from the 50s.
It's also used as the sound of a giant spring that the Joker uses to escape from prison in a Batman episode.

And to my (admittedly untrained) ear, I suspect the phaser sounds were originally created to depict the war machines' "magnetic legs".
Not sure if that was the first use, but yes, it's definitely the same sound at different speeds/pitches.
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