Scenes in space without any sound

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by JesterFace, Jul 30, 2019.

  1. JesterFace

    JesterFace Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Many people here, if not all, know that sound can't travel in space.

    What if there were versions of some of our favourite episodes with only Captain's Log entries etc when we see a ship or station in space?
    Phasers, explosions, warp effects and all the other sound effects would not be there.
    Might be interesting, would it take away much from the experience?
     
  2. Will Assimilate

    Will Assimilate Captain Captain

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    I never thought about it, i guess it could be interesting.
    Do we hear a "clank" sound when a ship docks at the ds9? I dont remember..
    I actually think silent explosions would be great.
     
  3. Tosk

    Tosk Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I don't see the point to be honest, apart from the occasional stylistic touch. But as a series-long approach a la Firefly or nuBSG, I'd rather they didn't.
     
  4. Spock Riding

    Spock Riding Commodore Premium Member

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    I thought the Balance of Terror phaser effects were handled well. I always assumed that the "pew-pew" from the outside of the ship was what was heard inside the ship close to the phaser banks. Even on the bridge, the phasers drained the ship power dimming the lights and the ship shook by the massive discharge of power accompanied internal ship sounds of the phaser discharge. The bursts around the Romulan ship were definitely silent in space (unless you were inside the Romulan ship then we hear the blasts hitting the hull and its reverberations). Sometimes the music score used drum thumps to accent the space bursts, but that's the exciting music, not a burst sound effect.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2019
  5. F. King Daniel

    F. King Daniel Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I loved the breach scene at the start of ST'09, which acknowledged soundless space when a USS Kelvin crewperson was blown out into space. But overall, I find soundless space distracting. I much preferred Serenity's sound in space to Firefly's silence.
     
  6. Tosk

    Tosk Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Only when they're in that nebula/distortion/atmosphere thing...the purple stuff. :)
    The rest of the film space is silent.
     
  7. Damian

    Damian Commodore Commodore

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    I think soundless space is cool as a one-off thing, like when it was done in Star Trek (2009). Or in a movie like 2001 when your goal is realism.

    But in general, with Star Trek, I'm fine with taking some liberties to increase the drama. I mean, imagine the epic space battle in Nemesis with no sound. It wouldn't be nearly as dramatic. Imagine the Enterprise and Scimitar collision in silence. Or the battles of the Dominion War on DS9 with no sound.

    I remember reading in "The Making of Star Trek" that they considered some of those things when making the show and decided they had to take some liberties with science for the dramatic and action elements.

    So I guess what I'm saying is I don't think I'd alter the existing episodes to eliminate sound. I think something would be lost in the translation.
     
  8. The Were-Behr

    The Were-Behr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I am too. Otherwise when Kirk is tied up and all his devices taken from him, how would he record his captain's log.
     
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  9. Dry Bones 37

    Dry Bones 37 Admiral Admiral

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    I can see the appeal but silence is something that really bothers people, so I don't see the need for no sound.
     
  10. F. King Daniel

    F. King Daniel Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The computer is voice activated. He talks in his big commanding voice and the communicator safely stored away in the next room records.
     
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  11. valkyrie013

    valkyrie013 Captain Captain

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    In Babylon 5 Thirdspace, they had the captian in a spacesuit in the battle, and when they zoom in on him, there's no sound, which makes for a cool effect.
     
  12. JonnyQuest037

    JonnyQuest037 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yeah, that was a really effective moment in that opening. Just eerie.

    But generally, I'm fine with Trek having sound effects in space. It's space opera as well as science fiction and deserves a little artistic license.
     
  13. Mysterion

    Mysterion Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Agreed. And, besides, alongside the myriad of liberties Trek has taken with science over the last fifty-plus years, sound in space is a pretty minor offense.
     
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  14. marlboro

    marlboro Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Being able to hear in a vacuum is one of the lesser known features of the Universal Translator.
     
  15. Maurice

    Maurice Admiral Premium Member

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    Some early TOS effects were played silent with only the music carrying the drama, but they added sound effects to them in the -R versions. Boo.
     
  16. Delta Vega

    Delta Vega Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    There shouldn't be added sound effects in space scenes, quite simply because there is no sound in a vacuum.
    Artistic license doesn't cover it.
     
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  17. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I'll never understand why people say BSG had silent space scenes. The sound effects were muted, but they were there.


    Not me. I loved FF's silent space scenes -- it made them feel more real and vivid, not less. After all, when we see documentary footage on the news, something from a security camera or a drone, it's often silent. Even if we see something live from a distance, the sound from it might be delayed or too faint to make out. So a scene without sound effects resonates with real-life experience and feels more like watching something genuine, something natural and unstaged. Putting clear sounds on everything just makes it feel more produced, more artificial.

    I absolutely loved the sound design in Alfonso CuarĂ³n's Gravity, its authentic use of silence, limiting the sounds to what the main character would've been able to hear. It was incredibly vivid and made things more dramatic, the sounds more impactful (often literally) when they did occur, because it wasn't just nonstop sonic wallpaper.

    And it's not just in space movies that silence can be a powerful ingredient in sound design. Look at the iconic Langley break-in sequence in Brian DePalma's Mission: Impossible, where Ethan Hunt broke into a vault with audio sensors, so he had to remain totally silent the whole time. Action movies usually drench us in blaring noise and driving music, so it was really powerful to have such a long sequence dependent on utter silence.


    I've never thought of sound in space scenes as something that was literally meant to be audible within the story. I see it more like background music, an embellishment for the audience's benefit. Most movie/TV space scenes have to be taken figuratively anyway, since they're full of unrealistic aspects -- ships too brightly lit, too close together, and moving too slowly, explosive fireballs roiling with turbulence that wouldn't exist in vacuum, energy beams visible in vacuum with nothing to scatter their light, etc. That's why it's refreshing when a production takes a more naturalistic approach for a change.
     
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  18. Tosk

    Tosk Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yes. I believe I brain-farted and was thinking about the visual approach to the space scenes being similar on nuBSG and Firefly.
     
  19. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    But I've heard lots of other people over the years insist that BSG's space scenes were silent, even back when it was new. I guess some people see/hear what they expect. It did have a visual similarity to Firefly and it had muted sounds, so I can see how people could conflate the two.
     
  20. Tosk

    Tosk Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Boom! Fixed. You're welcome. ;)