That loud BUUUUUNNGHHGH noise in movies

lacktheknack

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Jan 19, 2009
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Sgt. Sykes said:
Owyn_Merrilin said:
Must have hit the reply button instead of quote by mistake. See above. The argument you're giving has some merit when you're talking about a garage band. It's totally spurious on the scale that Zimmer works on.
It really has to suck for all those composers which are trumped by self-taught hacks like Zimmer or Kyd.

"Trumped"

OK.

lacktheknack said:
Deny if all you want, but seeing how I'm the one with some music education background and dabbling in composition, you're not going to somehow "make me see the light".
True, sound and acoustics has been my hobby only for 15 years, but I have no formal education in the area, so okay.

Anyway not to put a too fine point on it, but let me know when you create some work at least on par with Zimmer's, will you?
Shall do! Now, if only I wasn't trapped in a career path that I increasingly loathe and eats up all my time. ;___;

EDIT: I accidentally a quote.
 

lacktheknack

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Sgt. Sykes said:
Shall do! Now, if only I wasn't trapped in a career path that I increasingly loathe and eats up all my time. ;___;
I feel your pain and I guess I should be sorry for all the great music we're losing this way. Though, I must wonder what is it exactly that's holding you back from at least hacking your way into the industry of blockbuster movie soundtracks the way Zimmer has managed. I mean, you can get around to creating those great orchestral pieces once you're swimming in gold from those movie scores.
I know you're trying to be sarcastic to a painful degree, but there's only ONE reason I can't be writing blockbuster soundtracks right now, and it's the same reason I'm not on the Top 40 Hot Performers list: Despite any talent and ability I possess, I highly doubt I'm the 1 of 1,000,000 that gets a big breakthrough.
 

DanielBrown

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Dec 3, 2010
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Objectable said:
The Inception foghorn is not a foghorn. Its a song.
<youtube=XsKgXZHofRo>
Its that song slowed down to an extreme length.
Think they're talking about this sound, not the song.

10 hour challenge GO!

Also found this;
1. Inception Horn
The horn featured in the original score for the Christopher Nolan film Inception, composed by Zack Hemsey. The horn takes the form of a mammoth trombone backed up by heavy percussion (often repeated multiple times for maximum results of 'Inceptionation') that is played at intervals throughout the course of the composed piece of music to create a more than dramatic atmosphere, giving the characters a valiant amount of purpose.

Side effects of frequent exposure to the Inception Horn may include "the dream collapsing", "checking your totem" and everything happening in slow motion.
Leonardo Dicaprio: "This was not part of the plan!"
Joseph Gordon-Levitt: "The dream's collapsing!"
Inception Horn: "BWAAAAOORRRRRRRR."
Member of Audience: "OHHHH BOYYYYYY"
 

Flutterguy

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Jun 26, 2011
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Sgt. Sykes said:
Anyway nice talking to you guys, but since neither of you is providing me with any music, I have to go and look some up on my own. Sigh.
I can graphically sum up the argument that took place.
 

Full

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I feel it's more of a "BWAAAH", not a "BUNNNNNGH". That sounds like cryptically yelling "Bung", which is kind of gross, when really it's more of a horn sound.

Anyway, I don't really prefer when the noise is used, I just think it's kind of ugly. It can be cool, of course. It's also a trailer and made for marketing. Most of the time the film makers don't touch that stuff.

That being said I really like lots of trailer-made production music, not just by Zimmer but many other groups, it's pretty cool to listen to by itself and "Inception Horns" aren't really the crux of that.
 

MADGator

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Since we are on the topic of what to call the noise, I think we need to give it an official name. It really isn't a foghorn. While Inception did a lot to popularize it, I think Mass Effect 3 gives us what we need to work with. I suggest we label it the Reaper fart.
 

Owyn_Merrilin

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May 22, 2010
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Sgt. Sykes said:
Owyn_Merrilin said:
Must have hit the reply button instead of quote by mistake. See above. The argument you're giving has some merit when you're talking about a garage band. It's totally spurious on the scale that Zimmer works on.
It really has to suck for all those composers which are trumped by self-taught hacks like Zimmer or Kyd.

lacktheknack said:
Deny if all you want, but seeing how I'm the one with some music education background and dabbling in composition, you're not going to somehow "make me see the light".
True, sound and acoustics has been my hobby only for 15 years, but I have no formal education in the area, so okay.

Anyway not to put a too fine point on it, but let me know when you create some work at least on par with Zimmer's, will you?
Okay, here:

http://vocaroo.com/i/s0YoFMFYIr4F

I knocked that out in a couple of hours, so I apologize for it not being a full score, but it's the kind of proof of concept that Zimmer himself makes when he's first showing his ideas to a director. It's a sample of a driving, mid-tempo track, like what might get used in the background for an action scene in the middle of the film -- one that's not at the climax, basically. Could also be hacked up and/or looped in various ways for use in trailers and so on. It's not tied to any particular film or character, because that's really not how Zimmer works. He kind of creates a range of tracks that can be used by the director as needed.


Also:
lacktheknack said:
Thought you might want a notification.

Edit: Major problem with that track actually, too much melody. If it were really a Zimmer score it would have slightly more complex chord progressions, but basically no melody beyond what's sketched by the root notes of the chords. What few melodies he does slip in there are usually very simple, simple enough that in a more traditional score they'd just be a counterpoint to the lead instrument.

Edit Edit: Also, I realize that piece isn't exactly up to par for even a snippet of that length from a full score. But then I don't have days to perfect it, people working under me, equipment on the level that Zimmer works with...

In other words, it's a sketch, not a painting. If this were my job and I had some serious resources to work with, it would actually be pretty fun to flesh it out.
 

Brian Tams

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Like a lot of original ideas that come out of Hollywood, I liked it in the Inception trailers.

It has now been beaten to death so much by the rest of the industry that I can't stand. Fuck you, Hollywood, you're worse than the internet when it comes to killing good things through overuse.
 

SecondPrize

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I like it. Everyone blames it on inception but i'm 95% sure DICE used it first in the BF Bad Company 2 single player campaign.
 

vun

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Apr 10, 2008
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It doesn't really bother me, but that's only because I really like the sound of foghorns and whatnot. But yeah, the film industry is very same-y, were I more into film then it probably would bother me more.

Still, foghorns sound awesome.
 

omega 616

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I know a lot of people put the horn-esk noise on inception but I'm about 90% another film was first to use it, inception just made it famous.

As for annoying film things, shaky fight cam pisses me off! You know the fast paced, close up of fights with shed loads of cuts and parkinson's sufferer manning the camera. You have just ruined a perfectly good fight scene by trying to be more intense, now it looks like a live action cartoon dust cloud fight... Just catch glimpses of strikes.
 

Owyn_Merrilin

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Sgt. Sykes said:
Owyn_Merrilin said:
Okay, here:

http://vocaroo.com/i/s0YoFMFYIr4F

I knocked that out in a couple of hours, so I apologize for it not being a full score, but it's the kind of proof of concept that Zimmer himself makes when he's first showing his ideas to a director. It's a sample of a driving, mid-tempo track, like what might get used in the background for an action scene in the middle of the film -- one that's not at the climax, basically. Could also be hacked up and/or looped in various ways for use in trailers and so on. It's not tied to any particular film or character, because that's really not how Zimmer works. He kind of creates a range of tracks that can be used by the director as needed.
Not bad for a pitch. It reminds me of some old tunes I used to make. Good thing you keep it down, unlike many indie music makers who always has to throw everything at the listener (annoying).

Could work for a low-level sinister scene or something I guess (it reminds me of some game soundtracks of old).

And I just listened to almost the whole Dark Knight soundtrack for comparison so maybe I could give you some feedback (since we were talking about Zimmer in the first place). You're right about the 'more melody' part, but what's interesting is that in this case this would actually work against your tune. First, it's all on one noise level, while if you listen to Zimmer (or anybody similar), they put a lot of work into the dynamic range and alternating fast and slow or loud and silence (not to mention various sounding instruments, but that doesn't need to be in the first pitch of course). In fact I'd say this is the biggest part of Zimmer's music and the reason why it's so popular and recognizable. Even the infamous foghorn works because it changes its loudness, is part of a rather complex tune and in the original track isn't being sound over and over. All unlike those retarded trailers which totally missed the point and just go 'booooom'. Those bass sounds only work this well when being alternated with completely different set of sounds and when timed well. And frankly this is something Zimmer completely nails.

Just to wit, here's the measured dynamic range [http://dr.loudness-war.info/details.php?id=42842] of the Dark Knight OST uncompressed. Even the bullshit CD version [http://dr.loudness-war.info/details.php?id=35695] shows that the best tracks are those with the highest DR.

With your track, I'd say just use the part between 0:35 and 0:50 as a core, then do something completely different around it. Alternative fast and slow parts, loud and silent, just... something. At the very least, at around 01:00 mark I expected the tune to finally go faster. Even if the tune would be perfect for some particular movie scene, it would still need alterations to make things interesting. Not to mention these days, rarely a scene takes longer than a few seconds. You try to keep the tune consistent, which is nice (again unlike so many indie music makers), but the result is it feels like there isn't that much idea behind it and you're just reusing the stuff you came up with when you thought 'hey let's write a tune'. Which of course is exactly what you did because I asked you to :D Just sayin'.

Back to Zimmer for comparison, check for example this track, which is probably the most similar one in its 'low level sinister' feel. Even if it's rather noisy, the dynamic is definitely a big part. Also every 30 seconds or so, the theme changes to something else. And even if I'd argue that the individual parts are better than the whole, this track is still very listenable because it keeps things interesting.

All very good points. I was kind of thinking about what I could do with it if I really had the time and inclination before I went to bed, and your suggestion there with taking that section as a core and building something much more complex around it was pretty much it. In fact if you noticed the melody there, if not the underlying chords, was already a variation of the theme immediately preceding it. I did this on an open source guitar tab program [footnote]Tux Guitar, a Guitar Pro clone[/footnote], which makes altering dynamics a major pain in the rear end -- it only really supports the Itallian notations, stuff like Sforzando and Piano, which makes it a major pain in the butt to do that kind of tweaking in it, since that kind of notation has a lot of room for interpretation, and it's a computer doing the interpreting. It's also kind of a pain to work with multiple instruments, thanks to the way multitracking is set up. You can't even easily see what more than one instrument is doing at a given time, which I think is supposed to be helpful for people using it to learn an individual part, but it makes it terrible for transcribing a whole piece. I don't know how the people who routinely put out tablature in the format do it, I wouldn't have the patience with that interface even if I did have the skill and patience with the music. If it were easier to work with I might have been able to include some woodwinds and brass to provide texture, and maybe even messed with the dynamics, although that takes a /lot/ of time no matter what the interface when you're doing this stuff by hand, instead of on an actual instrument. Also if I were to really flesh the piece out, the rhythm would be more varied. It was kind of one rhythm, one tempo, the train's not stopping for anything there XD

Really, though, that must have been the first thing I've composed, if you can really call it that, in two years or more. I was really burned out on guitar for a while after I switched majors, and by the time I was emotionally ready to play again, I was too short on both time and people to play with to ever really get back in the groove. Even the midi instruments I used there only sound better than the basic crap every computer comes with because I recently downloaded a free software synth for use with old games that use general midi, it wasn't primarily for composition.

P.S.: Also, looking at the dynamic range for the Dark Knight soundtrack, it's actually quite a bit lower than I would have expected. It's probably about right for music, but film soundtracks have a huge dynamic range that actually gets used, you'd think 11-15 decibels dynamic range wouldn't be enough to keep up with the varying dialog and sound effect levels. It's also surprising that the vinyl version has a higher dynamic range than the CD version, since Vinyl is much more limited in terms of the maximum amplitude it can store, especially in the bass region. There's a recording of the William Tell overture that's famous for actually snapping turntable styli, because the cannon shots are too high and too sudden of an amplitude for them to physically handle. I guess that CD is more for mass market customers, though, and was mixed with a noisy car in mind instead of a quiet listening room or theater.
 

AjHedgehog

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That exact noise is my text tone, scares the crap out of people when it goes off. Also great if you forget to turn your phone off in the cinema as it just blends into the sound of the film.

On Topic: As people have said before, it fits right in with sharp cuts that are seemingly used whether they work or not in trailers these days. Its all show and supposed to be attention grabbing, it works as well unsurprisingly hard to ignore something that tries to blow the eardrums into the centre of your head
 

Brainpaint

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The "Brass Swell" is the 21st century equivalent of the "Stabbing Strings" in the aftermath of Psycho.
It'll die out or become overused to the point of parody eventually.
 

Not Lord Atkin

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Oct 25, 2008
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do you mean that thing used in inception and that also somehow became the sound the Reapers make in Mass Effect 3?

I think it's a great effect but way overused. sort of cheapens the impact.
 

Gottesstrafe

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Hero in a half shell said:
The truth is that there is actually no BUUUUUNNGGHHGGHH Sound in those movies. You are just going mental.

Yeah, it's Inception, and the purpose of it was that it was a note taken from a piece of classical music that was slowed way down, because that's what they thought it would sound like if you were hearing background music while asleep (especially with the whole time moving slower plotpoint)

Being successfully implemented, it has now been stolen and repeated in new situations which lack the original thought or intention, meaning it's pretty pointless and completely misses why the thing was interesting in the first place.
Was just about to type that. Even brought a few musical comparisons to highlight it:


 

agent_orange420

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Sep 30, 2011
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What does get a bit srange, is how certain songs are now termed 'epic noise'
Clint Mansell (Guy with no music training but lost of experience in a electronic band) said on a BBC doc recently how this gets stuffed onto any video on youtube to make it epic. Best example i can remember of recent Charlie Brooker (from 0.25)

And Clint Mansell was blown away when the Lord of the rings turned this into a full orchestra for two towers trailer. showed him what he COULD have done with it if he had gone the traditional route, got music training etc.

The sounds of cinema, well worth a viewing.

New X-men trailer oddly, has gone with this:


Which i loved in Sunshine, and I thought that Kick ass used it very well to fit in with the strobe lighting and the emotional pull of the scene. But felt out of place for the X-Men.

But it does seem that now there is a call for 'epic music please!' and its either of them. or chariots of fire.

And the BURRRRHGH noise? Thought it was odd the terminators in termintor salvation were making that as well. Maybe they were reaver? would have made the film better for sure.