Once upon a time someone fastened two boards together and used it to whack a friend – who promptly became a former friend. Due to one board hitting the other, the sound was louder than the pain inflicted. At least that’s the rumor. Eventually this would lead to a whole genre of cheap laughs known as “slapstick.” It isn’t clear whether the sound of sticks slapping led to the field of sound design for films but today it is practically an art form. Canadian sound designer, Jane Tattersall is thought to have a bank of 80,000 sound effects. For all who think they know what a river sounds like, Tattersall’s library has 42 river sounds.
While most people may not notice that the sound is correct, it would be glaringly apparent when the sound designers get it wrong. A scene in the back alleys of Afghanistan requires only male voices in the crowd. A winter scene should not have the sound of loons. And so it goes. The average movie uses about 700 sounds but a film like Wall-E where voices and scenery were all imagined, they used 2,600 sound effects. Everything from joy, to loneliness to a broad spectrum of drama is helped by the sound effects.
In that spirit here is an orchestra creating the sounds of rain. Watch and listen here
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