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How FX Masters Create Spaceship Sounds

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The world of spaceship sound design is more complex than you would think—considering that the end result is mostly drone-y hums when the ships appear in film. “Each spaceship sound in sci-fi culture is unique and has differences in the way that they rumble, and in the subtleties of their atmosphere,” as Star Trek fan and noise musician Spike Snell points out in an interview with Atlas Obscura. Snell runs a YouTube channel where he collects his favorite ambient engine sounds. The audio is often quite strange, and the production is usually appropriately weird.

Peter Lago says: “One thing I did for The 100, I was shopping at a Fresh and Easy, and they had this freezer that made this incredible, “OOOOMMMMM, so I just stuck my recorder in there and closed it, and just stood outside of the freezer for a minute or so. Then I took that recording, and cleaned it up, and it was kind of elegant.”

For more odd-io, check out an archive of hundreds of out-of-print noise records here.

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