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Thread: how-to make those startling sounds in horror films

  1. #1
    Recruit, Pianissimo
    Join Date
    Jul 2005

    how-to make those startling sounds in horror films

    Ok, so this sounds dumb. I am a composer, as in songwriter. But I do quite a bit of ambient stuff as well.

    Long story short, my friend has this great horror film, and he is firing the guy he had to score it. He wants me to do it, and I showed him some of the themes that I made up, he loves them.....

    Does anyone know how to do music...for ex., as in a horror film when someone grabs another person?

    Another thing is I notice that while I have a good product, it is very rough sounding....I don't have a whole lot of things like rhythm in sections, or good lead ins and outs....everything is pretty much the same volume, the same # of instruments all the time.

    Just curious if anyone else out there is doing/has done this type of thing. THANKS!!

  2. #2
    Administrator Frederik Magle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002

    Re: how-to make those startling sounds in horror films

    Congratulations on writing a film score! (your first I suppose?).

    Short of actually seeing the scene you mention (with a person grabbing another person) it's very hard to give specific advice, but I suggest you do some research by watching a lot of horror movies while taking special notice of the music. Watch various kinds of scenes/filmic events over and over and take note of what it is the music does and how. In order to become a good film composer yourself you must know how other composers work - that is the basics of all leaning.

    Please tell us more about the project and keep us posted on the progress

  3. #3
    Commodore of Water Music
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Somewhere between the gutter and the stars, Denmark

    Re: how-to make those startling sounds in horror films


    Congrats on the filmscore!

    Concerning your first question I don't have the perfect hands-on answer, but I have been working with both classical and electronical music for a while and know a bit on how to "make" sounds. I believe the the sound you are trying to compose can be created both using strings (distorted violin fx.) and electronically. The easiest way is to work with the sound on a synthseizer (either a hardware or software synth) or eventually search the web for samplepacks containing "scarry sound effects" or somehing like that. Try searching Google a bit on the subject or ask in various forums (fx. the Cubase forum). I hope you will find the answer somewhere But if you already have a syntheseizer at hand I would recommend you to work with that. If you have a clear picture of what the sound should be like it is just a matter of altering the synth sound untill you reach the desired sound (easier said than done)..... hope this helped you a bit... If you can tell us what kind of instruments and music software you are using I can maybe guide you to the right place to find information :-)

    Good luck!

    *Rune Vejby

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