Star Wars and the Sound Revolution of ’77
The Force / Of Sound
“It’s an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together.”(Star Wars Episode IV)
The success of Star Wars was underpinned by the creative brilliance of Sound Designer Ben Burtt.
George Lucas’ resolution of diverse story elements - from fantastical characters to futurescape weaponry and worlds - is indebted to the imaginative sound solutions intuited by Burtt.
Sound Maketh the Man
Consider Vader, R2D2, The Lightsabre, The Tie Fighter
In many instances these sounds have become as iconographic as the characters themselves. The audio was carefully hand crafted by Burtt from a creative palette that extended to found sounds, field recordings, electronics and studio based technical enhancements.
Welcome to 1977
Significantly, 1977 also saw great progress in the evolution of cinematic sound.
Star Wars became one of the first films to fully exploit the new surround sound technologies of the Dolby A System.
As a sound designer Burtt made full use of the capabilities of the Dolby A System Standard, which specifically featured an enhanced tonal range and better sonic and textural response. In effect, this technology specifically enhanced the illusion of cinematic realism.
Dolby & Star Wars
Dolby Laboratories was founded by Ray Dolby in the mid 1960’s.
The initial goal was to develop a sound system for cinema that reduced noise level and permitted a greater frequency range to be utilized.
Innovation and marketing by Dolby led to the development of an ‘optical stereophonic system’. This enabled high quality audio to be fully integrated with the 35 mm prints used by studios and cinemas. The Stereo System itself consisted of three loudspeakers placed behind the screen (left, centre and right) with a fourth surround channel using various speakers throughout the auditorium which broadcasted non-directional sound.
Star Wars’ sound designer Burtt evinced a great understanding as to how an audience responds intuitively to a sound landscape at a subconscious level. He noted the significance of spatial positioning where sound content is best perceived within a dramatic context. The Dolby Stereo System offered the ‘three-dimensionality’ needed by Burtt to effectively create the heightened realism required to realize the Star Wars experience.
The success of Star Wars ensured that subsequent film makers appreciated the potential for sound technology to greatly enhance the cinematic experience. There are now over 70,000 Dolby equipped cinemas.
It is of interest to note : since 1977 - all but one oscar winning ‘Sound Categories’ movie has featured a Dolby Stereo Soundtrack.
Contact Roundhouse Now!
Book an obligation free consultation to find out more and learn how to leverage mobile technology to grow your opportunities and business revenue.
Get to know Saul Edmonds & Roundhouse
As Creative Director & Roundhouse Founder Saul Edmonds has over 20 years professional design and digital experience.
He is an expert on Brand, Website and App Development. He has worked with clients across all industry groups - including startups, small business, government and entrepreneurs - on projects of all sizes and budgets.
Saul and his team can help you grow your business and discover new possibilities with :
- strategic brand design
- web design & development
- app design and development
- digital marketing
- creative engagement
Saul Edmonds believes that every project begins with a story.
Saul and his team offer a one to one, tailored service - where he works with you closely to develop innovative solutions that will take your business to the next level.
Find out how Saul can help you turn your ideas into reality.
Book an obligation free consultation with Saul Edmonds for ideas and strategies to take your business or project to the next level. Click here to arrange your booking.
Phone : +617 1300 727 749
email : firstname.lastname@example.org
- Learn about our web design here.
- Learn about our app development here.
- See our brand and logo portfolio here.