The Sounds of Star Wars is a 304-page non-fiction book by J.W. Rinzler. It was released on September 22, 2010 by Chronicle Books. The book contains a foreword by Ben Burtt, sound designer for the Star Wars movies. The Sounds of Star Wars gives the reader a glimpse behind scenes for how the countless noises and sounds were provided in the Star Wars films. Discover how they were produced and processed and set to fit in the films.
In 1977, when Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope hit theaters, moviegoers were blown away by a cinematic experience unlike anything they had seen - or heard - before. A young man named Ben Burtt was behind the revolutionary sound effects and went on to develop the sound design for all of the Star Wars films. His trademark was using "found sounds" along with electronic manipulation to give the film an authentic and many-layered effect. In Star Wars Sounds, we find out the origins of many of these pioneering sounds: How Aunt Beru's Food Processor is a series of slowed-down beeps that come from a short-wave radio belonging to Burtt's grandfather. The beeps were originally recorded in the attic of Burtt's Ohio home. How the sound of the Millennium Falcon was created when Burtt went to the National Air Races in the Mojave desert and recorded World War II-era racing planes flying directly overhead. The occasional thunderclap or lion's roar was also mixed in during the moment the Falcon passed by the camera. How Burtt based the Jawa language on Zulu, then accelerated and raised the pitch of the actors' performances. And how an "insanely aggressive" dachshund owned by Burtt's neighbors provided the sounds that became the murderous roar of the massive Rancor beast.
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