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“BRAAAM!”: The Sound that Invaded the Hollywood Soundtrack

The sound is a bit reminiscent of a foghorn blast, but was actually recorded with brass instruments and piano. You heard it in the 2010 movie Inception, and in almost every movie trailer since then. It's known in the business as "BRAAAM!” How in the world did one discordant blast become so ubiquitous in Hollywood? A good bit of the credit goes to composer Hans Zimmer.

Part of it is the way his soundtracks are put together: Zimmer’s approach resembles the sampling we’re used to from pop music — themes are not simply repeated by musicians, but instead montaged by the composer. Over the last few decades Zimmer has created something of a cottage industry that churns out soundtracks at a Herculean clip: In 1989 he founded Media Ventures, which was later rechristened Remote Control Productions, a kind of soundtrack workshop where Zimmer and about forty collaborators crank out sample-based soundtracks that are largely created in-studio (their combined list of credits is too staggering to list here). If you’ve ever wondered why Batman Begins sounds like Pirates of the Caribbean, which sounds like The Da Vinci Code, Remote Control is the reason.

But that isn't the whole story. To understand, you need to know more about how Hollywood scores are designed, and how they evolved over the past few decades. -via Metafilter

(Image credit: Kjell Reigstad)


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