The making of the THX sound

By on April 20, 2006

Found an interesting article this morning on the making of the THX sound that we all blast when we hook speakers to the TV. As you might suspect a heavily (heavily, heavily) processed cello. If was developed for Lucasfilm by modern Renaissance man Andy Moorer:

“The score consists of a C program of about 20,000 lines of code. The output of this program is not the sound itself, but is the sequence of parameters that drives the oscillators on the [Audio Signal Processor]. That 20,000 lines of code produce about 250,000 lines of statements of the form “set frequency of oscillator X to Y Hertz”.

Apparently the ‘Audio Sound Processor’ was a mainframe-sized computer for making funky noises. Also, the program included a lot of random numbers, so the sound could never reproduced after its original creation. Pretty cool.

Via Waxy.



  1. I just watched the 1979 version of When A Stranger Calls. I sure do believe that the movie score in three diffrent parts of the movie sound exactly like the THX sound sample. Watch the movie and let me know. two other people were watching the movie and they agreed also.

    Thanks, G-Man

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