What are some examples of exciting mixes you've heard? Very dynamic, powerful, knock you out of your chair but are still very pleasant to listen to?

I'm interested in studying further how mixers use dynamics and mixing to really create excitement and suspense and exhilaration in the soundtrack.

10 Answers 10



Really special and really good mix from the Netherlands. You can't find the difference between music and SFX anymore after 10 minutes. Great dynamics and a truly beautiful movie


There are too many to name.

Se7en always stands out to me, as do Saving Private Ryan and District 9.

  • Out of those three, which one had the most emotional impact on you?
    – Utopia
    Commented Feb 2, 2012 at 1:20
  • They each had a different emotional impact, none better than the others. Just different. Commented Feb 2, 2012 at 2:35

As Jay mentions, there are too many to name but one movie that I really like for it's dynamics over the course of the entire film that often gets over looked with all the SFX driven movies is "Forrest Gump". It really is an exceptional sounding movie that is mixed very well. It has really soft moments, to very punchy and loud (but clean) during the Vietnam war scenes. The score is wonderful and really pulls out the emotions during the movie, and scource music cues are great for tying in the historical eras of the story.

I also really like Contact, Fight Club, Heat, and The Phantom Menace. All "JarJar" jokes aside, it's one of the tightest mixes I've heard.

  • Contact is one of my favorites, outstanding case study for beautiful and rich BGz Commented Feb 2, 2012 at 9:55

Fight Club for sure. Saw it again in a theater setup a few months ago and it's incredibly dynamic and powerful. The hallucination where the plane starts breaking apart had me thinking the room was going to explode, and the gunshot at the end is a thing of beauty..


Ghost in the Shell 2. Sound design by Randy Thom. The flick hits all the right acoustic notes. Track down a copy and enjoy a hidden acoustic gem.

  • Randy did that! "Innocence"? Such a strange film, all the cool characters talking in parable and poetry. Definately have to re-watch it now! Commented Feb 3, 2012 at 10:32

Mission Impossible - Ghost Protocol actually has a very inspirational and controlled mix. Obviously there are a lot of crashes, punches and explosions, but it is not over the top like the Transformers films for example. The music, dialogue and the effects are always very well positioned and in great balance.

Here is a clip I just found about the sound design of the film:



Inception. My work here is done ;)


I found 127 Hours mix very exciting for all that it lacked. The more it lacked, the more exciting it actually was. It played to realism, and in such shots where we go from inside his headphones, to the exterior of nearly dead silence (what the real desert sound like) are incredibly dynamic.


You can also check this page: http://awardsdatabase.oscars.org/ampas_awards/BasicSearchInput.jsp

Choose category “Sound” or “Sound Editing” and you will see the list of the movies with good sound. But don't use the checkbox “Winners only” since in this case you won't see “Avatar” and “WALL-E” in the list.


On a more subtle note I thought that Tin Tin had all around great editing and mix. The scene where the dog chases the cat around the room destroying furniture was terrific and detailed. Much less cluttered than many soundscapes, possibly due to it being an animation. I definitely concur with all the other titles. District 9 is a fave of mine.


Super 8 was pretty exciting to me. Also any mix that you have personal control of is exciting.

I-Spy was great too. Sound was perfect for that movie.

  • Ben Burtt as supervising sound editor on that one.. Whole soundtrack had "romantic" all over it. Very nice.
    – georgi
    Commented Feb 3, 2012 at 10:37
  • Yeah, after I found out this was the case (he was mixer too I think) it suddenly had this balmy professional glow
    – ChrisSound
    Commented Feb 4, 2012 at 2:10

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