Hi mates,

I am looking for examples or frequent uses of analog synthesis in sound design, like the Arp 2600 in R2D2's voice. Examples could be individual sounds or in conjunction/layering with real sounds (eerie ambiences, explosion, earthquake...). Any idea or reference ? It could be movie or game or whatever...

Thanks !


  • Apparently in Indiana Jones Ben Burtt used the same Arp 2600 used on R2D2 in a shot where they zoom slowly towards a crate in which the Holy Grail is in, to give an eerie mood. Apr 2, 2012 at 8:02
  • Apparently this (use of ARP2600) was covered in "The Sound of 'Indiana Jones' (2003)". Does anyone have a copy of this video or know where it is accessible? Thanks.
    – Bit Depth
    Jan 21, 2016 at 7:22
  • It can be watched here..... youtu.be/YWDSFihqyH8
    – Bit Depth
    Jan 24, 2016 at 12:48

3 Answers 3


Dr. Who, especially the originals, HitchHikers Guide to the Galaxy (the radio play and the 80's TV series) and pretty much anything from the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. A good documentary on Workshop can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKPGzX5kZd0


I usually associate analog synths with the classic sci-fi sound around the 70's. Here in the UK the radiophonic workshop used machines like the VCS3 to interesting effect. There is some interesting stuff about EMS who built it at Sound on Sound pt1 here pt2 here.

Although I don't have any analog gear yet, I'm really interested in getting some... perhaps some of the Moog effects or the Jomox T-resonator. I really like the idea of generating sounds in Max/msp and having a load of analog gear to process it with.


I believe Walter Murch synthesised elements of helicopter sound in Apocalypse Now. He then mixed between the acoustic and synthesised sounds, particularly in the dream like sequences.


  • Pretty much. He used the synthesized chopper in the dream-sequence as it sounded strange and unusual, and faded over to a real one when the guy woke up. Apr 3, 2012 at 11:46

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