I noticed this a while back and I was reminded of it yesterday while doing some ADR:

Laughter has a perfect rhythm.

Take any laughter and each HA is exactly spaced between the next one - to the quarter-frame I've found.

Maybe not the first 2 but the rest of them in a real chuckle or laughter, it's perfectly timed.

I just thought that discovery was interesting - don't know if there is much else you can do with that data or not but it's pretty interesting to me that someone who can be "rhythm deaf" inherently has perfect rhythm when he laughs.

  • 2
    I just thought of an application of this! Example: You're doing a comedy and someone is battling with a cappuchino-maker and can't seem to get it to work. Make the machine "laugh" at the person by placing a short transient sound perfectly spaced like laughter and voila, you have a cappuchino machine laughing at the person who can't get it to work.
    – Utopia
    Aug 12, 2010 at 17:59
  • 1
    That's been used in cartoons for a long time. Old Disney cartoons used this with coffee makers and other steam based machines.
    – VCProd
    Aug 12, 2010 at 20:21

2 Answers 2


I wonder if this crosses borders and oceans, as well. I know it's generally true in the States (barring all those chipmink gigglers and slow villian laughs), though, just from observation and watching lots of stand up comedy.

  • Yeah that's interesting. Hah what a trivial piece of trivia this is.
    – Utopia
    Aug 12, 2010 at 17:56
  • I think a slow villain laugh has a rhythm, also.. You mean like a Mwahahaha laugh, right?
    – Utopia
    Aug 12, 2010 at 18:02
  • It has a rhythm, but I got the idea that you meant that laughter generally has the same rhythm. Aug 13, 2010 at 4:35
  • Oh no no - sorry. I meant that any laughter has it's own exact rhythm. Bring any laugher into logic or Pro Tools and measure the amount of space between the transients and it's exactly the same space between all of them.
    – Utopia
    Aug 13, 2010 at 21:39

According to this article in HowStuffWorks,

Behavioral neurobiologist and pioneering laughter researcher Robert Provine ... looked at the sonic structure of laughter. He discovered that all human laughter consists of variations on a basic form that consists of short, vowel-like notes repeated every 210 milliseconds.

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