For example in 'Irreversible', the first 30 minutes there is a underlying sound frequency of 27hz - this makes you feel physically sick and disorientates you. Do you guys know of any films that use similar effects? Or something which aids the sound scape to engage further?

  • 2
    wait, sound design has boundaries?? Mar 9, 2014 at 6:35

2 Answers 2


The film Altered States has some very interesting sounds from perceptual tests and research done atnStandord... the basic synopsis, a guy starts taking hallucinogens while in a sensory deprivation tank...

from the book Sound on Film:

"the effects came from Stanford University, where they did all kinds of sound experiments and we got the benefit of it. The director, Ken Russell, got the tracks from stanford, John Cornigliano had written the score, and we got to weave them in and out of each other - they were one.."

Were the Stanford sounds used for the low rumbles and the tank-room sounds?

"yes, a lot of them were"

Were those sounds cut by the sound effects editors?

"They weren't edited, they were just laid in en masse by the effects editors. You just got four hundred feet of material"

So the positioning and editing were done during the mix on the dubbing stage?


  • love the use of pygmy musicin the film too
    – user49
    Mar 9, 2014 at 1:16

Wow, "Irreversible" I'm curious and want to go back and pay attention to the sound that you are talking about but I really don't want to see that movie again.

I was really surprised with the sound design of the show HANNIBAL, specially that first episode on the first season.

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