Monday, October 18, 2021

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Here the fun story behind the Netflix ‘Ta Dum’ sound

Here the fun story behind the Netflix ‘Ta Dum’ sound

You know that sound – the reverberating “Ta Dum” when the Netflix logo comes up, but what you won’t guess is that it’s made with a wedding ring and that Netflix came this close to going with a goat bleating as it’s sonic logo to call you to binge-watch some television.

Netflix’s sonic logo is now about as TV-iconic as the Fox Searchlights drumroll and trumpets, the MTM cat meowing, the Metro Goldwyn Mayer lion’s roar, or HBO’s visual logo that has a flickering TV and static white noise turning into a male choir going “Aaaah”.

Well, Todd Yellin, Netflix vice president of product, in an interview with Dallas Taylor of the Twenty Thousand Hertz podcast for the first time revealed the never-before-told story behind the iconic-sonic Netflix sound.

When Netflix looked for its own iconic sound for its Netflix Originals Todd said he wanted to commission something that “makes you think of ‘Wow, I’m going to get a treat. I’m about to get an amazing story, that’s relevant to me, that is most importantly cinematic in my home.'”

Todd, who is a former filmmaker and knows a lot about sound design, reached out to Lon Bender, an Oscar-winning sound editor who had worked on films like Braveheart. Lon tried all kinds of different sounds, for instance, a door opening, strange instruments and even actual sounds from the filmmaking production process – even a goat bleating.

“I liked the sound of the goat,” says Todd. “It’s funny, I thought it was quirky. It was our version of Leo the Lion [of MGM]. For a while, we were stuck on it.”

A sound that also resonated well with Todd was something that “bubbled” like the ocean.

He wanted a short sound, and the most important thing was how the sound makes people feel. A focus group on which the “Ta-Dum” was tested – without knowing what it was for – equated it with words like “dramatic”, “interesting”, “beginning” and “movie”. In the end, Netflix settled on what you hear today – which is actually a wedding band knocking on a cabinet.

“It’s a combination of music and the sound effects of these knocks which are my wedding ring, which I’m wearing, knocking on the side of a cabinet in our bedroom,” explains Lon. “In order to add different qualities to it, I sweetened it with other things, which is normal for us in the film-sound industry.”


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