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Music and Sound in Movies: Demands on a Sound System

By: James Adams

It is crucial to have a good sound system so you can experience everything that the film is trying to convey. The music and the sound effects in a movie conveys a lot of information to its viewers. Movies would be hard pressed to convey emotions effectively without sound. Directors, producers, and film scorers put a lot of time and effort into selecting the appropriate sounds and music for their films. This helps to better convey the emotional content they wish their viewers to experience. To understand this concept, try watching an intense scene in a movie and turn the sound off. Whether it is an action scene or the dramatic apex of a film, you will notice that how you experience the scene is completely different. The intensity is far lower and the emotion is almost non-existent.

Sound can make or break a film. Just as a great musical score can greatly enhance a film, a bad score and poor sound can destroy one. Action movies are a great example of how sound can enhance the intensity of the film. Dramas are a great example of how music is used to convey or enhance the emotional content of a particular scene. Creating the sound for a film is as important as the story, acting and script.

Like getting a new, high definition TV, the same difference in the audio can be felt when you upgrade your sound system. However, a louder sound system does not always imply a better one. Many people associate a good system with one that can produce loud bass or one that can get really loud. Although some people may prefer their bass loud, a good sound system is (as we classify it) one that can be adjusted to meet your various sonic needs.

Each person hears the world in their own unique way because each of our ears responds to frequencies differently. When it comes time to selecting an audio system, we recommend selecting one with a wide frequency response (most manufactures list this information). In addition to frequency response, being able to control sonic performance (bass, mids, treble) is a must so you can adjust the sound to your taste.

Perhaps you are completely satisfied with watching movies using your TVs built in speakers. You may be able to enjoy a movie thoroughly but are most likely missing the full sonic experience that the film makers wanted you to have. There is no right or wrong way to listen! However, a detailed sound system can definitely enhance your listening and viewing experience.

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