Give A Listen To "The Nightmare Machine"

Submitted by: squrlz4ever 4 weeks ago in Entertainment


A guitar maker has created an instrument specifically for horror movie soundtracks.
There are 17 comments:
Male 3,437
As someone who recently reintroduced themselves to playing piano\electric keyboard...

...this thing is fucking awesome!
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Male 2,150
Wow...I definitely wanna jam with one of these.
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Male 756
yeah, that is pretty cool!
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Male 1,341
Nice!
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Male 20,915
None more goth.
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Male 4,943
fancylad It is interesting how creepy those sounds are. It raises the question, Why does our brain process them as creepy? Biologically and in terms of evolution, what's going on? Why do some vibrations hitting our ears make us feel happy but others fill us with dread?
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Male 1,065
squrlz4ever Vsauce does a great job explaining it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PEikGKDVsCc
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Male 8,544
squrlz4ever I believe it boils down to collective learned experience and association.

Discordant sounds usually means something's going wrong. (Windy day...relaxing, Hurricane winds...oh shit).

Guttural sounds usually means something with teeth is nearby. (Chipmunk squeek...aww how cute, possibly dinner, Lion growl...oh shit.)

Deep sounds are scary. Earthquake, thunder, big ball of fire from the sky. 

Light sounds are nice. Bird tweeting, brooks babbling, that sigh from your girlfriend when you hit the right spot. 

Music, and sounds, in movies are intended to elicit a specific response. We don't fear the music just because it's music, but because it was intended to make us fearful.

Take, for example, Tubular Bells.  Great piece of music, but the fact that we more commonly associate it with The Exorcist, means it is considered 'scary'.  Without that association it'd probably not be. 
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Male 464
megrendel Any idea if the dissonant tones would be cultural as well? Do India and China consider different tones undesirable due to the differences in their musical scales?
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Male 8,544
toetagmodel2 Would be a good thing to investigate.  I'm sure cultural development would lead to some variations. But I think some would be universal.  (Big BadaBoom)
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Male 4,943
toetagmodel2 That's probably a component of all this as well. Some traditional Japanese music sounds discordant to Western ears, but is pleasing and in tune to people who've grown up with the Japanese tonal scale. So I suspect some sounds that we interpret as creepy might not strike others' ears as such? Maybe?
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Male 3,680
megrendel kind of like how i dont associate the song singin' in the rain with the 50s romantic-musical comedy of the same name. instead i associate it with that scene in a clockwork orange.
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Male 8,544
robthelurker I do too (one of my favorite movies, in fact I just posted the Milk bar on an earlier post today.

So, given changing circumstances, that single song can be:
  1. Fun, lighthearted tune or
  2. Theme of a sadistic maniac.
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Male 4,943
megrendel Interesting. I think you've identified a lot of what's going on, especially the fact that low frequency sounds often mean trouble.

Until reading your comment here, I hadn't given Tubular Bells a listen in years and probably never outside of its connection with The Exorcist. It is a nice piece. It still strikes me as having an unsettling, supernatural feel but that may well be because the movie association is so deeply rooted in my brain.
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Male 18
squrlz4ever Another reason is the extensive use of reverb and delay  effects used to create an echo-like sound.  This instrument wouldn't sound nearly as scary if it didn't have these post effects.
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Male 4,943
Awyoung That's true. Putting it all together, hoomans have learned that it's bad if you're in a large, enclosed space like a cave and you hear low, growling sounds. O.O

By the way, I was just about to welcome you to IAB when I noticed you've had your account for four years. You need to comment more often! Have a Welcome Wagon anyway.  :)

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Male 270
squrlz4ever Yep.  Evolution.  Low bass = growling, meaning watch out or you're going to get eaten.  Those that didn't have such instincts were ate, taken out of the gene pool.  It's more of chemical reactions within the mind after thousands of years as megrendel has said.  
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