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In space, no one can hear you do anything. 
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Post In space, no one can hear you do anything.
This subject came up on another forum in relation to Gravity, and I thought it was interesting enough to run it by the good people here. A transcript:

White Shadow wrote:
Sound in space was my first gripe. I get it's supposed to be a movie for general audiences but come on.


me wrote:
I thought it handled sound in space well. The sound effects, such as they were, were edited in a way that they all seemed conducted through the fabric of the tethers and space suits. There are no instances I noticed of sounds that plainly weren't being perceived by the astronauts in this way.

In fact, some of the movie's most effective moments are the scenes of incredible destruction with not a sound to be heard, or of when a compartment is losing air and the sound dies away with it.


White Shadow wrote:
Interesting... I never got that percussive sensation of sound watching the trailer but I'll take your word for it. Akira and Firefly are the only 2 media that I've seen that had full acknowledgment of the lack of sound in space.


me wrote:
The sound in the trailer is not indicative of the sound in the film.

I'm trying to remember some other stuff that did sound in space properly. 2001, obviously--some of the moments in that movie are dead quiet. Apollo 13 was generally faithful to the no sound in space rule, but they have some rumbly ambient effects in there that aren't really supposed to be generated by the spacecraft, but are nevertheless "sounds" that impart a sense of mass to the objects as they zoom by. That's an effective and reasoned choice, though it's still technically a violation of the rules. The new Star Trek movies waffle back and forth, seemingly depending on which one is more effective for the entertainment value. The 2000s version of Battlestar Galactica kind of does a mixture of Gravity and Apollo 13's strategy--mixing and editing the sounds in a way that you get the sense that they're being conducted through the material of the suits or the spacecraft, and/or just there to provide a sense of mass. BSG is good about not doing sounds that would obviously require air in space. Some of DC's animated cartoons waffle back and forth--one of the oddest exceptions being Lobo, whose bike makes lots of noise and who regularly speaks as though he's surrounded by air.

I don't know if this is true or not, but I heard once that Gene Roddenberry wanted no sound in space for the original Star Trek series, but changed his mind because the scenes seemed too fake without it. Considering the limitations of their visual effects, they obviously needed all the help they could get. So I guess I can't fault him for that.

I think that's all I've got.


So what do you think? Are there a lot more media (TV, movies, whatever) that faithfully portray the soundlessness of space? Are there any that kinda sorta but not really portray sound in space, as with Apollo 13?

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Sat Oct 12, 2013 8:17 pm
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Post Re: In space, no one can hear you do anything.
Doesn't Firefly have the soundlessness going on? I remember the movie (Serenity) was full of noise, but I thought the show was more accurate.

It's a bit confusing though, when you think that there would be sounds inside a character's helmet, but not outside of it

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Sun Oct 13, 2013 12:32 pm
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