- Oct 2017
One of my favorite sound effects in movies is called the "Shepard's Tone" and I consider it's impact as an aural mode to be surprisingly effective.
This video explains how Hans Zimmer composed the soundtrack of the movie "Dunkirk" using the Shepard's Tone and shows examples of it in other movies directed by Christopher Nolan or soundtracks composed by Hans Zimmer. In the video, the musical mechanics behind the Shepard's Tone are explained. From 0:41 to 1:28 the video analyzes the process of using "several tones separated by an octave layered on top of each other" to create an illusion of a constant ascending tone that never ends. This effect causes viewers of the movies the soundtracks are featured in to feel a rising sensation of suspense. I consider this to be one of the most powerful aural modes for communicating intensity and suspense in a soundtrack or movie.