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Synchresis is the forging between something one sees and something one hears - it is the mental fusion between a sound and a visual when these occur at exactly the same time. Synchresis is an acronym formed by telescoping together the two words synchronism and synthesis  

The possibility of reassociation of image and sound is fundamental to the making of filmsound. For a single face on the screen there are dozens of allowable voices - just as, for a shot of a hammer, anyone of hundreds of sounds will do. The sound of an ax chopping wood, played exactly in sync with a bat hitting a baseball, will "read" as a particulary forceful hit rather than a mistake by the filmmakers  

When we expect sound - a character walking for example - synchresis are unstoppable and the filmmaker can use about any sound effects for these footsteps.  
linda wav  (56 k) 
In Terminator 2: Judgment day Linda Hamilton was running bare feet to the sound of clicking heels. (her outbreak from the asylum) 

  • In Mon Oncle Tati drew of all kinds of noises for human footsteps, including ping-pong balls and glass objects.
Synchresis is at work when a stream of random audio and visual events are played. Certain audiovisual combinations will come together through synchresis and reinforce each other.  

(Edited excerpts: Michel Chion, Audio-Vision 

Audio-Vision: Sound on Screen  is  available at Internet book stores as  Amazon books   Highly recommended


Other Books by Michel Chion 

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