Design of Terminator 2
Terminator 2 Cameron's approach to sound was hyperrealistic.
Everything had to be so much bigger than life. Every sound
effect in Terminator 2 had to sound like it was injected
with testosterone, it had to be inflated to unworldly
is hard because when you get the mix, you have one sound
after the other which you have designed from the beginning
to be the largest sound ever heard. The challenge turned
out be more in the mixing than the creation. You
have the dialogue, the music and larger than life sound
effects thrown together. James Cameron really shaped the
mix. He had a very distinctive idea of how he wanted to
feuture music and effects in each scene. He saw things
in terms of rhythm.
Rydstrom likes sounds that have a vocal characteristic. He loves
real-life sounds that have the same emotional envelope a voice
does. He says that there are so many sounds in real life
- squeals, squeeks, and air hisses - that reminds him of a voice.
Gary Rydstrom likes sweetening non-voice events with voice-type
sounds to give them intelligence and resonance.
transformation of T-1000
My first instinct was to put a goopy mud, liquid sound to the
transformation of T-1000. It would sound very low tech and I did
not want that. So my first attemps at transforming metal were
very musical, taking a violin string bow and sliding and sliding
it across different pieces of metal and coming up with very rich
tones that evolved. It was a very beautiful sound, but it just
did not fit for the director James Cameron.
There is a definable moment when the sound you are making just
snaps onto the film and meshes with what it is representing. It
had not happening yet. - I was making too etheral a sound.
So I went back to record back recording liquid effects – but I
tried to record them in a unique way.
the transformation sounds Rydstrom was spraying Dust-Off into
a flour and water mixture, with a condom-sealed mic stuck in
the goo. The Dust-Off would make huge goopy bubbles. The moment
the bubble is forming, it has this sound that is similar to a
cuppucino maker or a milk steamer. The slowly forming bubble
has a metallic quality to it. It also had an evolving quality.
The sound seemed to fit because it had beginning and an end.
passing through steel
element of the sound of T-1000 passing through steel bars is nothing
more than dog food being slowly sucked out of a can.
the sound of the bullets hitting T-1000 Rydstrom slammed an
inverted glass into a bucket of yoghurt, getting a hard edge
to accompany the goop.
sound of the molten pit
Rydstrom: I wanted a deep sound of something huge and hot
- the high sizzle of something hot and the liquidy goop of something
you could splash. That was made by compressed air into a lot
of mud, but there were also boiling sounds which have been pitched
sounds in T2 is metal
Rydstrom: We did a lot of banging in all sorts of metal. The
archive building at Skywalker Ranch was still under construction
- all the girders were exposed. We recorded banging
on big long girders in various ways so they would really resonate.
I mixed together different piches of metal hits until they
were matched and sounded like one metal hit. You would get
the deep thud with a high ring-out. Some of the girder sounds
were used for the rolling I-beam used to smash the Terminator.
wind in the opening scene
of the wind in the opening scene comes from a crack of an open
door to main mix room at Skywalker sound.
sound of the crushed skull
sound of the crushed skull is actually a pistachio beeing crunched
by a metal plate.
silence and small sounds
the Cyberdyne building blows up - when the big explosion of
the building is preceded just by a long period of silence and
the clic of the detonator.
Arnold shoots the frozen T-1000 n the steel mill, all background
ambiences fades out in the split second before the gun goes
Arnold flies on Harley, the engine, the music, everything cuts
out until he lands.
the incedential movements have been replaced as the leather
creaks on the Terminator jacket, the buckle clinks, and the
moment of foley is when Sarah is getting out of her straps in
her hospital bed. She takes the paper clip, spits it out,
it lands on the bed, she puts it in the buckle, she gets out
of her strap, and she uses the paper clip to pick the lock of
the door. The whole scene is nothing but Foley and music. And
a lot of the tension is coming from focusing in on those little
sounds from Foley - the paper clip into the tumblers of
the lock. - What
of the diaglogue and most of the breathing is ADR -
Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Johnson, Gary Rydstrom, Gary Summers and Lee Orloff,
Sound Effects Editing:
Rydstrom and Gloria S. Borders
is barefoot, but it sounds like she is wearing shoes.
to Linda's footsteps linda
wav (56 k)
about Synchresis - the forging between
something one sees and something one hears
bullets come out of the minigun the Terminator fires through
Cyberdyne's window faster than the sound.
a chase scene, the T-800 (on a Harley) passes in front of
a Honda CRX that honks at him, but the sound is not that of
a Honda CRX horn.
the helicopter pilot jumps out, the door slams shut. The T1000
reaches over and shuts it again.
bike's throttle sound doesn't match the throttle action.
bike has a four-stroke engine, but sounds like a two-stroke.
Film Sound Cliches
for more stereotypes and common logic flaws
RYDSTROM (Director of Creative Operations/Sound
Designer and Mixer, joined Skywalker
Sound in 1983 as an operator in the machine room.
then, he has contributed his talents to many projects
as a sound designer, re- recording mixer, effects
mixer and foley mixer. In 1998, Rydstrom was appointed
Director of Creative Operations for Skywalker Sound,
overseeing the creative and technological direction
for the facility. Apart from his feature film and
commercials work, Rydstrom has completed several television
projects, rides and attraction films.
holds a graduate degree from the USC School of Cinema
the recipient of 7 Academy Awards for Best Sound and
Best Sound Effects Editing for his work on Saving
Private Ryan, Titanic, Jurassic Park, and Terminator
2: Judgement Day.