porg-sound effect

How Star Wars: The Last Jedi Made The Sound of A Porg

Over the past 10 years we see video ads evolve in a variety of fashions.  They are getting more interactive, longer, shorter, more direct, and more confusing. Although many brands roll out video campaigns in multiple versions and lengths, the 6 second ad is slowly becoming the most revered by both brands and consumers.

BY MUSIC STAFF

Hard core fans may have rolled their eyes when they first saw this adorable creature in the trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, but that feeling was short lived once it opened it's mouth.The Porg, little sea birds home to the island where Luke Skywalker is living out his final years, has taken the world by storm. Unlike the cute, yet soft spoken Ewoks from Return of the Jedi, director Rian Johnson double downed on giving a voice to these cuddlies and brought them to life. The result was a sound effect that not only communicated tone and narrative, but also was pretty darn addicting.How did they do it?

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It turns out the call of the porg is the result of combining the sounds of a number of different birds together. According to sound designer Ren Klyce, the process started by recording the sounds of a chicken coop on the grounds of Skywalker Sound, before moving on to record doves and turkeys. Klyce describes the process to Cinemablend at D23 ...

At Skywalker Sound There's A Chicken Coop With These Little Chickens, And Coya Elliott, Our First Assistant, Went Down And Recorded Those Chickens. And Then We Took That Sound And Slowed It Down And Stretched It Out And Found Little Chirps. We Found This Man Who Releases Doves At Weddings, And We Asked Him To Come Down So We Could Record Them...So We Have A Little Snippet Of That [Turkey Call], A Little Bit Of Chicken, A Little Dove, And Cut It All Together.

Balance is Everything

Star Wars has not always nailed it with how they have voiced their sidekicks.  We all remember how much we begged George Lucas to silence Jar Jar Binks after Episode One. Skywalker Sound listened to the outcry from fans. This time they made sure not to saturate the screen with the sounds of the porg. According to D23, it was one of Rian Johnson’s requirements to voicing these guys.

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After all was said and done, Lucasfilm and the Star Wars sound engineers found the perfect formula. Finding the right sound to go with your film, video game, or media project is difficult on it's own. Once you have found the perfect sound, make sure you take into account how it will be used, your audience (thank you for not making another Jar Jar), and the type of story that it will help tell. When used correctly, a one second sound can go a long way for your project. At StockMusic we just updated our entire sound effect catalog. Pop on by and check out our selection of over 70,000 sound effects from industry experts including renowned sound engineer Rick Veirs.

Pick and choose the ones that fit your story and make sure your audience has fun with them.

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