Ben Burtt Interview: The Sound of Explosions in Star Wars

Ben Burtt, sound designer of the Star Wars films, discusses gathering and creating the sound of the saga’s stunning explosions.
“The sound of explosions has always been a great passion for me,” Burtt says. During the making of the Star Wars films, he spent a lot of time recording explosions and weapons, always trying to get “the maximum visceral effect out of the event.”

But recording real explosions is difficult. They’re loud, sudden, short, and usually don’t have the full body of sound that one would expect. To create convincing explosions for film, Burtt has gathered various sounds: he visited military bases where he recorded tanks, missiles impacting, and has even lost microphones to explosions. He is still, however, searching for “the ultimate explosion.”

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