Master's Thesis | Sound Design

The essence of sound

An experimental film soundtrack.

Die Essenz von Sound 1

This master’s thesis and the accompanying workpiece look at the topic of sound design in time‒based media. Specifically, the context of the picture and sound is examined, along with its emotional impact. To start with, a theoretical description of the perception of sound is provided, along with a look at the aspects of a film soundtrack. Later on, an analysis of the first part of Disney’s Fantasia (1944) is performed in order to achieve a practical understanding of how dramatic and emotional effects can be created without the use of speech or diegetic sounds.

The key component of this thesis is the experimental soundtrack for the first act of Walter Ruttmann’s movie Berlin — Die Sinfonie der Großstadt (1927), which was created using a Moog Sub37 paraphonic analog synthesizer. Along with its accompanying documentation, this soundtrack should represent the previously discussed concepts in their rawest form, and in doing so, reveal the essence of sound design and music in films.