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The story behind Netflix's sound


The story behind Netflix's sound Ta-dum!

If Apple has a sound that signals the turning on of its Macs and Windows one for starting up PCs, Netflix also was in need of a recognizable sound able to represent and embody the beginning of its original products until then "silent". So before 2015, Netflix VP of Product Todd Yellin asked Oscar-winning sound designer Lon Bender for help in shaping what in his mind was supposed to be a sound that could tell a story.

Tension, publication and strangeness were some of the words that Yellin had indicated to Bender as a reference to create what internally had already been renamed with the "ta-dum" that we have come to know in recent years. Before reaching the final solution, however, Yellin and Bender had to choose from a list of thirty finalists, including a "ta-dum" very similar to the current one but with the addition of a goat's scream in the background. Don't ask us why. As if often happens in these cases, before arriving at the final choice, the candidates were subjected to the severe judgment of a focus group called to describe, without knowing the reason, every sound still at play. Despite the answers of a group of over thirty people, the final decision fell to Yellin's daughter, who was asked to choose among the five finalists. After adding one last effect Yellin was finally satisfied and the sound we have come to know was finally ready.

Despite the many urban legends that revolve around the genesis of the famous "ta-dum" (according to some it would be the sound made by a door when it's closed, according to others a reminder of the finale of the first season of House of Cards), the true story of Netflix's sound genesis is decidedly banaler and less fascinating than many other theories you might find online. None of these, however, include the scream of a goat in the background. 


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original sound - susie lee

One last fun fact: for its original movies screened in cinemas, Netflix has decided to create another sound, a symphony composed by Hans Zimmer