from fotr Audio
Commentary - The ring has heard its master
and Ethan Van der Ryn, Supervising Sound Editors
MH: This is the first opportunity we had to make the Ring sound, the
vocal sound come through for the Ring. Peter was very keen that we
give the Ring character and give it emotion. It has to be subtle
because that's how the Ring works. Kind of... not human but
EVdR: When we got to the final mix we actually worked at kind of
carving some space within the music to really let the voice of the
Ring come through for the first time in such a way that it actually
gets the attention of Frodo and Gandalf and it's really calling out
to them. It's really when you first feel this sort of presence
within the Ring. And there's virtually nothing else on the
soundtrack but the voice of the Ring and that allowed us to play it
at such a low, subtle level that it sort of sucks you in.
FROM FOTR APPENDICES - SOUNDSCAPES OF
and Ethan Van der Ryn, Supervising Sound Editors; David Farmer,
EVdR: The Ring in the script is very
much a character. It has a force and a presence and an energy.
MH: When I first started playing
with Ring sounds with Peter, we were going for an actual, more
physical ring sound.
EVdR: And that turned into the Ring
having an actual voice.
DF: It would have different
attitudes. To one person it may be a seductress. To another
person it just may be, I don't know, it may be a lover or
something like this.
EVdR: And that really changed into
it being an actor who would remain the consistent voice of the
Ring throughout the film.
DF: Alan Howard recorded voice-overs
that Philippa and Fran would write.
MH: He learned a whole bunch of
phrases in Black Speech and just went for it.
from TTT Audio
Commentary - Faramir's Seduction
and Ethan Van der Ryn, Supervising Sound Editors
MH: (?) one of
the (?) changes we made this year was the use of the voice of Sauron,
which was a very prominent feature last year - in all of the Ring
moments in the palantír scenes. We went for like a different style
for it this year. We went for a bit of a Sauron growl in this
EVdR: We do, in some of these moments we have a little bit of the Alan
Howard growling. (NOTE: although Ethan refers to this as 'Alan
Howard' growling, this is not Howard growling at this moment. It is
Janet Roddick. See TTT Appendices transcript below) But in terms of the Ring moments, they really took
off in a sweeter, more singing based direction. (on screen - Frodo
feeling the pull of the Ring as Faramir's sword plays with it.)
MH: (?) affected by proximity to Sauron and what the Ring's
demands are through the journey. So, as it's getting closer to
Mordor, it's changing into more of a temptress role. It's not trying
to intimidate people into doing things, it's trying to actually
tempt them subtly.
EVdR: The idea
actually, of the Ring having a character of it's own that changes
over the course of the three movies is an interesting sort of area
of the soundtrack because it is something that does goes through all
three films and that is changing over that timeline.
MH: Hmm.. but aside from the main cast, the Ring's the only element that
does go all the way through as part of the journey. And as people's
characters develop and as, you know, their sort of motivation
change, well.. the Ring's a character. It's on a journey too. It's
trying to get home.
(note: ? denotes my difficulty understanding the words)
FROM TTT APPENDICES - SOUNDSCAPES OF
David Farmer, Sound Designer; Ethan Van der Ryn and Mike Hopkins, Supervising Sound Editors;
DF: Peter's direction from the
beginning was, he wants the throb of the Ring to actually be
part of the Fell Beast's wing flaps.
EVdR: And there's one moment when
the Fell Beast rises up over the edge. All the other sounds go
away except for the Fell Beast's flapping, throbbing wings which
have merged with the heartbeat of the Ring. You get that
sense of a pull. The Ring wants to go back to its owner.
MH: My take on it was always that
this Ring changes as it gets closer to home. In the second film
it's much further along in its journey and it is going home. So
it's a far, sweetest, more soothing, enticing sort of character.
Part of how we achieved that sound was, we had a group of
musicians involved with a (?) music: Dave Donaldson, Steve
Roche, Dave Long and Janet Roddick (shown right) who has this amazing voice.
And so we got her to do single notes which we built into the
sound design of the Ring so when it calls, it's very sweet.
the Ring is different for every person. It calls to Frodo in a
But then when Faramir has his
moment-- because Faramir is more corruptible -- it goes full on
for Faramir and says, 'Take me. Take me I'm yours. Once you take
me all your problems are all over.'
(NOTE: the movie's final sound mix
doesn't seem to contain this harsh growl. It does have a much
more subdued voice but it doesn't sound like the same 'words' as
we hear in the appendices material to me)
FROM ROTK APPENDICES - SOUNDSCAPES OF
Ethan Van der Ryn and
Mike Hopkins, Supervising Sound Editors;
Michael Semanick, re-recording mixer;
Mike Hedges, sound re-recording mixer; Chris Boyes, sound
EVdR: A sound designer's dream,
really, is to give life and spirit to things that have no innate
life or spirit. Because that's something that we can uniquely do
with sound effects.
MHopkins: Peter's brief about the
Ring was that it was an actual character in the film and so it
had to have emotions and it had to have the power to actually
influence in a discernable way.
MS: In the Sméagol/Déagol scene, we
remixed several times... more music/less sound design... more
sound design/less music.
MHedges: We started with a
music score there that went right through the oncoming fight.
But it was covering up the darkness, the emotion that the sound
design for the Ring moment had built.
CB: That the place where, if you
will, the score goes away and we go into this more affected sort
of musical sound design... in a way, heartbeat rhythmical
EVdR: What it does for me, and I
think for the audience as well, is it really puts the focus on
the power of the Ring... the power of the Ring to corrupt.
CB: I think the sound helped sell
the concept that the Ring was doing this more than an individual
was killing another individual. And it's a moment where sound
design is as powerful as anything there because it helps tell