The Secret Behind The Hobbit’s Epic Sound

The Secret Behind The Hobbit’s Epic Sound


The Hobbit: An Unexpected JourneyLord of the Rings

Despite having three films worth of Middle Earth sound to draw on, basically everything for the new films was re-recorded on location in New Zealand. That means all of those cave sounds you hear throughout the film were actually painstakingly recorded in caves. The problem is that existing library from The Lord of the Rings Trilogy was all recorded at 16-bit/44.1 kHz, and the sound designers wanted to capture everything in high-definition, 24-bit/48 kHz.

Beyond entirely new source material, The Hobbit’s mixers had access to Dolby Atmos this time around. The new theatrical sound system allows designers to plot sound elements to individual speakers around and above the theatre. Compared to a simpler 5.1 surround sound design, Atmos allows designers to create more immersive sounds. So when Peter Jackson wants a battle to sound like a nightmare — it does. [Soundworks Collection]