The Bleeps and Bloops of Movie Computers

Brow Beat
Slate's Culture Blog
April 23 2013 12:03 PM

The Bleeps and Bloops of Movie Computers

The humming and buzzing sounds made by most computers and other digital devices is not terribly dramatic. It does’t even sound very digital. So when Hollywood needs to depict a computer, what do its sound-wizards do?

They add bleeps and bloops, of course. This technique was mocked as long ago as 1987, when Michael Winslow lent his inimitable talents to Spaceballs. But it’s still in use, as this supercut from Slacktory makes amusingly clear. And if that Michael Winslow reference didn’t mean anything to you, just keep your eyes peeled. He’s in there.

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Aisha Harris is a Slate staff writer.

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