Quantitative Analysis of Sound in a Short Horror Film

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Nick Redfern


In this article I analyse the structure of sound in a short horror film Behold the Noose (Jamie Brooks, 2014), applying quantitative methods in order to determine the structure of the film’s soundtrack and to understand how sounds at different frequencies create an emotional experience for the viewer. Examination of the normalised aggregated power envelope shows the soundtrack is organised at different scales, from local transient events to medium scale sections easily distinguishable from those that precede and follow, and a step change between large scale segments. In this film, sections of increasing tension are associated with non-linear increases in sound energy. Using the short-time Fourier transform I show that sounds at different frequencies are associated with different emotional effects in the viewer and that the range of frequencies used increases as the emotional effect of the soundtrack intensifies.

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Redfern, N. (2020). Quantitative Analysis of Sound in a Short Horror Film. Humanities Bulletin, 3(2), 246–257. Retrieved from https://www.journals.lapub.co.uk/index.php/HB/article/view/1682

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