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THX Updates 'Deep Note,' the Spooky Sound It Plays Before Movies

It's kind of like the old one, but this one goes to 11.

Peter Kafka covers media and technology, and their intersection, at Vox. Many of his stories can be found in his Kafka on Media newsletter, and he also hosts the Recode Media podcast.

Do you still see movies in movie theaters? If you do, or if you remember doing that, then you’ll remember the THX logo and its accompanying audio, a vaguely threatening crescendo that kicks off the proceedings.

THX, which is essentially an audio certification system, has been running the same version of that video and audio clip (with occasional tweaks) for more than 30 years. It first debuted in 1983, along with “Return of the Jedi.”

Now the company is updating the audio component, which it calls “Deep Note,” for the 2,000+ THX theaters worldwide. The new version, the company promises, is “faithful to the original character, [but] the resulting audio is intensely more complex, taking the audience on an epic sensory journey unlike anything they’ve experienced before.”

Yahoo’s Rob Walker has more on Deep Note’s background and James A. Moorer, the man who created both the original audio trailer and the new one.

Here’s the old logo and sound:

And here’s the new one (apologies for the pre-roll):

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