Atmospheric Surround sound

Droogie 2001

Active Member
Having listened to quite a few disks recently I began to realise how much I enjoy the use of ‘subtle’ surround sound. In other words sounds used to increase the atmosphere of a film.
Now I enjoy loud explosions and gunfire as much as any other reader to this forum but there are times when it’s nice to just be immersed in a films environment rather than relentlessly being bombarded with noise.
A couple of examples I can think of is when in ‘The Others’, Nicole Kidman’s character goes into the room where all of the furniture has dust sheets over them. The surround sound used when you hear the rapid footsteps of the ‘unseen’ character panning from the left to right behind you is fantastic. It really ‘puts’ you into that situation. It certainly raised the hairs on my arms.
There are a couple of other scenes in the film that are similar to this.
Other films include ‘Jeepers Creepers’ (good 1st half terrible 2nd half!) with crows squawking in the corner of your room and other cool effects. Also ‘The Game’ in which the taxi drivers jumps out of the taxi and lets it crash into the river, the bubbling of the air bubbles around you is nice!
Anyone else know of other films which use surround sound more thoughtfully and with subtlety?

Mike R


Active Member
The scene from Out Of Sight, where Clooney & Lopez are in a restaurant sticks in my mind.
The clinking of china & murmuring of other people is very enveloping.

Cheers, Paul


Well-known Member
I remember Backdraft having very good rear sound allbeit in prologic :)

Rambo John J

Distinguished Member
Seven is one of the best designed soundfields I've heard from start to finish.

A couple of others off the top of my head would be

The Haunting (remake)
Apocalypse Now (in the trench with The Roach - subtlety that makes it feel like you're right there with them)


Well-known Member
The Bone Collector when Miss Jolie is investigating various crime scenes has great rear effects like dripping water, etc.

Also if you want to know if your 3 front speakers are radiating a uniform front soundstage try: Robocop 2, when Kane is have his head cut open with the electric saw in the hospital. My centre speaker is placed slightly off-centre and in this scene it was obvious:(


Distinguished Member
i just got my copy of Blade dts from japan and the sounds are amazing so much better than the dd version the sond field seem to immerse you more in the film the bloodbath scene uses the surronds brilliantly

was a bit expensive but well worth the cash if your a blade fan


Active Member
Try K-pax out nice soundtrack.

Monsters Inc and Dont Say a Word are good for atmosphere as well.


Active Member
Originally posted by Ian J
The depth charging scene in Das Boot when the rivets start popping
Yes I forgot about that. It's like being sat next to a fat bloke, who's trousers are too tight around the waist and he's just had a big meal an his trousers have a button fly.

Ian J

Originally posted by kevb
It's like being sat next to a fat bloke, who's trousers are too tight around the waist and he's just had a big meal.

You've just insulted half of the forum members


Active Member
Now Bald Members are insulted as well as fat members and with bald fat members that should offend a good few people.


Standard Member
Originally posted by Rambo John J
Das Boot had me heading to the kitchen to turn off the dripping tap:blush:

A subtle door knock in LA Confidential had my mum out of her seat and answering the front door!!! :D

Dom H

someone should show the blade2 sound engineer this thread.

I loved the thumping footsteps in the others, superb.


I thought the concert scenes in the Doors were pretty good.
Battle scenes in SPR too.

Sad I know


People keep telling me I'm as subtle as a Housebrick!

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