You may not know how to spell it (ta-dum? da-dum?), but it’s a noise you’ve heard thousands upon thousands of times: [Netflix sound].
The audio logo, which plays before every movie and episode of original programming on the streaming service, is as synonymous with Netflix as “I’m lovin’ it” is to McDonald’s, but it almost sounded very different. It almost sounded like a barnyard animal.
While appearing on the Twenty Thousand Hertz podcast this week (via EW), Todd Yellin, Netflix’s VP of product, revealed that in 2015, he was searching for “something that screams Netflix” (appropriate last name). “I liked the sound of a goat,” he said. “It was funny. It was quirky. It was our version of Leo the Lion,” referring to the MGM mascot:
Oscar-winning sound designer Lon Bender [worked] with Yellin to create the right sound that would make viewers think, “Wow, I’m about to get a treat,” Yellin explained. Bender admitted that the “ta-dum” comes from the sound of his wedding ring knocking on a wood cabinet. To add depth, Bender added a slowed-down anvil, muted hits, and an electric guitar sound reversed to complete what they coined “the blossoming” sound that transitions into the movie or TV show viewers are about to watch.
It is not, as theorized, the sound of Frank Underwood hitting his desk. That’s a good thing, for many reasons. Anyway, there were about 20 to 30 sounds in contention, with the final three coming down to the goat, a bubbly sound “from the depths of the ocean,” and [Netflix sound]. The reason Yellin went with the third choice: his 10-year-old daughter liked it. Thank you, Todd Yellin’s daughter, for making it so that we don’t have to listen to a goat screaming before every episode of The Umbrella Academy.
(Via Entertainment Weekly)