The goal of sound design is to use sound to create feeling, to give inanimate objects an emotional component. We worked hard to give each element a distinct personality or audio signature.
The Batmobile had to sound huge, like a military vehicle crossed with a dragster. For this, we recorded the sound of big race boat engines, adding large animal roars and growls for emphasis.
The Batpod is slicker and more refined. I used the concept of the Shepard tone to make the sound appear to continually rise in pitch. The basic idea is to slightly overlap a sound with a distinct pitch (a large A/C electric motor, in this case) in different octaves. When played on a keyboard, it gives the illusion of greater and greater speed; the pod appears unstoppable.
The sound of Batman firing his grapple gun was created by unspooling a plumber's snake on a soundstage floor. It makes a great metallic "zing" sound when it's whipped.
Our goal was to come up with never-before-heard sounds that wouldn't seem out of place in this Gotham City, a fictional place that exists in a familiar, recognizable world.
-- Richard King Sound designer, supervising sound editor,
"The Dark Knight"
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