What You Never Noticed About The Music In Modern Movies
Lots of modern filmmakers these days have a problem, and that problem is sound. Have you ever had to put on the subtitles while streaming a show on Netflix? Or had your ears blasted to oblivion in a movie theater? Don’t worry, the problem isn’t your hearing. It’s because the powers that be are apparently paying less attention to sound these days. It’s an unfortunate phenomenon that’s becoming a bigger and bigger problem as time goes on and technology advances.
The issue is especially noticeable with music. Just try this little thought experiment from Spin: can you hum a memorable tune from your favorite Marvel Cinematic Universe movie? Odds are that no, you can’t. Back in the day, sound production was taken a lot more seriously, which is why themes to films like “Star Wars” or even “Mission: Impossible” are so iconic. And the main reason most movie fans haven’t heard a memorable film score in the last decade or so has a lot to do with one thing.
Every score mostly sounds the same because of choice overload
“Choice overload” is what happens when you have so many different choices, you actually find it harder to make a decision, according to The Decision Lab. Lately, filmmakers have been so inundated with music to choose from that they rely on something called temp music (via Spin), and it’s driving some sound engineers absolutely nuts. Temp music tracks are generic tracks from other movies that serve as placeholders during the editing process. But because filmmakers generally get too accustomed to hearing this placeholder music, the tracks usually don’t get changed much, if at all. They may tweak it a bit here and there to make it sound original, but it’s mostly the same music recycled over and over.
And technology is only making things worse. More of this music is now available than ever before, leading filmmakers to stuff as many tracks into the film as humanly possible. As one anonymous source told /Film, “We literally have hundreds of tracks at our disposal … in a final mix, we therefore have a lot to deal with.” It’s a lot to juggle, and Hollywood is seemingly struggling to keep up.