The ‘Star Wars’-Inspired History of the Iconic THX Audio Logo reports that digital audio engineer James A. Moorer has had an impressive career: He holds multiple patents, has won an Oscar and an Emmy, and was involved in the founding of Stanford’s Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics.

But his most famous and familiar work is something that came together in just four days back in the early 1980s. You’ve heard it if you’ve gone to the movies since then, and maybe even if you haven’t. It starts quietly, and it doesn’t last long, but it quickly swirls and builds a kind of thundering tone that can’t be ignored.

It’s the “audio logo” that announces that you’re in a THX-ready theater. It even has a name: Deep Note.

“My wife and I have a running joke,” Moorer told me in a recent interview, “of me going to my grave being famous for 35 seconds.”


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