star wars: Apple explains how Macs were used to create sounds for Star Wars films

Celebrating ‘Star Wars Day‘, Apple has released a documentary short film, Behind the Mac: Skywalker Sound, which takes viewers behind the scenes at Skywalker Sound and their use of Macs in creating sounds for the Star Wars films. The documentary is shot at the Skywalker Ranch in Nicasio, California, the vast facility owned and conceived by George Lucas, creator of the Star Wars universe.
Skywalker Sound, the sound design, editing, mixing and audio post-production facility is also located here. It is a 1,53,000-square-foot, red-bricked building, surrounded by vineyards and the man-made Lake Ewok.
Skywalker Sound’s central machine room is “basically the brains of all the stage operations.”, as per sound editor Ryan Frias. Around 130 Mac Pro racks, 50 iMac, 50 MacBook Pro and 50 Mac mini computers running Pro Tools all connect remotely to this central power source, says Apple.
Skywalker Sound has a sound library which contains more than 700,000 recordings.
One of the examples of how the sound designers at the facility created a particular sound for a Star Wars film is that they used a recording of the wobbly blades of a “strange, broken ceiling fan in an apartment” and converted it into the sound of the laser gates that momentarily divide Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn and the Sith Lord Darth Maul during the climactic lightsaber duel in Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace. The sounds related to the droid R2-D2 were also conceived at Skywalker Sound.
Baihui Yang, supervising sound editor, says that the creators bring Pro Tools sessions with them in the field and watch and record and quickly put it together, to test whether it works or not.

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