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Posted by on Dec 8, 2009 | 2 comments

Treg Brown and the Sound of Looney Tunes

Treg Brown, a genius, a master, incredibly talented man, creator of fantastic sound effects since 1930. He is responsible for the creation of much of the sound effects of the first animated cartoons including Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies, and here is the documenal I found on YouTube, called “CRASH! BANG! BOOM! The Wild Sounds of Treg Brown.” Another “Must-see”


  1. EGM: Who have been your mentors in sound design?

    Ben Burtt: Then there is Treg Brown, credited as the editor of the Warner Bros. cartoons from 1933 to 1966. He also created all the sound effects. He was a huge influence on me, because he used real sound effects for comic purposes and for exaggeration. The Road Runner is made from the sounds of high-speed aircraft. If Wile E. Coyote crashed into something, the impact wasn’t the sound of a cymbal crash or a bass drum hit; it was Treg Brown cutting in a thunderclap and a destroyer alert siren. Associating these real-world sounds with the events in the cartoon made the action seem all the more realistic and melodramatic. I found this same approach gave dramatic credibility to the fantasy film. For me, Star Wars was one gigantic Warner Bros. cartoon. [via]

    For example, Burtt created the sound of Wall-E’s “tank treads” by recording an old hand-cranked “coffee grinder” generator that he saw John Wayne use in a movie (unnamed, but Burtt was most likely referring to William Wellman’s 1953 drama of an Army plane missing in an Arctic wasteland, Island in the Sky). “That’s a great sounding motor, and I searched all around and finally found one on eBay for $40,” he said. “It came in its original wax packing, and we mounted it on a stand and used it to tailor-make the sounds of Wall-E’s treads. That was a soft sound and could fit his slower movements.” Burtt added that Wall-E’s more high-speed movements were obtained by recording an inertia starter from an old JN-5 Jenny biplane, a sound many in the audience recognized as the source also of the Tasmanian Devil, Bugs Bunny’s nemesis in several Warner Bros. cartoons.


  2. To whom it may concern,
    I am 61 years old and still feel that Bugs Bunny Cartoons are awesome. I have been wondering all these years if the sound similar to odicodicidoticidodiodicodicodic or something like that hilarious sound was made by a machine. If you know please let me know meanwhile I’ll keep laughing my $#^#! off. No one will ever make cartoons like this again.
    PS is there any way one can purchase Bugs Bunny Vitaphone, Merry Melodies collections or single cartoons from the 1930s and up until Mel Blanc stopped his great voice overs?
    Thanks for your time in this manner.
    An Old Fan,
    Russ Loland


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