Netflix wanted a symphonic version of their iconic ‘Ta-Dum’. So, they called Hans Zimmer.

9 October 2020, 16:46

Netflix commission Hans Zimmer to rework Netflix 'ba-dum' theme for cinemas

By Maddy Shaw Roberts

Netflix wanted an extended, cinematic version of their iconic ‘ta-dum’ sound. And Hans Zimmer obliged…

‘Ta-dum’. It’s one of our generation’s most iconic sounds, one heard millions of times, every single day around the world. Hearing that two-part thump immediately conjures up images of the Netflix homepage and an evening spent scoffing popcorn on the sofa.

“It’s become the gold standard for sonic brands,” Product VP, Todd Yellin, says of the logo on the Twenty Thousand Hertz podcast. “It’s immediately recognisable and everyone knows that it means Netflix.”

But Netflix is growing. Since 2018, the brand has been releasing original films in cinemas – and they found the ‘ta-dum’ sound felt too rushed for a cinematic setting.

They needed a movie mood, a symphonic version of the sound to set people up for a longer experience. So, they hired Hans Zimmer.

Read more: The 10 best Hans Zimmer soundtracks >

Hans Zimmer wrote the soundtrack for The Crown
Hans Zimmer wrote the soundtrack for The Crown. Picture: Getty

Zimmer, the exceptional brains behind the scores for Inception, Pirates of the Caribbean and Gladiator, created a 16-second version of the ‘ta-dum’. And it sounds completely epic (listen in the video above).

He builds up a soaring, symphonic theme with tremolo strings and rumbling percussion, before dropping the iconic ‘ta-dum’ right at the end.

When hiring someone to extend their sound logo, Netflix wanted a cinematic composer who would not only immediately “get” what they were trying to achieve – but also retain that iconic ‘ta-dum’ in the most recognisable way possible.

And after working so successfully with Zimmer on the music for Netflix original series The Crown, the German film giant was their first choice.

After a tweet by Siqi Chen containing the extended ‘ta-dum’ went viral, people have been arguing that Zimmer’s ‘ta-dum’ could have more “oomph”. But mostly, Twitter is very happy with the result.

Now, we just need cinemas to reopen so we can hear the intro in its full glory...