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David Attenborough fans disappointed after realising truth behind nature sounds in new documentary

David Attenborough fans disappointed after realising truth behind nature sounds in new documentary

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is

Sir David Attenborough has a new series coming out on Sky named Secret World of Sound, which aims to bring viewers the cacophonic and sometimes confusing noises from the natural world.

However, producers for the show dropped the rather considerable bombshell that when it comes to nature documentaries, what we hear isn't always what's happening.

Nature documentaries are usually all about the visuals, and over the years we've become better at pointing a camera at animals and observing how they act without disturbing them.

The camera crews will put in incredible effort to get a marvellous array of shots, though sadly they're not generally allowed to interfere during turbulent times in the animal kingdom.

Very occasionally the rules will be broken if the reason for the problem is man-made or if very limited intervention could make all the difference.

But generally when it comes to nature documentaries what you see is what you get, though that's not the case when you're hearing the animal noises.

Did you know that most nature documentaries add in the animal sounds after filming?
Sky Nature

Producers for Secret World of Sound with David Attenborough told The Metro that in most nature documentaries the noises the animals make are added in post-production.

Poppy Dixon, Sky Nature's Director of Documentaries and Factual, explained: "Not a lot of people know that many natural history programmes don’t actually record sound on location. It’s all done in post."

Those majestic roars and intriguing chirps of animals you hear on most documentaries are noises added after the filming has been completed thanks to a guide for what sort of environmental sounds were going on at the time.

A sound team will essentially 'dub' the animals so what the viewers at home hear is clearer than you might get from filming in the field.

David Attenborough's new documentary is showing you what animals really sound like.
Sky Nature

It's one of those things that makes a little more sense the more you think about it, getting clear sound can be hard and you can't exactly ask that iguana you were filming if it wouldn't mind awfully if it could provide you with a clearer take.

However, thanks to developments in microphone technology the filming crews have been able to listen in on animals like never before, with Secret World of Sound letting you know what noises they're actually making.

In between the beloved narration of Sir David Attenborough viewers are invited to lend their ears to the true noises of nature.

One such display is that of a lion making noises which The Guardian described as sounding 'like Chewbacca farting in a bathtub'.

Reviewer Jack Seale suggested 'the majesty is lost' somewhere on the journey between a lion's vocal chords and TV viewers' ears, though he noted that even if some sounds didn't translate all that well, the documentary had created an 'intriguing idea' which it did well with.

Secret World of Sound with David Attenborough is available to watch on Sky and NowTV.

Featured Image Credit: Sky Nature

Topics: Animals, David Attenborough, Documentaries, TV and Film