2

The various technologies featured in Star Trek make a variety of sounds, not all of which are diegetic. For example, exterior shots in space battle scenes commonly show phasers and photon torpedoes making noise, but sound does not travel through space. These non-diegetic sounds are played solely for the benefit of the television audience; either they have no in-universe source at all, or else they have an in-universe source that would not normally be audible from the point of view of the camera (and thus to any characters present in the shot).

My question concerns the very conspicuous sound that accompanies the use of the transporter. Is this sound diegetic or non-diegetic? That is, do we have any on-screen evidence that the characters in the show can hear things materializing and dematerializing? For example, have any characters actually commented on the noise? Have any of them tried to secretly transport themselves to or away from a remote location, out of view of any observers who happen to be present, only to be given away by the sound of their de- or rematerialization?

Note that I'm not asking whether the transporter device itself makes noise. I rather suspect that it does (and that this is what the TV audience hears, even if it's not present in the shot), so let's confine on-screen evidence to the depictions of the remote end of the transportation rather than to the transporter room.

(Note 1: There was a previous question on transportation sounds, but that question and its answers take it as a given that the sound is diegetic. Here I am essentially questioning the entire premise of the previous question.)

(Note 2: I'm most interested in the Federation transportation technology of TNG/DS9/Voyager-era Star Trek, but would also accept evidence concerning the transportation technology of other major races and other time periods.)

4
  • The dupe mentions that the sound is diegetic. On multiple occasions characters hear the transport in progress
    – Valorum
    Commented Dec 3, 2018 at 21:38
  • There are other examples (really too many to sensibly mention) where characters react to incoming transporters; reddit.com/r/DaystromInstitute/comments/6nubnh/…
    – Valorum
    Commented Dec 3, 2018 at 21:39
  • It's not true that ship's phaser make no sound. They originate from the ship, and can be heard from the ship.
    – Ted Miller
    Commented Dec 13, 2018 at 20:04
  • @TedMiller: I never claimed that phasers make no sound. I said that if they make sound, then they can't be heard from the point of view of a camera in outer space.
    – Psychonaut
    Commented Dec 14, 2018 at 8:24

0