Rising atonal sound effect used to convey a character's isolation or emotional state
(Needs More Examples. I know I've Seen It a Million Times! Needs a Better Name) This trope occurs when the audio in a scene fades out (or is completely muted) while another non-diegetic sound element begins rising and drowns out all other sound in the scene. This sound element is only heard by the audience, and is primarily intended to convey an onscreen character's isolation or extreme emotional state. For example, let's say you have Bob, who's just received some shocking information. Maybe he just received news that he has an inoperabable cancer. Or maybe someone close to him just died. Regardless, he's trying to get along with life but he just can't seem to focus on anything. The trope occurs when the camera focuses on Bob's Thousand-Yard Stare. A droning or atonal noise will begin rising, drowning out all background noise until there's nothing except the noise [[hottip:note:this is a sound effect that only the audience hears. Nobody in the actual scene is aware of the noise, not even Bob]]. The drone is meant to convey Bob getting lost in his thoughts; maybe he feels empty, distraught, or just plain not himself. A common secondary part to the trope is another character suddenly cutting through the noise, abruptly ending it (representing Bob's attention snapping back to focus). Bonus points if they're actually repeating themselves because Bob didn't hear them the first time. A type of audio cue, similar to Psycho Strings or Scare Chord in that it's not actually a soundtrack-type element but rather a auditory way of enhancing the story. When it's actually a persistent part of the soundtrack, this is Drone of Dread. Compare Shell-Shock Silence. For a longer, more psychological version of this, see Angst Coma. Can be related to a Heroic BSOD. Can also overlap with Alone in a Crowd. Note: This doesn't necessarily have to be a literal droning noise, but can also be plain white noise, some Source Music in the background, or even random background noise that gets amplified louder and louder.