Follow TV Tropes


Previews Pulse

Go To

For added atmosphere, play the music from this trailer while reading on.

Trailers love to play up excitement and mystery, and as of The New '10s, one favorite way to do this by tickling the ears with an unusual sound. One of these sounds is the Previews Pulse. It is often created by an instrument known as a blaster beam which creates a single chord which ends up sounding technological and mysterious. Other methods are through mixing several instruments, usually bass, or altering the sound of a horn.

These "pulses" are used in trailers to create a feeling of sudden tension, similar to a Scare Chord, but are rarely used in the movie itself, as it may be distracting. A trailer that uses them is often made up of rapidly cut snippets, with the chord announcing with each new scene.

Not to be confused with Heartbeat Soundtrack, another common trailer trope.


    open/close all folders 


  • The score of Princess Mononoke begins with two reverb-heavy pulses from a massive taiko drum.


     Live Action TV  

  • The pulses signal the end of the peacefulness in Terra Nova.
  • In a 10 O'Clock Live segment on the media's treatment of the Japan earthquake in 2011 showed Sky News doing this with a preview for its upcoming coverage, accidentally underlining their own tastelessness in dramatizing a real disaster in such a way when it was immediately followed by a trailer for Game of Thrones that used exactly the same style.


  • Diablo Swing Orchestra's "Justice for Saint Mary" (the final track off Pandora's Piñata). At 5:45 into the song, just after the final chorus, there are two low-pitched trombone notes, signaling to the listener that the song is about to kick it up a notch.
  • "Pound the Alarm" by Nicki Minaj uses a blaster beam as the eponymous "alarm" that signals the end of the chorus and starts the beat break.
    • Inna's similar song "Be My Lover" uses the same or a similar blaster beam sound during its dance break.
  • "Destroid 2: Wasteland", by Excision, Downlink and Space Laces, samples the Inception horn and possibly the Mass Effect Reaper horns.
  • ''"Language" by Porter Robinson uses a klaxon and space blaster-style pulse in its bass drop.
  • Michael Jackson's "Beat It" used a blaster beam for the intro chimes.
  • VNV Nation's "Art of Conflict" is built around an increasingly harsh distorted horn pulse.
  • "Rancor" by Radiarc uses the Inception peulse to excess.
  • Jean-Michel Jarre uses a THX Deep Note-style organ glissando at the beginning of "Oxygène Part 20", and a more traditional pulse in "First Rendez-Vous" and "The Watchers", the intro track of Equinoxe Infinity.
  • Raging Silence's Rise of the Robots album features a blaster beam bass drop in its eponymous intro track and several others.
  • Color Theory's "In Space, No One Can Hear You Cry" references the aforementioned Alien trailer with its introductory sonar pulse.

     Video Games  

     Web Animation