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Alan S. Howarth (born 6 August 1948; age 74) is a sound effects technician and designer and a film score composer. He provided sound effects for the first six Star Trek films. He is perhaps best known for his association with filmmaker John Carpenter.

Sound work

Howarth was a sound effects creator on Star Trek: The Motion Picture, which marked his first feature film credit. He subsequently did sound effects work on Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.

About recording sounds for Star Trek, he stated "I was recording sounds for starships and shuttles at the Skunkworks for Lockheed. I was in top-secret facilities recording hypersonic wind tunnels and advanced aero devices. A few times they would allow me to be in the hallway, but not in the room were the sound was being made. I would hand them a mike on a long cable and one of the Skunkworks guys actually went into the area." [1]

During the 1980s, Howarth created synthesized or electronic sound effects for such films as The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension and the John Carpenter films Escape from L.A. and They Live. He also created special sound effects for such genre films as The Final Countdown, Battle Beyond the Stars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Poltergeist, Gremlins, and The Running Man.

Howarth created processed sound effects for three animated Disney films: The Little Mermaid, The Rescuers Down Under, and DuckTales: The Movie – Treasure of the Lost Lamp. Throughout the 1990s, he continued his association with science fiction, fantasy, and horror-themed movies, including Total Recall, Army of Darkness, The Mask, Stargate, and Tank Girl. Most recently, he designed the sound effects for the 2008 Paramount Pictures release, The Spiderwick Chronicles.


Howarth and John Carpenter have co-composed the soundtracks for seven of Carpenter's films: Escape from New York, Halloween II, Halloween III: Season of the Witch, Christine, Big Trouble in Little China, Prince of Darkness, and They Live. Howarth was also the sole composer on Halloween 4 and Halloween 5, neither of which involved Carpenter, and he co-scored Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers with Paul Rabjohns.

Other films which Howarth has composed or co-composed include The Final Countdown, Head Office, The Dentist, The Omega Code, and Boo. He also composed additional music for the Robert Rodriguez film Planet Terror, which was released as part of the Grindhouse double feature presentation in 2007.

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