Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Considering Sound Design...

We live in a world infested with noise pollution. We live in a world of bad neighbors, loud cars, crappy leaky headphones, gadgets, airplanes, hustle and bustle.

Rob Scovell over at VOIP and Other Stuff... takes a brief second to examine the situation with our gadgets and the noises they make. I for one agree, that little to no thought really seems to go into why devices make the noises they do. Watch a meeting grind to a halt as Hawaii 5-O starts blasting out of some guy's crotch and you'll know what I mean.

"I'll never forget one meeting I had once at Waikato University. We were sitting around discussing something or other and there was a beep. It came from the table of the chap whose job it was to do innovative things with PDAs and other small devices. When it beeped, he jumped, started looking frantically at the collection of gadgets in front of him, and said, "Whoooaaaaa! What was that?! What am I meant to be doing?". Was it a phone call? A text message? An appointment reminder? Or was a device announcing that its battery was going flat?

That was the first time I thought about sound design. Not design that is sound, in the sense of a bridge being sound, but design of appropriate sounds for appropriate situations. I thought about it briefly, but it never really went to the front of my mind."

When I got my 6700, I IMMEDIATELY turned off all of the stock sounds and put in my own. Song samples that don't sound like songs (the beginning of Baba O'Reilly is an excellent ringtone), simple subtle sound effects (like a TARDIS whoosh), all of these really serve to shape how I used my phone, and helped to deliver information quickly. Ringtones are invaluable in that I know who is there before I even look at the screen.

So read the rest of his article, and at the end he links out to another great read by Max Lord, on the tailoring of sound effects for devices and situations.
someaudioguy some audio guy voice over vo voiceover sound effects design floey adr dubbing production

I wish my crotch played the theme to Hawaii 5-O...

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