January 26th, 2017 | Innovation
If the virtues of voice and gesture are so evident, what are we missing to make them the main sketching tools for sound designers? The answer to such a question is multifaceted. In visual and product design, the current practices have been heavily shaped by a century of pedagogical and research experiences that have been gradually separating design from arts. In sound design, such cultural path has not been followed with the same determination, and sound design practices have been established and widely shared only in cinema (Foley) or in activities close to music (sound art). As a consequence, the importance of sketching with sound has not been fully expressed yet, and the awareness of what we can use and do at the initial stage of a sound design process is not widespread. Learning to use the sketching possibilities of our voice is certainly a fist necessary step, but a major progress will be probably achieved when technology becomes available to support the designer in the rapid production of sonic sketches.
Today, in product design, designers and theorists are becoming aware that the sonic manifestations of objects can afford natural, powerful, and useful interactions, and participate to the aesthetic appraisal of a product. The most notable example is probably that of the sounds of quiet vehicles (electric and hybrid), which addresses the issues of pedestrian safety, product aesthetics, and brand image. The automotive industry is already investing a lot of energy to carefully design every sound produced by a car (engine noise, alarms, HMI, etc).
HALF OF WHAT YOU SEE IS WHAT YOU HEAR
The SkAT-VG project aims at developing technologies that use designers’ vocal or/and manual gestures to create a synthetic sound. Curious? Try a first sound experience yourself: click on the link and then on the face of your choice. The first sound you will hear is the real voice of the person. Now, click again on the face. The sound you’re hearing is the transformation of the real voice by the SkAT-VG tools. Discover the non-exhaustive collection of sounds that can be created thanks to Skat-VG’s new tools!