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Opinion and Insight

Sonic Branding: Chatty Modems & The Triumph of Mice

Big Sync’s Andy Stafford talks to WIRED on the psychology behind the world’s most recognisable sounds

Sonic Branding: Chatty Modems & The Triumph of Mice

Since the world got Trumped on Tuesday many of us are seeking reassurance that everything’s going to be alright.  So, just listen to the sound of your Mac starting up. On repeat. OK, don’t do that because that would be weird and non-productive. But, according to Big Sync’s Andy Stafford, who features in the latest video from WIRED, the sound of a Mac starting up is like ‘a gentle rub on the back’ to remind you that all’s well with the world, to go forth, multiply, win that pitch, get that date, whatever it is you need to do.

In the 8 minute film, audio experts Andy Stafford from Big Sync and Steve Milton from Listen, discuss skeuomorphism - the art of making sounds resemble things from the real world - and how and why it has shaped some of the actions we’re all familiar with and how we feel about them -  from starting up a PlayStation to chucking digital Trash in the can.

It’s a journey through our daily actions via our ears.  Do you know your Marimba from your Funk Error Message? Do you agree with Andy that the sound of modems talking is weirdly cute?  Do you know which ring tone the world has listened to 1.8billion times a day - or 20,000 times per second and why this fact is so ironic?  Why does the Skype ringtone sound like underwater speech bubbles?  Did the ‘Ta Dah!’ of the Windows 95 shut down really sound like triumphant mice?  

Grab a coffee and plug in for a little slice of sonic history.

Genre: Creative technology , Music & Sound Design , Storytelling , Strategy/Insight