An online museum of sounds—the recordings of analogue machines.
A massively in-depth study of boundary-breaking music, recreated through the web audio API.
- Steve Reich - It’s Gonna Rain (1965)
- Brian Eno - Ambient 1: Music for Airports, 2/1 (1978)
- Brian Eno - Discreet Music (1975)
You don’t have to be a musician or an expert in music theory to follow this guide. I’m neither of those things. I’m figuring things out as I go and it’s perfectly fine if you do too. I believe that this kind of stuff is well within reach for anyone who knows a bit of programming, and you can have a lot of fun with it even if you aren’t a musician.
One thing that definitely won’t hurt though is an interest in experimental music! This will get weird at times.
From Designing Products with Sound by Amber Case and Aaron Day:
Sound eases cognitive burdens.
Sound is also a powerful brand differentiator.
Sound is emotional.
Finally, sound impacts productivity.
Not every product needs sound design.
An interesting idea from Ruth—using subtle sounds to augment inline form validation.
There aren’t any extremely established best practices for this stuff. The best we can do is make tasteful choices and do user research. Which is to say, the examples in this post are ideas, not gospel.
Luke just demoed this at Codebar. It’s a lovely audio/visualisation of the solar system—a sonic orrery that you can tweak and adjust.
In July we started receiving audio signals from outside the solar system, and we’ve been studying them since.
Tweets contain sound samples on Soundcloud, data visualisations, and notes about life at the observatory …all generated by code.
ARP is a fictional radio telescope observatory, it’s a Twitter & SoundCloud bot which procedurally generates audio, data-visualisations, and the tweets (and occasionally long-exposure photography) of an astronomer/research scientist who works at ARP, who is obsessive over the audio messages, and who runs the observatory’s Twitter account.
Images, videos, sounds, and 3D models are now available from the European Space Agency under a Creative Commons Attribution Share-alike license.
Listen to the sound of Wikipedia’s recent changes feed. Bells indicate additions and string plucks indicate subtractions. Pitch changes according to the size of the edit; the larger the edit, the deeper the note.
This is rather lovely: explore a network of nodes, each of which contains the audio of a child describing a dream.
Inspired by the concept of an 8th continent to which all children belong, RadioEight is an interactive soundscape dedicated to the hidden world of dreams.
The thesis: any film is improved by playing Walk Of Life by Dire Straits over the ending.
The proof: this website.
(this is absorbing and brilliant)
Adrian documents how he’s using Service Workers on Soundslice. I could imagine doing something similar for The Session.
Sounds from our collective technological past.
(I’ll look past the fact that the sound labelled “ZX Spectrum” is using an image of an Amstrad PCP 464)
This sounds genuinely good—Alvin and the Chipmunks slowed down to reveal their true ’90s post-punk goth-grunge nature.
If you were at Responsive Day Out on Friday and you liked the music that was playing during the breaks, here’s the track listing. Creative Commons licensed.
Before there was radar, there were acoustic mirrors along the coast of England—parabolic structures designed to funnel the distant sound of approaching aircraft.
Here’s the Creative Commons licensed music that was playing during the breaks at Responsive Day Out 2.
Wikipedia edits converted into Eno-esque sound.