Life is full of little noises. The satisfying click when you know the lid is on right or the cacophony of sounds from your average kitchen appliance, but these things do not just happen by accident, it is down to the tireless work of sound designers, who ensure everything sounds as it should.
Laurent Voirol, Communications Manager at DKB Brands explains:
“The sound aspect comes into consideration early on in the design of a product. When I go to my beater and I hear a clack. I know it’s connected. There’s no problem, there’s no risk the whisk will drop and not work properly.
“There is no electronic chip that produces a special sound. The sound it makes is based on the materials used. If you have aluminium as with this product here, you would get a different sound if you used plastic.”
Creating or modifying sounds for objects, has become a profession. Lucas Grolleau, a musician living in Paris, is a sound designer and it is his job to compose music or to make sounds required for commercial applications.
“A sound can be created either by keyboard, by recording a sound you make outside, by rubbing something, or using a guitar, it’s like being a kind of cook with a multitude of ingredients,” he says.
Lucas was commissioned by a company to develop the sounds for a touch screen till, destined for a restaurant. As a sound designer he will have to take background noise into consideration when perfecting and crisping those desired beeps.
“To imagine the person being at their till and the sound that they hear. It’s these sounds that can be heard, that are sufficiently short, dry and precise enough to be able to distinguish them apart,” he adds.
Sounds all have a well defined function which sound designers have to take into account. But they can also get across another sense, that of product quality and it is no surprise a number of brands take pains to carefully reflect their identity in their sound as Alain Dore, Creative Director at Brandimages explains:
“Sound is everywhere, so you have to really define it to the designer to make identity a factor. Each brand has to take all these things into consideration to create meaning. For example, this bottle is made of wood and metal, with a magnet system, when I open it, there’s a noise, that sound of the magnet is actually a sign of quality. “
The sound design profession is still in its early stages but it is likely to grow. So whether you are a musicians, engineer or a marketing specialist, the possibilities for a career in the sound trade appear endless.