Starting interaction with sound, 20 Oct

Why is sound important?

Why is sound important? How do you close your earlids when you go to sleep?

How do we learn to make sounds as children?

Close your eyes after following links in this section. don’t worry about the visual details and information, this is learning to understand sound and signals

Classes of sounds

Signals and alerts

Signals and alerts are short sounds that transfer a small amount of information

  • automobile warning buzzers and interior sounds that communicate the state of the vehicle:
  • walk/don’t walk beep boop and how crazy we were about it at CMU:
  • fire department / police codes on dispatch channels:
  • collection that includes a game tone
  • doorbell:
  • ringing phone:

Information over time – songs and patterns, more complex information, many of them skeuomorphic

  • air raid siren, dual pitch:
  • tornado sirens:
    • my borough uses this as the 15 minute warning on curfew for minors(!)

Music and entertainment

Ringing phones are so unique that we map and learn our own ringtones using songs. Golan Levin’s mobile phone concert was only possible because phones had ring tones that couldn’t be changed.

Star Trek had one of the earliest catalogs of special effects sounds used to alert viewers of plot elements and activity.

Professional companies that sell sound libraries.

Chili’s used the sound of sizzling fajitas to sell them, not their flavor:

We like things that reflect heartbeat rhythm, this goes back to dance for thousands of years, continue to do this in today’s music with multiple tempo compositions.  Orbital and Underworld are two electronic bands using dual internal tempos, one near the rate of resting heart beat the other near the rate of active (dancing) heart beat.

Psychological effects of sound

Is it genetics that cause us to respond to the sound of a crying human baby? Can you think of an “angry” noise? A “happy” noise? a “relaxing” noise?


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