This year SXSW showcased a wide range of activations that emphasized the powerful role of sound in experiences.
Sony Wow Studio’s installation Ghostly Whisper which used audio technology to manifest a haunting experience for visitors. Enveloping attendees in otherworldly sound and haptics. Sony’s other activation the Acoustic Vessel Odyssey used over 500 speakers and a choreographed light show to present a voyage through space and time. With their enviable spatial audio technology, Sony was able to craft immersive group experiences without the need of cumbersome headphones.
Marshmallow Laser Feast, a creative studio out of London brought a mixed reality experience that incorporated visuals, sound and haptics to comment on the effect of man on the planet through clapping, whistling, hollering and singing under a virtual umbrella.
Our friends at Pandora made an intimate connection between sonic branding and our personal relationships with music at their SXSW house. Partnering with Tool of North America, Pandora’s experience involved interactive tables captured both musical preferences and mood using a simple questionnaire and facial recognition technology to ultimately craft a unique audio clip that “sounds like you”.
The much buzzed about Westworld: Live Without Limits used sound to set the stage for their transformational experience. Upon arrival, a player piano greeted participants with haunting covers of The Rolling Stones and Radiohead. The show’s iconic theme music infused the entry experience to the town of Sweetwater, where live eerie folk music twinkled in the background, bringing a sense of otherworldliness to every inch of the park.
In a four-day long immersive storytelling journey between multiple dimensions, creative collective Meow Wolf in collaboration with the Interactive Deep Dive and Man Made Music poetically disrupted the world of Bryan Bishop, a senior editor for the Verge. In his reflective piece on this once in a lifetime experience in the SimuLife Diaries, Bishop speaks to the transformative powers of the unique sound design that signaled rifting between these two worlds.
Panels also found ways to forge music into their topics. Dovetailing on Elon Musk’s surprise appearance and announcement of SpaceX’s plans for Mars in 2019, Man Made brought music to the world of Mars exploration and colonization. Opening with an experiential score, Man Made discussed the future of culture on Mars in the panel Mars or Bust with outer space architect John Spencer and NASA astronaut, Yvonne Cagle. The conversation culminated in the first performance of Martian folk music, involving the panelists and audience alike.
SXSW continues to stay true to its musical routes in new and exciting ways, featuring the power of sound on a far broader spectrum.
Report to EVP Managing Director with a dotted line to Founder
Man Made Music is a strategic music and sound studio founded in 1998. We use music and sound to shape how audiences feel. Man Maders come from entertainment, branding, live music, theater, technology, innovation, design, advertising, media buying and sports. We pull from all walks of life to serve audiences and make life better through sound and music.
The device in your hand, the biggest game of the year, your favorite shows and networks, museums and theme parks you love, the immersive experience you can’t stop talking about, cars you’ll drive, your future robots… we score it all with the vision of making life richer and simpler.
We are looking for a candidate to:
Lead business development on the East Coast with the EVP Managing Director. Communicate Man Made’s philosophy, values, and innovations to potential clients and the outside world. Act as a leader internally: motivate, show leadership in growth, and create momentum. Partner with SVP, Head of Brand in marketing efforts worldwide, facilitating growth across all verticals.
Be a Sonic Evangelist and guide clients in how sound can best improve audience experience and support business metrics. Actively participate in internal brainstorming, offering expansion and innovation discussions to bring the best ideas to Man Made clients.
Through internal partnership, ensure world-class client outreach, development, presentations, meetings, pitches, to maximize.
• Meet or exceed growth targets and objectives
• Partner on strategic plans to grow the business
• Maximize existing business relationships
• Establish new business relationships
• Train and manage the Biz Dev team as it grows
• Responsible for a portion of Biz Dev team expenses, budgets and process
• Coordinate efforts between the Operations, Creative and Client Experience team on proposals and presentations
We’re looking for a Team Player with:
• 3-5 years experience in a creative company
• An Entrepreneurial spirit – passion and experience in driving growth and building things
• A real love for meeting people and making friends
• Strong project and team management skills
• Great written and oral communication skills
• An analytical brain, able to simplify complex offerings into actionable, exciting proposals
Man Made values diversity and experiences from all cultures, genders, and races.
Check out Darryn King’s feature for Forbes on Joel Beckerman’s “ear-catching ideas for the New York City subway”:
“Frankly, the sound when you swipe the card and you’re successful sounds exactly the same as when you fail,” he says. “You’ve got to look at the screen every time you swipe or risk bumping into the bar. If it was simply a different sound, people would save their legs. There are so many simple things that would have been so easy for them to do, that wouldn’t have cost them a nickel more, but they weren’t thinking about it on a human level.”
Check out Man Made Music’s Dan Venne and Kevin Perlmutter speaking with John Converse Townsend of FastCompany on our work with Nissan:
Check out Man Made Music’s Director of Strategy, Kristen Lueck speaking at TEDx for EAE Business School in Madrid:
Whether we realise it or not, music and sound score everything – from cine films to our daily wake-up call. Learn how to harness the impact of this powerful, and often under-utilised, design tool, to transform brand messaging, multi-sensory experiences, and even your own life.
Check out Katie Richards’ article at Adweek, featuring insight from Lauren McGuire:
“If music creates emotion, what we see is brand favorability increases, brand consideration increases, metrics that really apply directly to ROI. When it comes to all experiences, brands are realizing that emotional connection is more important than ever,” said McGuire
Twist, pop, Ahhhhhhhh.
When craving a sweet and refreshing Snapple, all that stands in your way is a simple twist of the top and a most satisfying pop. While most bottles are encumbered by plastic around their lids, Snapple has done away with the pesky packaging their competitors find necessary. Why can they do this? It’s because their iconic pop instantly communicates freshness, inciting a Pavlovian response of satisfaction over the imminent hydration.
Sound plays a powerful and pervasive role in our interpretation of freshness, temperature and taste. All of which factor into the individual choices we make about our food and drink. To explore the role of sound in our lives and its potential role in supporting a culture of health, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation participated in a Man Made Music HIVE Session™ — a three hour think tank for creative ideation sharing and sonic exploration. Throughout our wide-ranging discussion that examined areas such as sleep, mental wellness, childhood fitness, and alarm fatigue – one area of intrigue was the role of sound in the choices we make around food.
Founder of Man Made Music, Joel Beckerman, explored this concept in his book The Sonic Boom: How Sound Transforms the Way We Think, Feel, and Buy, which begins with a classic example of the role of sound and how we perceive taste. The Chili’s restaurant franchise is famous for their fajitas, and rightfully so. But did you know that at any given moment, Chili’s is cooking up far more fajitas orders in the kitchen than required? That’s because each time the kitchen door swings open and the sound of sizzling meat escapes into the restaurant floor, patrons take notice — and orders for the spicy dish soar. Beckerman also touches on the implications of sound in how a food product is packaged. In 2010, Frito-Lay debuted a 100% biodegradable bag for SunChips, which ended up being an epic flop. The material of the bag caused it to be so loud it was featured on CBS cutting through the shrieks of trains on a New York City subway platform. A Facebook group called “Sorry But I Can’t Hear You Over This SunChips Bag” sprang up with over forty-four thousand followers. SunChips sales dropped every month until Frito-Lay scrapped the design. The sound alone had driven customers away from a once beloved product.
How could we use our knowledge about the influence of sound on perception to help make the healthy choice the easy choice for young children? How could we use sound to alter perception of taste or of an experience to facilitate healthy eating habits? After brainstorming, four key areas of opportunity rose to the forefront:
1. Sonify the Everyday to Bring Delight
If sound can act as a positive reinforcement tool for children, use it to create moments of delight in everyday interactions. Vending machines could be altered to give encouraging sonic cues when children made healthier selections. Musical water fountains could encourage and remind students to drink water, gamifying what might otherwise be a forgetful part of the day.
2. Sound Affects Gaze
A study that aired recently on NPR discussed the involvement of sound in directing focus and attention. While it is often shown that people will fill their plates with the first thing they see, it is sound that directs even those cursory glances. Imagine if a school cafeteria leveraged this tool to highlight different dishes for students. By strategically considering not only where food items are placed, but highlighting the healthiest options with interesting and engaging sound, kids could be compelled to fill their plates up with nutritious veggies first, before moving onto less desirable options.
3. Consider the Restaurant Model
Restaurants play close attention to the music they play in their establishments, understanding the strong connection that forms between music and any dining experience. Playing music that is complementary to the restaurant environment has been proven to increase linger time and subsequently purchases. However, schools and public spaces don’t consider music in the same way. What is we applied this same logic to a cafeteria? Or to a classroom during snack time? Parents could also implement this at home, crafting strong positive bonds between music and mealtimes that could have lasting implications for a child’s eating habits.
4. Start a Packaging Revolution
More often than not, the unhealthiest options have the flashiest packaging. How can we start a packaging revolution using sound that would make healthier choices more appealing to eat and drink? Can healthier brands leverage preexisting positive associations between sound and freshness, such as the crunch of an apple, to preemptively engage children before the child has even taken a sip or a bite.
Sound and music are powerful stimulus that connect with the brain instantaneously. Sonic cues have great potential to create lasting associations and positive connections. What are your ideas for how the power of sound could help make the healthy choice the easy choice? Feel free to share your thoughts below.
A million congratulations to Joel Beckerman for being elected as a new writer member to ASCAP’s Board of Directors.
“ASCAP is the only member-run US performing rights organization, with a Board made up solely of writers and publishers,” said ASCAP President and Chairman of the Board Paul Williams. “In tackling the challenges of today’s music creators, the ASCAP Board of Directors takes its responsibility very seriously. We welcome Joel Beckerman and Rudy Pérez to the Board and know that we can rely on their individual knowledge and experiences as we work together to build a stronger, more secure future for ASCAP members.”
Beckerman said, “It’s an honor to be named by my colleagues to the ASCAP Board. I’m excited to join the team to help accelerate the important work that is being done to build an even brighter future for music creators, publishers and our audiences.”
Check out Kristina Monllos’ feature on Joel Beckerman for Adweek. Here’s an excerpt:
Take the indoor theme park experiences that Beckerman scored for Cartoon Network or the sonic brand identity and “soundtrack of ‘safety’” he developed for a global car manufacturer’s new electric vehicle. “The connected world of consumer products we live in … has pushed us into so many exciting new territories,” Beckerman explained. “And sound is the red thread that ties all these experiences together.”
Man Made Music and EccoVR are looking for a highly motivated Audio Programmer to join our freelance VR / AR audio team. You must be self-driven and able to champion audio-related features from conceptualization to completion.
• Work alongside EccoVR sound designers & client game programmers to integrate sound & music into upcoming VR & AR projects
• Advise on out how to use existing technology to achieve new and unique audio features for spatial sound
• A strong interest in audio processing and creating awesome VR experiences with best-in-class audio implementation
• At least 2 years of professional programming experience
• Ability to work independently and efficiently under deadlines
• Proficiency in C/C++ and Microsoft Visual Studio
• Strong communication and teamwork skills
• Experience with Wwise Middleware
• Experience working with Unreal Engine 4 & Unity
• Experience with 3D audio SDK’s such as FB360 (.TBE), Steam VR (Phonon), Oculus Audio
• Familiarity with mixing, sample rates, data compression filters, reverbs, etc.
• Experience implementing and mixing for 3D spatialized audio and interactive environments, including ambisonic audio tracks
• Experience/interest in making custom abstract behavior and/or interactive music systems
Let us know! Interested parties, please send resumes to: email@example.com