In the city we're not looking for silence, we are looking for calmness. To clearly describe our needs, a pleasant environment fits better with what people want to experience. Because sound does so much with our body, such as the brain waves, heartbeat and breathing, our physical rhythm is constantly influenced. The goal is to design sounds for electric vehicles that offers comfort instead of annoyance.
Together with a sound designer I’ve designed three sounds for electric vehicles, that could make cities sound better and ensure that residents feel better.
It is a known fact that some sounds and music can be used to relax you. The pace of different types of music can affect heart rate and blood pressure. 60 beats per minute are important because that is the rate your heart beats when relaxed. The rhythm helps to create a peaceful relaxed environment, prime for learning and using long term memory.
Ambient sounds works as aesthetic white noise and can improve an environment, even when the sound level is high. A calm soundscape is an essential aspect of quality of life and can be used to mask unwanted sounds or silence. These sounds can play a role in making a city more habitable and help to counteract the negative effects of city noise.
White noise is very pleasant and flowing water has the same effect. Water sounds have two unique characteristics. One is that it’s very pleasant on the ear and the second is that the source direction of that sound is instantly recognisable. The moment you hear white sound you can point directly at where it’s coming from. This is an incredibly valuable quality that could work as a sound for future electric cars.
If we think on a larger scale in the city, we can work on the composition of urban soundscapes, including the acoustic needs for urban citizens. The creation of sound recordings through the multi-track production process offers a point of view into how an overall soundscape can be successfully created, and multiple sounds effectively orchestrated.