How Silent Electric Vehicles Get Their Sound

How Silent Electric Vehicles Get Their Sound


– I really wanted to put
myself in the mindset of going to a car lot and seeing
the car roll in front of me and I hear it and I go that. I want that car. – Man Made Music is a
company that focuses on sonic branding. The sound they have created
are now synonymous with global brands. (dramatic music) Recently Man Made Music was
commissioned by Nissan to develop the sound for a new
fleet of otherwise silent electric vehicles. – What were the internal
discussions here at Man Made Music about what that sound might look like? – So we had to think about
it from the perspective of the way we think about
all of our projects. How are we gonna create
an iconic vehicle sound, something that’s proprietary for Nissan? How is that gonna be built in
a way that meets regulations and is emotionally appealing? – The way it works is
that the sound is actually two and a half seconds worth
of sound that’s been moved, perfectly moved, so it
sounds like one long tone. – Okay. – And every kilometer forever
that it goes up in speed the pitch goes up 1% in pitch and speed. So the sound from zero kilometers
per hour where it’s idling is gonna be whirring along
right here and as the car accelerates the pitch goes
up and it speeds up too. (electronic whirring) – So when it comes to that
you know electric vehicles so far have had this whirring sound. How much of a departure did
you make from say the gas powered vehicle? – Well the internal combustion
engine, all of them have sort of this irregular sound to them right? Like I think we know like
the Harley Davidson sound and it’s described as this
(imitating motorcycle engines). You know.
(engine rumbling) Does it scream like precision engineering? No it screams muscular
and I think that swagger. Moving over to an electric
vehicle there’s not a combustion engine in it. And so we still wanna convey
a sense of power but in this case the brief wasn’t so
much about power, it’s more, it’s more along the lines of
feeling responsive, right? And feeling new. This would be an example of
a sound that we explored. Like I throw it into this
program and it loops just so you kind of, so we can get used
to that idea of what does it sound like for a long period of time? I don’t like it frankly.
– Right. – But I can go like this, you
can hear it kind of sputtering and stuttering. This is not actually as
smooth as it will sound. Let us know, I kind of know
how this is gonna feel. We’d probably iterate it right? So it’s like a cousin to it. We’ve tried lowering it,
’cause that was probably too fatiguing but we still
have the little flutter. – Nissan just put a video
up on YouTube debuting this, the Canto technology. The described it as Nissan sings. (electronic whirring) Even though this doesn’t sound
like any car that has sort of been on a road ever the
concept, even from an auditory standpoint that this is
something getting faster or slowing down is pretty
clear without the speedometer. Can you give us an insight as
to what you think the future of sound design might look like? – Well sound is so much more
than ever before becoming a primary experience component. Whether it’s a vehicle or anything else. We the internet of things
and so many different technologies that are emerging,
interfaces are going away, interfaces are, they’re disappearing. And sound becomes a primary
component to create presence and awareness to give brand attribution. To convey meaning, to
give emotional reactions. And as interfaces go away
sound becomes more important. (upbeat music)