Tuning The Sound of A Car, Even When There Is None.

The Nissan Leaf

The Nissan Leaf

Okay, now we have officially entered the future.

Nissan will soon be releasing a new car called the Leaf that runs so silently,  lawmakers and policy advocates complain that it could sneak up on people.  And what about blind folks?   They’ll never know it’s coming.  So what to do?

Designers added a sound to the car.   When the car is below 12 miles per hour, the artificial noise will play.  But not just any noise.  Nissan assembled a special team led by Tohiyuki Tabata just to address this problem.  What they did was consult with film score composers.  They then designed the sound of the engine before the real sound of the tires and the hybrid gas-electric engine would create it’s own noise at speeds greater than 12 mph.  This sound will is described as “futuristic and beautiful” similar to  the cars in the acclaimed Ridley Scott film Blade Runner based on the Philip K. Dick book ‘Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep‘?

How cool is this?  Audio branding by creating an artificial engine sound.  It’s sort of what Harley Davidson did by turning their motorcycle engines upside down and tuning them to full bone-rattling rumble.  I’ve been told by those that know, these bikes need to be adjusted all the time as the screws get rattled loose.

And then there’s the possibility of changing that engine sound. Imagine swapping out your sweet ride’s acceleration from the car’s app store like changing a ringtone.   In the future, I suppose all cars would be silent and we can opt for the Harley bone rattle while we glide up on our electric motor scooter, with temporary tattoos and all.

Here’s a video from IDG, but unfortunately, there’s no preview of the ‘futuristic and beautiful’ sound.

If you have an audio branding situation, we’d love to help.  Give us a ring on -1-888-211-5945 or send an email to the Head Monk.

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