“The Sonic Boom”: The Hottest Sound on the Net

The Sonic Boom

The Hottest Sound on the Net, December 2014

This month, the ‘Hottest Sound on the Net’ is not actually a sound per se, but a book about sound.

The author of ‘The Sonic Boom…’ is Joel Beckerman, a man whose company, Man Made Music, have been responsible for everything from soundtracking the Superbowl to creating the Reuters audio ID.

The book is keen to explain the power of sound, and is aimed at those of us who work in areas such as sonic branding. He includes scientific explanations where possible, for example in his explanation of why we tend to respond to sound first, and visual stimulation second: “When you think about it from a survival point of view, there is a tremendous evolutionary advantage to a primate that can react instantly to something that is out of their line of sight”.

He also includes plenty of anecdotes, some of which are incredibly interesting. You can read an extract from the book over on Wired that discusses the evolution of Apple’s start-up sound. This is a sound that is so iconic that Pixar can now use it as a joke in one of their movies (see below), but the development of this ‘audio logo’ was actually fairly tortuous. The sound designer responsible for the sound, Jim Reekes, battled with upper management in an attempt to get the Apple start up sound changed, and in the end resorted to subterfuge to get his way! The full story is well worth a read.

‘The Sonic Boom: How Sound Transforms The Way We Think, Feel and Buy’ by Joel Beckerman is out now.


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