Create Innovative Sounds to Create Your Unique Image
Rivian has recently released a publication sinking into the captivating audios that have been chosen for their R1T and also R1S. Perusing the newsletter, one discovers that a lot of attention was paid to ensuring each sound was highly distinctive and characteristic of the vehicle’s modality. For example, the start-up sequence only emits after the driver presses the button, producing an auditory phenomenon which is both elegant and pleasing.
You may be aware that EVs necessitate a particular noise that can be picked up by pedestrians and cyclists in low traffic speed. At Rivian, the duty of ascertaining this sound was assigned to a team of six in March 2021 preceding the vehicle’s official launch. Substantially, the required work had been finalized as three finalists were isolated from a spectrum of 50 noises recorded.
“The AVAS was one of the most thought-provoking sounds to come from our vehicles,” said Eric G., Principal UX Designer. “We were aware that this sound would be heard in a variety of places, such as grocery store parking lots, trails, campsites, and busy city intersections, by both owners and non-owners alike.”
The team was looking for an acoustic that was conspicuous without being oppressive. It should be appropriate to almost any urban environment, but the goal was not to make it too discordant in a natural setting. Therefore, Dodge’s Fratzonic Chambered Exhaust system was determined to be unsuitable.
Rivian eventually opted for a blend of noises collected out in the open, featuring water and air from Laguna Beach, Californian Mammoth Lakes and the Colorado River. Cleverly using these tranquil sounds to ensure security seemed an obvious choice for the USA-based electric vehicle manufacturer.
But Rivian was not content to stop there; they were determined that nature should not only provide sounds for the AVAS system, but beyond.
“From the get-go, we wanted to take our cues from nature when it came to the sounds that would be incorporated into the vehicles,” said Chris Jacobs, the Director of UX Special Projects. “If electric vehicles are the wave of the future in terms of transportation, why not make them fit seamlessly into the natural environment they’re helping to protect?”
BMW had a comparable notion regarding its electrical autos, yet rather than exploiting nature, it remunerated double Academy Award champ and well-known music maker Hans Zimmer to build up its soundscapes.
Rivian took a microphone and traversed the US in an effort to modernize the series of sounds we’ve habituated over time. The sound of a turn signal indicator used to originate from a relay switch, yet as of these days it’s nothing more than an audio reverberating through the speakers since it’s well-recognizable. When something copies the design of its predecessor in order to seem familiar, then we call it a skeuomorphism. But why abide by the same skeuomorphic orientation when you can come up with something fresh?
Hence, Rivian took up two sounds and placed them in an overlapping fashion. The foremost sound was a wolf’s howling while the other was that of timber striking against more timber. With some fine-tuning, the team procured the desire ‘woodsies tap’ sound.
Our favored sound is the lock chirp. Rather than employing a shrill blast from a horn, at times one of the most displeasing sounds in an ordinary suburbs, Rivian opted for the whistles and trills of mountain bluebirds, recorded during their summer in Yellowstone National Park.
The distinctive trill of the bluebird has been singled out and then combined with an additional warble before elevating its melody with a shift in tonality. The end result is much more melodious than a horn would typically produce.
“The lock chirp is a perfect representation of what we are aiming for,” declared Aaron Lock, Director of Noise, Vibration, and Harshness. “It’s intuitive, entertaining, and delightful.”
For a company esteemed for creativity, exploring the fundamental sounds that people are accustomed to hearing regularly matches our anticipation. Enriching it with an eye towards nature is the proverbial icing on the cake.