Sound, as living matter, typically behaves in an ever changing, constantly evolving fashion: not just because its very nature in air is made of continuous variations of molecules’ density, oscillating between compression and rarefaction (thus generating the “sound waves” most commonly associated to acoustic stimuli), but because any audible construct has a fundamental relationship with time, in its essence, and therefore with space – which are both elemental realms that a loudspeaker systems’ manufacturer always keeps, front-and-center, in the crosshair of its daily research and development activities.
When commissioning the audible portion of the new Outline brand identity to PASE Platform’s Valeria Zane and Victor Nebbiolo di Castri, there was more at stake than the creation of what’s commonly referred to as a sound logo, i.e. a uniquely distinctive sound manifestation of short duration: in order to create an immersive soundfield that speaks of Outline’s unique brand voice, a more complex work had to be imagined and constructed.
What you can commonly hear at Outline’s HQ ranges from the acoustic test signals off loudspeaker systems’ production, to the aural check of calculated alignment logic for systems’ preset filters, from the CNC milling machines in the woodshop to the power tools of the loudspeakers assembly, from the music played in listening rooms for evaluation purposes to the multilingual conversations with clients from all over the world…
…Outline has indeed its very own soundscape, one that permeates the lives of those who work at its premises – which has become the foundation onto which, in a way, the mood of the soundwork has been oriented since its inception.
The composition informs and instructs a generative soundscape that revolves around the stochastic permutations in 8 concurrent mixes of 1.079 different sound snippets each, which are then routed to 8 discrete loudspeaker sources placed around the listener(s) – space is the final frontier!
The “stochastic” element, or “probabilistic”, determines that such a huge amount of possible permutations is extremely unlikely to generate sequences that will repeat themselves across days and days (and weeks) of uninterrupted playback, with execution set by the user to happen at different tempo and sonic density, depending on the purpose that the soundscape’s called to deliver: it might be intermission music at a live event presentation, the sonic envelope wrapping an exhibition space at a trade show, a high-energy soundtrack for a (happy) cocktail hour – or the elev8r mutzhak for the ascension to the roof garden of the next Outline’s own skyscraper in Soundburg!
How does this sound, after all’s been said and done? For your information, three different excerpts of the generative delivery are hosted on Outline’s Soundcloud page, rendered to a binaural feed that can at least be reproduced on standard headphones.