Sculpting Sonic Soundscapes Sounds So Sweet

Posted on Nov 21, 2013
Sculpting Sonic Soundscapes Sounds So Sweet

After less than a month in the wild, it’s safe to say that Sockeye’s latest brand film for the adidas miCoach “SMART RUN” has been a runaway success, so far seen by over 3.5 million viewers. In fact, after being posted online for only 24 hours, the spot had been recognized by Adweek as one of the “Top 10 YouTube Brand Videos” of the week, alongside other heavy hitters Samsung, Pepsi, Xbox and Virgin.
 
Sockeye crafted a visual experience that highlighted the technological amazingness that made the new SMART RUN so groundbreaking, but didn’t come off as shooting too straight from the hip. There is a raw wild-west realness to this technology that’s reflected in the sounds throughout the miCoach brand film. To achieve the appropriate vibe, Sockeye’s creative masterminds enlisted Digital One to sculpt sound design that would channel a futuristic experience worthy of the cutting edge miCoach technology. Chest straps, chords and inconvenience are now distant memories from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away (as they should be), so the sonic landscape had to be as epic as humanly possible. Challenge accepted.
 
The real trick was creating a captivating soundscape that would retain it’s impact no matter which platform the viewer was using, whether it was a laptop, a mobile device, or on a Genelec 5.1 surround sound setup. Sound designer and Dig1 fearless leader Eric Stolberg found that the most challenging (and rewarding) SFX to dial in was the heart beat seen at :15. The low frequencies don’t necessarily pack a punch on laptop speakers, but by layering higher harmonics to the thump-thump-dub-dub, the result was sound design that successfully transcended platform limitations.
 
The great composers at Revolver, who created the killer music that sets the tone for the entire piece, fabricated a canvas that Eric was able to augment with all kinds of analog synth textures, ala Robert Moog. On top of all that, the music track was mixed so that it would build in energy even though the track was driving from the start. This was accomplished by stripping out certain instruments to make it more dynamic, brightening up the drums to give it more oomph, and adding more synths to accentuate the climax at the end. The outcome was a delicate dance of music and sound design, which are able to compliment each other without distracting from the flow. All this in a days (or two) work.
 
Soak up the sonic thrill-ride below, and be sure to join the SMART RUN revolution in an interweb near you.