Sound Spheres (David Sonnenschein)


Well, this is a new “psychospatial” model David Sonnenschein wrote about. It presents an approach of listening categories concerning the context of the sound. I found it very clear and it might provide a new way of thinking sound design.

You can read it here:

Sonnenschein relates the sound localization as a “peceptual construct of our world”:  we react to the context of the sound, and also where it exists in our physical space. He mentions some great examples on how the same sound may have different meanings in different contexts:

– if it’s going towars us / – if it’s going away;

– if we can see it / – if we cannot;

Also, David exposes this chain of relation towards an object and what kind of sensation(s)/ feeling(s) that can trigger. Here’s a nice example:

I don’t know: anxiety > I see: relax/ going into action

I touch: surprise/ strangeness > I see: surprise/ relax

I find this very useful in what comes to designing the sound that predicts these feelings and sensations. Sound designers can take the analysis of a picture to a higher degree.

I’d like to mention a summary of pratical examples that Sonnenschein wrote giving us a more detailed idea of the relationship between the Sound Spheres Model and actions/ concepts we find in a picture:

I think: the 1st person’s point of view – subjective experience of the character.

I am: dialogue.

I touch: concerns prodution effects.

I see: everything we can view on the screen.

I know: offscreen diagetic sounds. It may fall in the I don’t know categorie  once we can understand the sound but not know its origin.

I don’t know: well, we don’t know! Horror movies are full with it. We don’t know what creepy sound is that or we might think it’s a particular thing to later have a nice/ horrific surprise. This relates straight to the chain mentioned above.

This article made me fall into a most profound way of thinking sound. It’s worth reading it.


One response to “Sound Spheres (David Sonnenschein)

  1. Pingback: 2012 in review – time for bit of analysis | The Sound Design Process·

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