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Gatorade “The Science of G”

scienceofg-blog

 

It’s always fun to work on interactive media because the audience’s engagement with the content has a whole new dimension. Each sound element works to keep the viewer immersed in the world of the content, accepting the story told to them between clicks. The Science of G was the epitome of this.

carb

Top Secret Sound Planning Formula

The Science of G breaks down a lot of complex anatomical processes and brings them to life with medical animations on steroids. I was charged with doing the incredible visuals justice with sound design just as jaw dropping. Recently a colleague asked me how the sound design process begins for me. I admitted that I begin by closing the door, throwing the video on the big screen, standing in front of it and doing a few impromptu passes acapella. Toddlers do the same thing when they are playing superhero in your living room. I like to think my whhoooshhhh’s and pppfeeewwwww’s have less slobber.

superhero

Vignette Intros

Once I released my inner rugrat, I went to work recording and compiling a number of sounds to use in the animations. The text and the introduction sequences were important to me because they set the stage for the cutting edge, nearly science fiction delivery of each vignette. It all happens very fast, but each beginning sequence is tailored to the piece of anatomy it precedes, indicated by a unique symbol in the center and top left. You hear a small element to accompany those, and then a series of manipulated typewriter, computer keyboard, and Morse Code samples before it is all whooshed away with flyby sounds built from stretched and pitch-shifted jet flybys and push broom samples.

The Heart

heart

The heart was the first spot I sound designed for The Science of G. It has a lot of different sonic textures to emphasize the different stages of cardio activity. In the beginning you get the heartbeat, and this subtle reverberant pulsing I created to represent the lungs (seen in the background of this vignette). Each transition is a mix of electrical sounds; appropriate because the Internets tell me that the heart produces electricity in what is called Cardiac Conduction. The Jacob’s Ladder and the Tesla Coil are go-to’s for me when it comes to electrical pulse sounds.

The final “hero moment” is a mix of jet take-off samples and a singing wine glass. The singing glass sustains through to the end, matching the glow of the heart.

The Quad

quad

 

The sounds of the Quad in the beginning are a combination of rubber bands stretching and heavy machinery. I intentionally used things that felt sort of cumbersome in the beginning to contrast the smooth motion of the muscle post-hydration.

When the new protein is delivered, I bring back some jet engine samples, combined with my singing glass and a synthesizer run through a few guitar effects pedals. Voila! Heroic protein sounds!

The Bicep

bicep

The beginning, when the carbohydrate and fat molecules are floating around, is such a cool visual. They felt so massive on screen so I really wanted to keep that aesthetic in the sound design. As they float by, there are deep bubble-type sounds I created from pitch shifting water bubbles, and bellowing whoosh sounds as they float by, again created by manipulating jet engine samples. (Side note: by the end of The Science of G, I started looking to book a field recording session at a private airstrip because I had exhausted my plane sound library. Look for details on that in future Alex Fulton Audio updates!)

The explosion of the molecules converting to energy was a cacophony of car crash and dynamite samples manipulated and processed with a flanger effect. In hindsight if I were to do it again I might have used more liquid sounds to make it feel globbier, the way the molecules looked pre-explosion. The glass and metallic car crash sounds went well to the angularness of the graphic though, and in all it came out awesome, globby sounds or not.

carolina

Over-the-top animation, immersive sound design, and complex anatomical concepts made easy to understand all put to groovin’ music, The Science of G is a proverbial knowledge bomb. It’s the kind of content you wish you had in High School Biology, used to compel an audience to buy Gatorade. This project was a blast to work on, and I hope to see more content like it in the future!


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