Xbox 360’s “Sound” Strategy Produced by Audiobrain, NY Sonic-Branding Firm

 
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For Immediate Release 10/10/05

New York, NY—

The carefully planned marketing strategy for Xbox 360™ video game

and entertainment system from Microsoft extends to every aspect of the system, from

design of the console down to the last rumble, swoosh, and shimmer—sounds composed

by Audiobrain, a New York-based sonic branding firm.

Russ Glaser, Xbox Group UI Design Manager says, "When we set out to bring the Xbox

360 to life by infusing a sonic landscape, we were not looking for a sound design

company, we were looking for a group that lived sonic branding. Audiobrain is that

company, they developed a sonic dialogue that completed our established design

language.

“I don’t think people realize how much thought and effort goes into the creation of a

single sound,” explains Audrey Arbeeny, Partner and Executive Producer at Audiobrain,

who has produced many of the sounds that consumers absorb into there lives including

product sounds (IBM Thinkpad and Apple iDVD3 software), sound logos, atmospheric

sound and music mixes for television and live events like the Sydney Olympics. “We

worked very closely with the Xbox team to understand the Xbox 360 personality, the

desired user experience, and how each sound supports user interaction as they navigate

the Xbox 360’s outstanding offerings. When sound is used as a branding tool we can

significantly give voice and add equity. Mr. Glaser adds:” We pushed very hard on

Audiobrain to get the sonic mix just right. Audiobrain was relentless in pushing to hit and

surpass our requirements and vision. It was a great partnership"

More Than Background Noise

The Xbox 360 is described as a “living breathing entertainment system,” where the

duality of high architecture meets organic energy, reflection and refraction, cultural

diversity and human interaction. Orlena Yeung, Xbox Global Brand Marketing Manager

explains, “As we evolved the Xbox brand, we firmly had in mind to create a multisensory

interaction with the consumer. Working with Audiobrain, we successfully gave

the brand a new dimension through audio that we didn't have previously."

“Within our iterative design process we spent a lot of time interpreting this living,

breathing entertainment system and translating its brand identity through sound and

music,” explains Michael Sweet, Creative Director for Audiobrain.

The Xbox 360 incorporates sound from the moment you start up the system. The startup,

created with several layers of clear and consistent sound design, both organic and

architectural in nature, starts with a rumble representing the enormous size of the world

appearing over the horizon, then a swoosh for the energy and a shimmer with lower

sounds colliding at the visual impact and form the ‘X’ in the world, creating the sense of

duality and searing, impactful energy. This level of thought and sound blending can be

heard through every function of the system.

In addition to the full Xbox 360 product “sonification,” Audiobrain also created branded

soundscapes for both the MTV Reveal Telecast and the Xbox 360 E3 Briefing Event at

the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, both in May, 2005. Additionally, Audiobrain

created a Dolby 5.1 surround sound mix for use in movie theatres and other venues. By

leveraging the extension of the tone and feel of the Xbox 360’s sonic personality, the

branding goes well beyond the actual game system, enabling the audience to experience

the brand in many different environments.

For more information on the “Sound” Marketing Behind the Xbox360 (due out this

November), or to experience the branding sounds in an audio CD or mp3 contact

Audiobrain at 212-242-9100.

Xbox, Xbox 360, and Xbox Live are either registered trademarks or trademarks of

Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.