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