Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Everything Starts With A D


A couple of weeks ago I was asked by Documentally to create an ident for his new Backchannel newsletter.
How would I do that? Here's the story.

I was given an outline brief of Backchannel but told nothing of the actual content so I decided that the common theme in the ident should be the letter "D" to identify Documentally as the author. With that in mind what you hear in the 12 second ident is as follows:

The first sound is FM static. I like static or white noise because it covers the whole audio spectrum by itself, is a good audio filler for missing frequencies (it pads out audio well) and it gives an audible space to your imagination. Most people think of some kind of electrical device when they hear static.

The next sound is a high pitched morse code letter which is dah-di-dit (-..) and you guessed it, it's D for Documentally.

There are random notes behind these two sounds. I like the 70's idea of computers with big reels of tape producing seemingly random tones so I went for that. But in this case the tones aren't quite so random as they're all in the key of, wait for it...D!

Then the three bass notes come in. Dark and a little sinister and mimicking the dah-di-dit morse format. the notes are D C E. I got them from DoCumEntally.

Nearing the end of the ident there's a sample of an old dot matrix printer. I liked the idea of a random input at the beginning being turned into sense and a hard copy being produced ie the Backchannel newsletter.

Finally there's the power surge sound which I designed myself. It's just the thing to finish the ident. Very forceful, very final.

So there it is. quite a lot went into 12 seconds and even more into Backchannel.
Find out what it's all about here.
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