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Restart Radio: The language of our gadgets

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Our devices talk to us all the time. It is easy to forget that these blips, bleeps and bloops are not merely generated by the things themselves: they are designed by people.

Today we talk to one of these people: Dougie Brown from Cassini Sound, a team of composers, sound designers and recordists who design sounds for film and television – and for the Restart Project! Dougie help make our music, remaking source material from Opto Noise.

Dougie and his team do not feel that they must constantly be working with cutting edge equipment. In fact, often it is the older equipment, even the broken stuff, which gives the most interesting sounds.

If we want to foster a better relationship with our gadgets, part of this relationship is about understanding how they communicate with us. We take a look at how sounds can trigger a certain emotional reaction in the user, including our least favourite ‘punishment’ sounds – the sonic equivalent of a slap on the wrist – including the Apple ‘Sosumi’, and the Windows 98 ‘error’ sound.

But there are other sounds that give us that warm, fuzzy and sometimes nostalgic feeling. Dougie shares some of his favourites, some positive memories and some more current: the start-up sounds of the Mac OS, Windows 95 start-up sound (crafted by Brian Eno), a PlayStation, and TiVo.

Finally, we turn an ear to the future, taking a look at what sound design might have in store for the world of VR.

Links to things we discussed:

[Featured image courtesy of Cassini Sound]

One response

  1. For more on all sort of sounds, have a listen of the Twenty Thousand Hertz podcast at

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