The Sound of Fascinating Gases
SCULPTING SOUNDSCAPES FOR A FUNDAMENTALLY ABSTRACT PRODUCT
ABOUT THE CLIENT
The Linde Group is a world-leading gases and engineering company with approximately 62,000 employees working in more than 100 countries worldwide. Linde’s Gas division serves customers in almost every industry segment, including healthcare (medical gases). Linde stands for over 130 years of technological progress. Technology, innovation and an inventive spirit have characterised the company from the very beginning, thanks to the pioneer Carl von Linde.
The Linde Group has found a unique way to give its products a visible and audible presentation that is both exciting and informative for the general public. Following the slogan "discover a world of unseen potential", the Fascinating Gases app and microsite, allow users to discover more about Linde's industrial gases and the decisive role they play in our daily lives.
FASCINATING GASES APP
Working closely together with the Hamburg-based agency Peter-Schmidt-Group – responsible for the visualization of Linde gases – amp created the soundset for the Linde app: an app, which invites users to experience Linde's "Fascinating Gases" project.
The air separation process patented by Linde, is also a central element of the app: it is also explained through animation, text and sound.
THE APPROACH: GIVING GASES A VOICE
This innovative project was an especially appealing challenge for amp, given that it started with the question of how it is possible to hear products and processes which are neither visible nor tangible.
This is where amp recognizes the potential of sound, as an impressive and effective means of communicating processes not accessible to the eye (in this case, the physical separation of air). By using intermodal analogies of tonal colors and perceptions, these abstract processes can be communicated through sound design.
This is how amp's sound design was able to effectively demonstrate the technical phases of air separation.
DEFINING AND CREATING THE SOUND FOR "FASCINATING GASES" APP
As seen on the "Fascinating Gases" Website, the app itself depicts twelve visual representations of different gases. amp takes it a step further, by composing a separate soundscape for each gas. These soundscapes reflect the physical properties of the gases, giving each specific gas a unique acoustic identity.
The air separation process begins with the intake (1) of air. The filtering (2) process then removes any dust particles. The filtered air is then put under pressure and compressed (3).
The cleaning (4) process then removes impurities from the air. The pure compressed air is relieved of tension in an expansion turbine. The cooling (5) process then triggers the liquefaction of the air.
For the separation (6) of the liquefied air, different boiling points are used to concentrate the gas components at specific levels. When the gases reaches the desired level of purity, they are either delivered to customers for further processing or filled (7) into intermediate storage tanks in liquid form.
THE RESULT AND ITS POTENTIAL
By accompanying selected interactions with music, such as popup, pinch-in and pinch-out, the navigation of the app is made more intuitive. A fragment of the Linde audio logo is used as the starting sound for the app. Both the compressed air sound and the audio logo are key components of the Linde Sound Identity. These sounds thus create a clear connection to the brand’s acoustic identity.
With this app, Linde has stayed true to their motto of "getting ahead through innovation", while at the same time making an exciting contribution to the brand experience.
This app bridges the gap between a engineering-focues B2B company and their consumers, providing graphic illustrations of the Linde's technological process.
The Fascination Gases app is available in the Apple Store.
CONVINCING BOTH: CLIENT AND EXPERT JURY
The Red Dot Awards honored the "Sound of Fascinating Gases" project with its "Best of the Best" Award.
In 2014, these honors were awarded to only 101 entries (or 1.4% of all entries), as very few met the high demands of the expert jury.
"The sound concept of this work convinces with a very good solution to the challenge of how to develop a sound for a fundamentally abstract topic. On the other hand, its aesthetic implementation has been particularly well thought out. Together with the use of intermodal analogies, the entire approach towards the sound design has been realized exceptionally well." (Jury statement)