Sound Design – Sennheiser Audio Logo Competition

Sennheiser are currently running a sound design competition – or, more specifically, an audio logo competition. This is an interesting challenge for any musician, particularly if you’re looking for a new angle to fuel your creativity – as it’s an audio logo, it must be no more than eight seconds long…

Stick To The Brief

The concept of an audio logo probably achieved its broadest breakthrough when Brian Eno was commissioned to compose the first Windows sound. The idea of cramming an entire song into a few seconds is sometimes referred to as ‘micromusic’, and provides a refreshing alternative to those half-hour prog rock epics.

Details of the competition can be found on this site, but basically you can enter up to five audio logos for the chance of winning a €5,000 first prize (with a possible €30,000 if Sennheiser choose to acquire unlimited rights to the victorious logo).

The closing date for entries is 17th July. At the end of August, the top 30 entries will be voted upon to choose the winner, with a public vote being one member of the five member jury. A good publicity campaign for Sennheiser, and an interesting project for any would-be sound designer.

Limiting Your Musical Creativity

Working within a set of restrictions can often lead to unusual and innovative results – after all, necessity and invention are intimately related. Although modern technology has liberated musicians to a great degree, the sheer wealth of options available can also be paradoxically restrictive – if you have an unlimited array of options before you, it can be very hard to even get started.

Why is it that there are far more creative guitarists than there are creative synth players? Because a guitar imposes a set of restrictions on you from the moment you pick it up, and you instantly begin to play within them. So does a synth, of course, but the first thing to do with a synth is decide what sound you want it to play. Defining this sound often becomes the most important decision, and can render the issue of what notes you play practically irrelevant.

The same issue crops up with the computer-based DAW – there are virtually no limitations on what you can do. So, the musician must impose those limitations herself. Clearly defining what you want to achieve and how you can achieve it is important in any project. When it comes to creativity, limiting your options may actually improve the results.


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