Listen to the Parks like Never Before

When creating this experience, we didn’t want people to just see the beauty of our national parks. We wanted them to truly hear what they sound like. We leveraged Google’s Omnitone plugin and created an experience with true ambisonic audio and partnered with Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith to craft an original soundtrack that digitizes the sound of nature and transforms them into music.

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GOOGLE OMNITONE AUDIO

Instead of panning audio to left and right or surround sound channels, we recorded and mixed audio to mimic the way our ears hear sounds in real life (left, right, up, down, front, back, bottom left, upper right, etc.)

To go further, we used a contact microphone to record the sound of ice cracking inside a glacier, and also recorded sound of the world’s largest active volcano at the Halema'uma'u Crater of the Kilauea Caldera.

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KAITLYN AURELIA SMITH

Music and sound play an integral role in The Hidden Worlds of the National Parks. The score for the project was created by Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith using a Buchla Music Easel. Each park has its own unique music, tailored to its scenery, and the mood the park generated in Smith. Smith spent her formative years immersed in the nature of Orcas Island in Northwest Washington, experiences she drew upon when creating the score.

 

“In her hands, acoustic instruments sound like electronic ones, synthetic sounds reference nature, and human voices sound like the creation of machines.”

- Mark Richardson, Pitchfork