Interactive sound design
Pentagrams partners Hudson Powell and Obelisk are good friends, and when we were approached to create interactive sound design for a giant interactive Manga robot, we really had to pinch ourselves that we weren’t dreaming.
Mechasobi is a collaboration between venerated Japanese Mecha Designer Kawamori Shoji (Patlabor, Super Dimension Fortress Macross and the award-winning ERS-220 model of Sony’s robot dog Aibo)
Our robot is non violent and is designed to work on construction sites. Matt Hill did some mad building and rigging in Unity 3D, a computer game development engine a robot that is projected on a giant screen and controlled using an Xbox Kinect camera to track the users body movements. Because we chose to work in a game environment, Obelisk developed sound assets using audio middleware tools FMOD studio which allowed us to create complex, natural and always different sonic responses from the robots movement.
We achieved this by using a simple process of using carefully created and layered sound assets that gave the robot another level of character and personality.
We used a mixture of sounds used in heavy industrial machinery, Japanese sourced field recordings and synthesis and melodic processing inspired by Japanese theatrical instrumentation.
Mangasia is a manga exhibition show touring the world starting in Rome this summer.