Andrew records live clocks for sculpting into the interior sounds of the new Bentley Continental
Radium is invited to create an audio experience for the Continental GT car. We spend some time at the factory and with the car, and begin to gain an insight into the brand, and really think about who drives a Bentley, how Bentley sees itself, and how we can express and reinforce the rich heritage of the brand through sound.
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Read Andrew’s project narrative
Listen to the sounds Radium designed for Bentley
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“Having been asked to design sounds to be used when the indicators are switched on and when the seatbelt is not secured properly, I understood that it was critical to consider on a holistic level the Bentley brand, and I thought long and hard about the sound world the driver should encounter inside a Bentley car. If you had to live in the Bentley world and everything was of that era, it would be all about the 1920s and 1930s. It would be a steampunk, post-Victorian mechanical world. Electricity was obviously around but clocks were ticking away, the digital universe was barely embryonic.
My father is an antiques dealer and I’ve grown up around huge clocks and mechanisms. I thought it would be really nice when you get inside the car to feel you’re walking into an antiques shop, because I know from going into my dad’s shop that the shop is alive with things ticking away and that antique-y feel. In creating the sound for the indicators, I experimented a lot with sounds from different clocks and metronomes, as well as sculpting up sounds using the car itself. I wanted to include some elements from the car in the recording, so I recorded every element of the car possible that made any sort of sound.
I was in one of these workshops where they had block-mounted engines so we were spinning, and twisting and hitting things. The end sound is very rich, incorporating the clock sounds yet also retaining a contemporary feel. I thought the original indicator really didn’t reflect the character of the car, and with sound, there’s so much detail, and a fantastic plethora of sonic paths you can take. What I wanted to do was soften everything up, make it a bit more relaxed, less full-on. This level of attention to detail is particularly appropriate for the Bentley brand, which is associated with luxury and wealth. The Bentley project is about placing sounds inside a car, so it’s got an engineering strand to it, which feeds into the marketing and brand positioning aspects. Every aspect of the car is geared towards the clients experience with the brand, which has a lot to do with their perception of themselves. Because the Bentley driver is very much a person who has arrived, it’s all about the luxury, and the communication between Bentley and the Bentley driver is quite an intimate connection. I wanted the sound world to express that.” RADIUM Bentley Motors – Designing Interior Sound by Radium-Audio