Sound Taxi Turns Noise of London Into Music for Headphone Brand

AIAIAI gives shape to the din

With 67 exterior speakers and giant Indian horns mounted on its roof, the Sound Taxi, a promotional vehicle touting new headphones from Danish audio house AIAIAI, wouldn't have looked out of place in swingin' '60s London, perhaps ferrying the Beatles to the dock for a spin in their psychedelic Yellow Submarine. Tooling around the British capital in the present day, the car captures urban noises—sirens, honking traffic, the din of construction sites—and converts them into music in real time via cutting-edge software. The client explains: "A low rumble starts a bass line or loud hiss would trigger some hi hats, with the loudness of that noise controlling the loudness of the music. The music generated matches the dynamics of the street, and the sounds will change and evolve as you drive in different parts of the city." Sounds great, in theory, though the resulting cool and computerized beats are like trance-y Muzak for a podiatrist's waiting room or the moody soundtrack for a tour of techno-chic Silicon Valley. This simply isn't the vibrant aural experience I'd have expected the bustling streets of Soho and Chelsea to generate. Passengers can groove to the sounds on AIAIAI headphones, and the car pumps the music into the street, adding spacey ambient tones and robotic drumbeats to the overall din, ensuring no one within earshot could hear themselves think. Hey, STFU, Sound Taxi! Via The Denver Egotist.