YURI SUZUKI

Sound Taxi

Commissioned by AiAiAi


MAKE THE CITY SOUND BETTER is the determined name of the campaign for aiaiais latest headphone-
release, the Capital, which we designed for the on-the-go urbanite. Striving to back up words with action
and break new sonic territory, we teamed up with London-based sound artist Yuri Suzuki in the efforts to
engage in an ambitious, design- and sound project that very literally delivers on the campaign’s motivated
promise: to make the city sound better. The Sound Taxi is equipped with a microphone that record its
surrounding noise: the rumbling traffic, screeching brakes, sirens, construction work all are a part of the
everyday din of the city. A specially designed software written in Max analyses the frequencies of these noises
and uses them to generate unique music in real time. The spectrum is split into 25 frequency bands, like a
graphic EQ, these bands are used to control different types of sounds in Ableton Live. For example 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, the sounds will change and evolve as
you drive in different parts of the city. Passersby heard the music via the 67 speakers built into the entire car
body and the big, shiny Indian horns mounted on top of the taxi’s roof.

Finally, the passengers of the sound taxi could tune-in to the converted sounds via headphones
installed inside of the vehicle.


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Yuri Suzuki: Design Direction, Concept
Matthew Kneebone: Design Direction, Concept
Mark McKeague: Interaction Design, Sound Design
Charlie Burns: Creative Production Support, Production Support
Tom Wells: Assistant
Peter Michael Willer: Creative Direction, Concept (AIAIAI)
Tobias Holz: Planner, Concept (AIAIAI)
Kasper Nørlund: Musical cooperation and supervision (AIAIAI)