News / Digital

Universal Everything explores audiovisual synaesthetic experiences in new VR series

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Digital art and design studio Universal Everything has revealed Inside the Sound, its first project of 2018 and a continuation of the studio’s exploration of “new forms of audiovisual synaesthetic experience”.

Culminating in six 360 degree films posing the question “how does it feel to step Inside the Sound?” Universal Everything has designed six alternative environments to get lost – visually and sonically – within. By using VR, each film “takes the form of an infinitely looping audiovisual creation, which visualises the sensations triggered by its sounds, allowing the viewer to explore a multi-sensory space in ways only achievable in 360.”

Each film is soundtracked by a composition from long-time Universal Everything collaborator, Simon Pyke, utilising the Shepard tone technique, known as “an auditory illusion in which sounds appear to continually ascend in pitch,” in order to achieve the “sensation of intensifying drama”.

The first of the six films visualises the sound of Voices in an amalgamation of pastel pink, orange, purple and yellow morphing shapes; the second, Planes, features renders of countless aeroplanes stressfully flying over each other to the sound of a rising take off; the third, Creatures, shows plantlike beings crawling in and out of screen with more to be discovered as you turn around with a VR headset or by dragging across the video with your mouse. This is followed by Dust one of the busiest of the films built with hundreds of coloured tiny molecules to an electronic soundtrack; while Totems is the focus of the fifth film where shapes are piled on top of one another repeatedly in time with a jaunting beat. The final film explores Bursts, the most paired back of the six designed in just a white colour palette. It would appear calming if it wasn’t for Simon’s soundtrack which hits the video as the rendered landscape shatters unexpectedly.

Inside the Sound is an introduction of what to expect from Universal Everything this year, describing the series as “the first in a string of new studio projects that Universal Everything will be releasing over the coming weeks”.

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Universal Everything: Inside the Sound

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Universal Everything: Inside the Sound