Without all the beeps and chimes, without sonic feedback, all of your modern conveniences would be very hard to use. If a device and its sounds are designed correctly, it creates a special “theater of the mind” that users completely buy into. Electronic things are made to feel mechanical. It’s the feeling of movement, texture and articulation where none exists. We talk with Sound Designer Jim McKee of Earwax Productions about the art of designing organic sounds for inorganic things.
In addition to product (and film) sound design, public radioheads may know Jim McKee from his work with the Kitchen Sisters. They are both based in the Sentinel Building in San Francisco, which makes them extra fun to visit.