Monday, October 10, 2011

The Sound and Music of Angry Birds

Finland based composer and sound designer Ari Pulkkinen seems to be one of the most listened to composers in the world right now with over 250 million people who have heard his original Angry Birds theme. Pulkkine’s catchy theme was also recently performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra which was part of a music festival in the city.

Angry Birds has been praised for its successful combination of addictive gameplay, comical style, and low price. Its popularity led to versions of Angry Birds being created for personal computers and gaming consoles, a market for merchandise featuring its characters and even long-term plans for a feature film or television series. With a combined 350 million downloads across all platforms and including both regular and special editions, the game has been called “one of the most mainstream games out right now”, “one of the great runaway hits of 2010″, and “the largest mobile app success the world has seen so far”.

Ari has also worked on other very popular games such as Trine (PS3/PC), Dead Nation (PS3), and Outland (PS3/360). The games have received rave reviews and praise for their soundtracks and sound design.

Ari Pulkkinen


Synthesizer for Kids

This is a demo of an Arduino-based spaceship-themed synthesizer for kids, designed for the Kearney Area Children’s Museum.

The spaceship synth was created by Nebraska-based interaction designer Jason Webb.

Here’s what he has to say about the spaceship synth:

Several months ago I volunteered my skills to create a large, interactive control panel for an upcoming space-themed exhibit for the Kearney Area Children’s Museum. The project is multi-faceted and took quite a bit of time and energy to create, but in the end it came together very well!

Using the Auduino synth sketch for Arduino as a starting point, I created a synthesizer that uses two rotary potentiometers, two linear potentiometers and one infrared rangefinder to generate fun, interactive music.

The sketch works best when multiple inputs are being used at once (i.e., moving your hand while moving a slider), but will generate some sort of tone regardless.

The circuit board on the back is a simple class A amplifier and parallel 3.5mm audio jack to allow for more control over the volume of the synth.