Reference sounds

Iron ore mine in Kirunavaara

How does the iron ore mine in Kirunavaara sound?
Underneath the mountain in Kiruna a whole city is hidden, with 40 miles of roads, paths, museums, restaurants, cinema and a café.
The sound recording is from about 500 meters below the top level.

Comparison of traffic solutions

A comparison of car sounds out of two different traffic solutions on Adolf Hedins väg in Kiruna. In the case where the performance allowed a higher speed, the sound was not only higher, but also performed a more dissonant character. It also drew attention because the sound moved faster.

Traffic noise at Slussen, Stockholm

Traffic noise near Slussen, Stockholm.
In addition to a high decibel level, there is also a somewhat dissonant tone, characteristic for traffic noise from cars at high speed. Another negative feature is the lack of harmonious rhythm and variation (compare: more natural sounds such as water and rustling leaves).

Oak and pine

Oak and pine. Recorded in Hågadalen, Uppsala.

Playground, Kungsgatan, Malmö

Documentation of a playground – a sonotop.

A wide green boardwalk dominates Kungsgatan in Malmö. This is an example of how broader transit routes might look if you choose to deprioritize traffic in future cities. A greener city provides many benefits, including acoustical ones, since it brings out the local and more relevant sounds.

Walking and cycling tunnel

The reflections of the tunnel creates a strong boost and a clear, almost musical tone when the bikes passes. The sound response provides an interaction with the architecture;  you can often hear children and others try the acoustics with different exclamations. How does concrete sound?

Alleys in Old Town, Stockholm

Reflection and resonance in narrow alleys reinforces local sounds while surrounding noise is excluded. The alleys also sound different depending on the shape.

The river Gavleån

Sound is more than just levels. The loud surge of Gavleån is completely draining the noise from the crossing road, but the levels are still not regarded as intrusive.

Södervärns bus station, Malmö

Masking / Audio sounds at Södervärns bus station, Malmö

A room of water sounds creates variation in this traffic-dense location and moves focus from the noise.

Gatukontoret, Malmö stad

Masking the highway

A simplified simulation of how noise in an area close to a highway can be experienced, depending on masking. In the following clip, the same traffic sound was used in two different scenarios. The rustling sound of aspen was added in one of the cases to illustrate the potential of masking. By use of species that are good rustlers, like aspen and other poplars, the masking effect can be enhanced in design situations. A further effect can be achieved if the trees are located in windy positions, such as hills or along wind tunnels. Visual aspects are also important. A noise barrier that is a completely straight raises associations to the straight and fast road on the other side. By creating small and more natural spaces,  the masking is more likely to be successful.


Absorption and reflection

Documentation of a central square area with and without snow. The traffic intensity was similar on both occasions.

Snow absorbs sounds, and so does for example soil and peat. A greener city will therefore involve a lower background noise and create better conditions for a more relevant audio environment, where completely new sounds will be able to come out.