SoundSalad: No Focus Group Required

My dad and I are both into sounds. I’ve never gotten heavily into video because it’s extremely expensive to produce good quality video; it’s hard to preview it; and it’s a real burden to watch video that is produced by amateurs. Sound is something else. Sound takes you back–sound helps you make sense of your surroundings.DIY SoundSalad lets you create your own ambient sound environment from sounds that are uniquely *yours*.

I love making apps with my dad: never thought we would be doing this, but it’s a lot of fun; and my dad is professional and competent in all things, so I never worried about what it would be like to collaborate with him.

So, this DIY tool is something that neither of us had to ask, ‘is there a market for this?’ We know the market: it’s us. My dad made a similar activity already for the OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) project. I’ve used sound generators to help me sleep, and made other apps (like Carolina Crickets and Peepers and Chimes and  Southern Sleep–with Phil) that all want to help us relax better with soothing sounds. My dad, coming from the electronic music theoretical side of things, thinks more along the lines of an audio performance–but many of our goals are the same.

So over mid-day breakfast at Burlington Diner a month or so ago, we sketched out the basic parameters for how such a sound generator would work: he built some CSound files; and I wrote SoundSalad around it. We’ll see how it goes. Talking to prospective users is all very nice; but it’s liberating and rewarding to create something every now and then without an external focus group.