Hans Zimmer Helping Design Sound of BMW’s Electric Car

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Hans Zimmer, known for composing the soundtrack of some of our absolute favorite films for decades, has turned his attention and talents towards a new industry: the automotive industry. Zimmer has been brought on to help design the sound of BMW’s all-electric Concept i4.

The car comes with more than 500 horsepower and a range of 370 miles, and will also feature what Zimmer calls “sound worlds”. These are scores that will be heard when the doors open, the car starts up, and as the car drives along the road.

The car was announced in March, and the score will morph and transition slightly based on the car’s current driving mode: core, sport, or efficient.

Zimmer and his collaborator, BMW sounds designer, Renzo Vitale, call the soundtrack “Limen”, the word for the threshold below which stimuli cannot be perceived.

“We are at a moment in time, with electric cars, when we get to change the whole sonic landscape of everything in a vehicle,” Zimmer explains, “We can allow the interiors of cars to set moods and give people an experience, to let people devise their own experience, not be forced into the rumbling of a petrol engine anymore.”

The BMW sounds are just in concept right now, but the company is intending to roll them out over the next few years on more than two dozen electric cars. That will start with the production of the i4 in 2021.

It’s certainly a different way to experience driving. We are all used to the rumbling of an engine, that hearing a musical score instead will surely be something to get used to.

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