Renault Group

The story behind the sound design with Jean-Michel Jarre - Episode 2: behind the scenes

5 July 2023

Artist, songwriter and author, electronica pioneer and technology aficionado Jean-Michel Jarre has joined forces with Renault, along with Ircam and the Group’s sound design teams, to develop two types of sounds for the brand’s future electric vehicles: VSPs (Vehicle Sounds for Pedestrians) and the Welcome sound sequence (which plays when you sit in the car).

This series on the story behind the sound design shows the work in progress and Jean-Michel Jarre’s contribution to it – as an artist as well as an engineer. It also shines a spotlight on an amazing human adventure, and the goals and challenges surrounding sound design, during the countdown to reveal the sounds that will enhance Renault’s next electric model.

The second episode is about how composers and sound designers started with a track from Oxymore, Jean-Michel Jarre’s latest album, to create their original outline for the sounds in electric vehicles.

BY Renault Group

The atmosphere is relaxed in the cushioned studios at Ircam(an institute that conducts research into music and acoustics) and jokes fly back and forth, but the sessions are intense. Jean-Michel Jarre and the Ircam teams (including Italian composer Andrea Cera and Sound Design R&D Director Nicolas Misdariis) are busy at work with Renault Group’s sound design team members Bénédicte Le Nindre (UX/UI Leader and sound design expert), Laurent Worms (Lead Sound Designer) and Louis-Ferdinand Pardo (acoustics expert and passenger experience specialist).

Jean-Michel Jarre

It was extremely valuable to combine ideas from a musician, who brings in fresh perspective, with tried and tested techniques and expertise.

Jean-Michel Jarre
Artist, songwriter and author

It’s worth pointing out that Renault Group’s sound design teams and Ircam have been working together for years. They for example worked hand in hand on the VSP in ZOE and Mégane E-Tech electric. Jean-Michel Jarre and his teams (notably sound engineer David Perreau) initially focused on narrowing down the conversation about the experience of mobility that they wanted to encapsulate in the VSP under development.

Then the teams picked a few tracks from Jean-Michel Jarre’s latest album, Oxymore, to use as their starting point, and the artist “decomposed” them to create sound textures that capture the notion of light-weight mobility and caring feel that the team had in mind.