Innovation & Technology Sound for the Moving Image

Kyle Martin

Sound designer, electronic music composer and audio-visual artist.

Audio design and manipulation for film, television and video games.

In addition to learning broadcast industry standards, I have enjoyed exploring the visual and moving image during my time at GSA, expanding on more than two decades experience producing electronic music and DJing.

Much of my work has focused on using Pro Tools, Ableton Live, Adobe Suite, Final Cut Pro, Max MSP and FMOD software.

Cardboard City (2023)
High Value Plastic (2024)
Icarus (2023/4)

Cardboard City (2023)

This work contains flashing imagery, and may not be suitable for those with photosensitive epilepsy or sensitivity to flashing images

Cardboard City explores and comments on fractured relationships between capitalism, advertising, consumerism, and current social problems, in particular homelessness and commercial energy wastage.

The boxes, representing inner-city high-rise buildings and brightly coloured, flashing LED lights of digital advertising billboards are glitching and malfunctioning, a metaphor for questionable government policies.

It was reported that 86 digital advertising billboards in Manchester city each consume enough to power three average households for a year (Ofgem, 2023).

In the accompanying soundtrack, the low frequency, ‘rumbling’ elements indicate the advertising boards’ electricity wastage, carelessly ‘burning’ through precious energy when ironically, many people in the UK currently struggle to pay rapidly rising energy bills and some members of our society unfortunately live on our streets, freezing in the cold with only cardboard boxes to shelter from the elements. Ironically, the boxes are of course disposable containers intended to ship consumer items, often advertised on the digital boards themselves.

High Value Plastic (2024)

Vinyl records have unbreakable ties to the petrochemical industry, being manufactured from a product synthesized from crude oil – plastic…

Streaming music, meanwhile, is claimed to be ecologically damaging due to the intense energy consumption required to make this technology possible…

With the finding that when converting both formats into carbon emissions, 17 hours’ streaming equals the environmental impact of a pressed record, I conducted a practical experiment to test the notion of ‘high-value vinyl’: The precise moment of play from which a record transcends wasteful energy expenditure and inexcusable environmental impact, into becoming a collector’s item so precious, it’s number of plays legitimises its manufacture, without compromising audio quality…

I created a special one-off ‘locked groove’ vinyl record of test tones, that is, a record with a single groove which joins up and can be played indefinitely…

It takes 1.8 seconds for one play of the record…

Over the course of 29 days I played the record continuously and monitored the depreciation of the audio…

In all, the record played 1,392,000 times…

Microscope of record grooves

Cutting engineer Frank Merritt analysing record under microscope

Icarus (2023/4)

A modern day, post-pandemic rework of the ancient Greek mythological tale ‘Icarus’.

A self-directed film in which I handled all aspects of the production from writing to editing, music, sound design, acting and costume design. Additional camera work from Gordon Buchanan and Jennifer Di Folco.