What's is Scale Magic™?!?
Scale Magic™ isn't a 'what'... it's a particular 'kind' of wahet! It'd our way of distinguishing our brand of sound design from all others. You can hear the difference in Scale Magic™ Imaging, and Scale Magic™ Sound.

Scale Magic™ Sound is 'quietly huge'!
From a practical standpoint Scale Magic™ is different from all taditional stereo imagung, AND it is applied in a layout differently! Once you know the secret to how it works, installation is easy. Unlike 'normal stereo', speakers must be located close together, and to make it sound big you have to turn it down... that's different! And from a practical standpoint, that's the whole secret to the Scale Magic™ illusion.

If you simply do these two things you can stop right here, Scale Magic™ Sound will just work! Or, you can read on and we'll break The Magician's Code and spill all the beans:)...

The Prototype:
The more you understand about your prototype, and how it works, the more faithful your completed scale model!

This is fundamental in any scale model... Scale Magic™ IS a scale model.

Building from Scratch:
We collect, or design from scratch, every individual sound for a scene (there may be several hundred!). Much like cleaning flash from castings, we clean up each individual little sound and prepare it to leap out of small speakers at soft (scale:) volume. We may assemble them into any number of scene 'elements', or we may use them by themselves... these are the various 'direct point sources' of sound in the scene. We then build (compose) them into a typical stereo image between the speakers, and along a timeline of an hour or more... but this is NOT a scene, yet!

Sound doesn't happen in a vacuum!
The Enginears understand how our prototype works. Every sound happens 'someplace', and while we rarely pay attention to it, this 'sense of place' cues us to the reality we are witnessing... the scene we're in!

Each and every audible sound in a scene not only travels directly to our ears, but also reflects off any surrounding surfaces, traveling farther to arrive at our ears slightly after the direct sound arrives.Every scene has a distinct way of reacting to all sounds within it, this is a scene's ambient image, or 'sense of place'. Although most often much quieter than the direct sound, the ambient image is in many ways more important to our experience than the sounds themselves! The scene ambient image tells us where each sound is located, the composition and nature of the scene itself, and where we are physically within it! That's how our prototype works.

'Suspension of Disbelief'
Let's say you scratch built a railway station complete with interior, lighting, and a bunch of little super details. And let's say you built it faithfully to the prototype in every dimension. And then, let's say you sit it on a piece of plywood... it might be difficult to imagine it is real, after all, most stations are located 'someplace':). So you go about adding earth, weeds, bushes, shrubery, trees, rocks, mountians, and maybe a sky backdrop with clouds. Same model, but now that it is 'someplace', it might be easier to believe it's real...or at least forget a moment that it's isn't! This is called 'suspension of disbelief'... it's the reason no one calls 911 when the magician saws the lady in two! It's human nature... we want to believe. And a well built and presented model encourages that!

Scale Magic™ Imaging & How it Works
So once we have built all the scene's direct sounds along a timeline, we go about adding earth, weeds, bushes, etc., etc... this is a Scale Magic™ Image! We want all our disparate little point sources to sound like they actually exist in the same place, we want to suspend disbelief.

We go about scratch building an appropriate ambient image. This is a sequence of adaptations from our direct sounds (early reflections, reverb decays, and subtle but descreet little echos), but not the direct sounds themselves!. It's the sound of a 'place built entirely form scratch'. By definition a 'place' is normally bigger than the sounds within it, so we use 'phase cancelling' to expand the ambiant image OUTSIDE of the two speakers! This is accomplished by taking one half of the image 180 degrees out of phase with the other half. The sound of the image in between the speakers tends to mostly cancel out. But the sound that escapes out to the left and right (outside of the speakers) will still propagate in air! This is the basic 'mechanics' of creating a Scale Magic™ Image! With the speaker pair close together and if the volume is not too loud (causing the image to destroy itself entirely in mid air!), this works a treat. The illusion is that the sounds are inside the scene, the scene's reaction to them is several feet wide (essentially walk-in open air headphones)... and acoustically, a very real place!

A Scale Magic™ Image isn't stereo with a single sweet spot. We quite literally turn the image 'inside out', that's how it works:). Our scale model works just like the prototype works. We say, "It;s just like being somewhere, only smaller"

We work hard to build sound that sounds naturally believable, that suspends disbelief... that never reminds the listener that it's fake:)!


Download the Scale Magic™ Sound Owner's Manual in .pdf form, and get started dreaming immediately!



(805) 266-6085
or email: [email protected]

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Artwork by Dan Sawatzky
Sawatzky's Imagination Corporation

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