Mazda's MX-5 Plays 'The Sound Of Tomorrow'
August 23, 2016

Mazda's MX-5 Plays 'The Sound Of Tomorrow'

TORONTO — To promote the sports model MX-5, Mazda created “Mazda Drives: The Sound of Tomorrow” campaign, the highlight of which is a special concert by DJ Licious. The Sound of Tomorrow is being advertised through the image of a car making music both in the literal and the figurative sense. The set is a huge vinyl record and the Mazda MX-5 creates music by driving on it. The car’s precise and sharp steering enables it to act as a replacement pick up needle.
The idea was brought forward by advertising agency These Days. Production company MoJuice took care of the tech setup, including the use of BlackTrax  ( realtime motion tracking system. BlackTrax was the right solution as not only its tracking is realtime but also BlackTrax outputs the open source RTTrP protocol for anyone to read or write to, and receive the positional data making custom solutions possible.

Joachim Sas, marketing director at Mazda Belux, says: “The object of this campaign is to establish the link between Mazda and music in general and Tomorrowland in particular.”

To be able to pull this off the Mazda MX-5 was equipped with BlackTrax Beacons using IR LEDs and eight BlackTrax cameras. In realtime, these picked up the signals of movement of the car at its precise position on a reconstructed model of a vinyl. The spiral on the vinyl is actually the coded music. The information was then delivered to the sound equipment that was based on instructions from the car’s movement, played the track.

“Everything that happens on the large scale vinyl is replicated on the decks and the music is played,” says Maarten Francq, 3D motion technologist. “If the car goes too fast then the music will also play too fast, if the car is too slow then the track will play too slowly. If the car leaves the trajectory on the spiral there will be an effect similar to scratching a vinyl record and the music will jump to the next track.” 

There was a great amount of technology brought for this project, but the most essential thing to the success was a good partnership between the DJ and the driver. The DJ must be able to give the driver pointers to drive faster, slower or change direction. 

The MX-5 is the ideal car for this experiment because it is compact, it has the right engine and the required distinguished characteristics on top of its fantastic steering.

The driver of the Mazda MX-5 was Jan Wouters, a professional Belgian race driver. 

Find out more about the campaign at: