'Conserve the Sound' hopes to save sounds of old tech before they're gone

From manual typewriters to early video game consoles, an online museum of disappearing sounds.

From manual typewriters to early video game consoles, an online museum of disappearing sounds.

'Conserve the Sound' collects the sounds of dying technologies. (chuttersnap/Unsplash)

This story was originally published in November, 2018.


An online museum, called Conserve the Sound, is aiming to save the sounds of obsolete technology before their sources disappear. 

The museum is a project by Daniel Chun and Jan Derksen, who run a film design and communication firm in Hamburg and Essen, Germany. Conserve the Sound bills itself as "an online museum for vanishing and endangered sounds."

The idea first came to them after the release of the first iPhone. "We noticed that the tiny clicks and sounds of the phone keyboard were going to die," Derksen told Spark host Nora Young.

Conserve The Sound includes recordings of a huge variety of objects, from aeroplanes, to cameras and electric razors. Chun and Derksen gathered their sounds by recording objects at different museums, including one devoted to industrial design and other devoted to tools. They also looked to their own lives for material.

'Conserve the Sound' is a project by Daniel Chun and Jan Derksen. (Chunderksen)

"We found the sounds in our own basements, and there were old objects from our childhoods," said Jan. The collection includes a recording of Jan's own early Nintendo system.

While Conserve the Sound is meant to save these sounds from extinction, Derksen says they also want it to offer an alternative to the overwhelmingly visual world of the internet.

"Everything today in the internet and mobile world is very visual and overloaded. We noticed that a lot of people maybe forgot how to hear in the right way. So they have to relearn it."



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