Sounds of Mumbai

  • Tapan Babbar
What does the Mumbai Local sound like? What about Gateway of India? Sounds of Mumbai explores that concept by bringing the sonic dimension to online tourism. The project lets you experience the sonic ambiences of 13 different key nodes of Mumbai. Visitors can experience the hustle bustle and the clamors of Mumbai Local or listen to the gutargoo of pigeons by the sidewalk near The Taj.
web audio

Sounds of Mumbai is unique because capturing the sense of being at a place is hard. We often associate a space with just its visuals, but in reality we experience it through all our senses. Tapan has managed to accomplish it beautifully, not just in Sounds of Mumbai but also in his other projects by combining his skills in tech and his love for travel. Through audio, micro interaction animations, videos and transitions, Tapan has created an immersive experience for project viewers to feel like they are part of a city’s culture.


Can you tell us the story behind your projects? How did you come up with the idea of combining travel blogging and interactive web design? What are your inspirations for creativity?

Tapan : Before I started creating these interactive experiences, I used to take pictures of places I went to. But soon I got this desire of adding another dimension to static images. The objective was to bind them in a story that people could relate to. Hence I started experimenting with photographs and used the little bit of coding skills I had to create these experiences.

Initially, it started with just a parallax based historical information website on Delhi, but soon I started including sounds, videos etc to create an immersive experience.

Awwwards, Chrome Experiments keep me on my toes to do more of these projects.

Tapan on one of his expeditions to Kaza, Himachal | Courtesy: Tapan Babbar

Tapan on one of his expeditions to Kaza, Himachal | Courtesy: Tapan Babbar

How long does it take you to make a project and how is the typical process like, for example : Do you take multiple iterations to arrive at the final version or do you prefer a single planned version of your idea?

Tapan : The time depends on the complexity of the project and the bandwidth I get keeping the other work move smoothly. For example, the Delhi Metro Project took around a month while Recess in Varanasi took 6 months.

As far as the process goes, the idea is finalised on the drawing board before any execution happens. I try 2-3 iterations on design and then enter the coding phase. I sometimes have to compromise a little on the idea to ensure device compatibility.

What are the specific tools you use to do these projects? How long did it take to master them and develop your own style?

I don’t think I have a common style for my projects. Every project comes with a new set of challenges, libraries and plugins to be used. Hence the research etc happens while I am developing a project. I try to use a new technology for different projects.

Few of them are:

Delhi Timeline

Delhi Timeline

What would your advice to young learners be who want to do projects like you? How does one get started - should they learn skills first or should they work on looking for a field that they are passionate about before learning the skills?

The most important differentiator is the idea. I keep exploring projects done by others across the globe which help a lot when I am ideating. Skill learning process can be relative to individuals, but I can never learn something first before I start executing. All the libraries and plugins I have learnt were while creating the projects.

What are the projects you would want to see happen in India? What is your vision for the country - how do we use our creativity efficiently?

India has huge potential in terms of digital innovations. We have proved our prowess in information technology and development, and are gradually catching up with the rest of the world in terms of design. Just like designers work hard on their personal portfolios on Behance and Dribbble, the developers should also keep experimenting with different technologies available. Codepen etc. gives the coders an opportunity to create mind-blowing widgets and also helps them to up their game.

I interacted with few startups recently which are exploring VR which was quite fascinating. AI and augmented is another space I would love to experiment in the future.

We wish you all the very best with your creative projects in the future, Tapan. Thank you for your time.