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Tagged with “audio” (15)

  1. Kate Bush’s Sonic Weapon

    Can sound kill? Inspired by a Kate Bush song, we ask whether sonic weapons could work.

    "It started while listening to the excellent Experiment IV by Kate Bush. The premise of the song is of a band who secretly work for the military to create a ‘sound that could kill someone’. Is it scientifically possible to do this?" asks Paul Goodfield.

    Hannah consults acoustic engineer Trevor Cox to ask if sonic weapons could kill. And Adam delves into subsonic frequencies with parapsychologist Chris French to investigate their spooky effects.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08svx8y

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  2. Vox Ex Machina

    1939, an astonishing new machine debuted at the New York World’s Fair. It was called the “Voder,” short for “Voice Operating Demonstrator.” It looked sort of like a futuristic church organ.

    An operator — known as a “Voderette” — sat at the Voder’s curved wooden console with a giant speaker towering behind her. She faced an expectant audience, placed her hands on a keyboard in front of her, and then played something the world had never really heard before.

    A synthesized voice.

    http://99percentinvisible.org/episode/vox-ex-machina/

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  3. Vox Ex Machina

    1939, an astonishing new machine debuted at the New York World’s Fair. It was called the “Voder,” short for “Voice Operating Demonstrator.” It looked sort of like a futuristic church organ.

    An operator — known as a “Voderette” — sat at the Voder’s curved wooden console with a giant speaker towering behind her. She faced an expectant audience, placed her hands on a keyboard in front of her, and then played something the world had never really heard before.

    A synthesized voice.

    http://99percentinvisible.org/episode/vox-ex-machina/

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  4. 99% Invisible - 15: The Sound of the Artificial World

    Without all the beeps and chimes, without sonic feedback, all of your modern conveniences would be very hard to use. If a device and its sounds are designed correctly, it creates a special “theater of the mind” that users completely buy into. Electronic things are made to feel mechanical. It’s the feeling of movement, texture and articulation where none exists. We talk with Sound Designer Jim McKee of Earwax Productions about the art of designing organic sounds for inorganic things.

    http://99percentinvisible.org/episode/episode-15-the-sound-of-the-artificial-world/

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  5. Particle Pings: Sounds Of The Large Hadron Collider

    Deep beneath the border of France and Switzerland, the world’s most massive physics machine is sending subatomic particles smashing into each other at speeds nearing the speed of light. Physicists working with the 17-mile-long Large Hadron Collider hope it will help solve some of the universe’s mysteries.

    But first, researchers must overcome two very mundane hurdles: how to handle all of the data the LHC generates, and how to get non-scientists to care.

    One physicist has a novel way to solve both problems: sound.

    "I have some musician friends that I was talking to about physics, which I do a lot, if people will let me, and I was doing impersonations of particles — as you do — or maybe not," Lily Asquith says with a laugh. She is a physicist who until recently worked with the LHC at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research.

    Here’s How It Works

    The concept underlying the LHC Sound project is a principle called sonification — using data to make sound. At the most basic level, sonification correlates any physical property, such as a distance, speed or direction, to a sound property such as loudness, pitch or duration. On her blog, Lily Asquith explains how to make sound out of anything. The audio clip below is sonified data from the ATLAS detector at the Large Hadron Collider. Here’s how the sound was made: Enlarge image Lily Asquith/LHC Sound Listen To The Data playlist As a beam of particles is fired through the detector, three data points are collected and mapped to sound parameters: (1) The distance the particle travels away from the beam (dR in the diagram above) becomes the sound’s pitch, (2) the amount of energy a particle has correlates to volume, and (3) how far the particle travels becomes the timing of the notes. Asquith, like many physicists, spends a lot of time thinking about particles like the elusive Higgs boson — the subatomic particle that scientists say endows everything in the universe with mass. Proving the existence of the Higgs boson is one of the main goals of the collider.

    "You tend to personify things that you think about a lot," she says. She gives particles personalities, colors and sounds. "I think electrons, perhaps, sound like a glockenspiel to me."

    In the process of the search for the Higgs, the collider generates a massive amount of information — more than 40 million pieces of data every second. And that’s just from the ATLAS detector, one of the four main detectors in the deep underground complex that tunnels back and forth across the French-Swiss border.

    So Asquith was trying to figure out a new way to understand and sort through all of this data. The LHC currently produces colorful images as an output from the data — sprays of particles in different directions.

    "It’s quite easy to step from there, really, to consider that there could be some kind of sound associated with these things," she says.

    Making Sound From The Data

    She thought about a heart monitor in a hospital; it turns the electrical data from your heart into sound.

    "You don’t have to watch the monitor because you can hear it without making any effort," she says. "Just a steady beep — you can quite easily detect if it starts going quicker or if it stops even for a second."

    She wondered what would happen if she used music composition software to turn data from the collider into sound. So she fed in a sample of the LHC data — three columns of numbers.

    "So we’ll map, for example, the first column of numbers, which may be a distance, to time," Asquith says. "And we may map the second column of numbers to pitch, and the third, perhaps, to volume."

    What she got isn’t quite music, but sounds that are more out of this world — bells, beeps and clangs.

    Interpreting The Sounds

    Right now, Asquith says, the sounds don’t tell scientists very much. But she hopes that in the future, it could help them understand the data in new ways.

    Video: Colliding Particles This animation shows a collision between particles in the ATLAS detector at the Large Hadron Collider. Note: the video clip has no sound.

    Credit: ATLAS Experiment She says that in certain situations, it’s much easier to use your ears than your eyes, particularly with something that’s changing over time. Collider data do that.

    "You could certainly have an alarm system which told you when, for example, you have an event which looks ridiculous according to what you’ve expected," she says. "And that’s quite difficult to do using your eyes."

    But the project is doing something else — making what’s going on at the collider accessible and interesting to people without a Ph.D. That includes many of Lily’s friends who are musicians.

    They are really interested in — even fascinated by — what’s going on at the LHC. But she says they start to look frightened when she brings up the hard science.

    "I just think that’s unnecessary that it frightens people — it should be something that everyone should enjoy," she says.

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  6. Douglas Coupland & William Gibson - Key West Literary Seminar Audio Archives

    Douglas Coupland and William Gibson discuss culture, technology, and the craft of writing. Communications technologies are a global memory prosthesis, says Gibson, and aspire to an experience in which distinctions between the "virtual" and the "real" are dissolved. We are already the borg, Gibson says.

    http://www.kwls.org/podcasts/douglas-coupland-william-gibson/

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  7. CBC Ideas: The Signal of Noise

    Once long past, listening gave clues for survival. Now we listen unconsciously, blocking noise and tuning in to what we want to hear. Yet the unwanted sounds we filter out tell us a lot about our environment and our lives. Broadcaster Teresa Goff listens for the messages in our walls of sound.

    As civilization has become more mechanized, more urbanized and more digitized, the amount of noise has increased in tandem. This noise, according to Garrett Keizer, author of The Unwanted Sound of Everything We Want: A Book about Noise , "is a window for understanding some of the paradoxes and contradictions of being human." If you take the sum total of all sounds within any area, what you have is an intimate reflection of the social, technological, and natural conditions of that place.

    Hildegard Westerkamp, a founding member of the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology, says that "Environmental sound is like a spoken word with each sound or soundscape having its own meanings and expressions." So when you listen to the noise, what does it have to tell you? "Noise is a pit of interpretation," says noise musician Brian Chippendale. Broadcaster Teresa Goff goes into the pit with her documentary, The Signal of Noise.

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  8. Jesse Thorn on making your own thing in public radio (while still being able to feed your family) » Nieman Journalism Lab » Pushing to the Future of Journalism

    Two years ago, I did an interview with Jesse Thorn, the host of the public radio program The Sound of Young America and, to my mind, one of the most interesting entrepreneurs in public media today. The Sound of Young America is an interview show (think a younger Fresh Air) that is distributed by PRI and airs on dozens of public radio stations — but has a business model built primarily on donations from podcast listeners.

    Since that interview, Jesse’s business has grown and evolved. What began years ago as a single show is now a network of a half-dozen podcasts, including one featuring “I’m a PC” Daily Show fave John Hodgman. Fans of the shows now gather yearly at a (profitable) weekend conference in the hills of southern California. Jesse now hosts a weekly show on IFC and, thanks in part to a successful Kickstarter project, runs a video podcast/successful blog on men’s fashion. But as new opportunities have arisen and the Jesse Thorn empire has sprawled into new directions, he’s managed to maintain control and a unified brand in a way I think a lot of young entrepreneurs could learn from.

    So I thought it was time to have another conversation with Jesse.

    http://www.niemanlab.org/2011/04/jesse-thorn-on-making-your-own-thing-in-public-radio-while-still-being-able-to-feed-your-family/

    —Huffduffed by adactio

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