You may have heard how sounds travel farther during a temperature inversion
, when air near the ground is cooler than the air above. But do you know how this phenomenon is related to the 1947 UFO crash in Roswell, New Mexico? [more inside]
posted by mbrubeck
on Jun 8, 2014 -
This is a visualization of Beach Boys vocals inspired by the physics of church bells. Using a mathematical relationship between a the circumference of a circular surface and pitch, I wrote code that draws a circle for each note of the song.
(Single Link Vimeo)
posted by Navelgazer
on Aug 14, 2013 -
If you want to read about the history, construction, sounds and playing techniques of, say, the tympani
, or any other instruments of the classical symphonic orchestra, Vienna Symphonic Library's Instruments Online
pages are good reading and a handy resource for orchestrators.
posted by Wolfdog
on Sep 30, 2011 -
is a unique music blog devoted to "idiosyncratic research in electronic and experimental music, sound and acoustics, mysticism and technology" with special focus on the early history of electronic music.
posted by speicus
on Jul 30, 2010 -
Audiophoolery: Pseudoscience in Consumer Audio
. You might think that a science-based field like audio engineering would be immune to the kind of magical thinking we see in other fields. Unfortunately, you would be wrong [...] As a consumerist, it galls me to see people pay thousands of dollars for fancy-looking wire that’s no better than the heavy lamp cord they can buy at any hardware store. Or magic isolation pads and little discs made from exotic hardwood that purport to “improve clarity and reduce listening fatigue,” among other surprising claims. The number of scams based on ignorance of basic audio science grows every day. Via.
posted by amyms
on Jan 11, 2010 -
"From the first world war until the 30's air acoustics
played an important role in the air defence. Air vehicles carrying a weapon could not be located from the ground e.g. at night time or under cloudy conditions. As radar was still to be discovered, vision had to be supplemented
using the sound of the engines."
posted by mr_crash_davis
on Aug 8, 2006 -
The Acoustics of Gases.
The high-pitched version of your voice that you hear when you inhale helium represents a cool principle. Unlike the speed of light, the speed of sound is quite sensitive to the composition of the medium that it travels through. A gas such as helium that is much less dense than the air we normally breathe and hear in will actually cause the speed of sound to increase, a phenomenon that we perceive as a Chipmunks
-like change in pitch. A couple of scientists have used this relationship between sound frequency and gas composition to invent an acoustic device for monitoring the gas composition of air.
Of course , if you're a canary this is nothing new.
posted by derangedlarid
on Oct 25, 2005 -
was the 17th century's Jesuit version
of the über
geek. His scholarly attentions were drawn to egyptology, astronomy, magnetism, languages, optics, music, geology, mathematics and many many other pursuits. The "dude of wonders"
invented novel machines such as the mathematical organ
and magnetic clock
, established one of the first museums, published about 40 academic works (with beautiful accompanying illustrations
) and was globally revered as one of his time's greatest intellectuals. He is also the main link in the Voynich manuscript mystery
posted by peacay
on Aug 7, 2005 -
Mystery of 'chirping' pyramid decoded:
"A theory that the ancient Mayans built their pyramids to act as giant resonators to produce strange and evocative echoes has been supported by a team of Belgian scientists." Others are not so sure... Coincidence, or engineering? Did the designers of El Castillo pyramid
cannily build in a sound effect that mimics the warble of the sacred quetzal bird? Listen for yourself, with the .wav file
(first set is the real bird, the second is the pyramid) featured in this Acoustical Society of America page
. I prefer to think it's deliberate; after all, it's possible that early man was experimenting with cave acoustics to to create sound-enhanced rock art
(there are sound samples for this included here
- unfortunately a Geocities site). Also of interest, the BBC programme "Acoustic Shadows
" (requires RealPlayer - *heavy sigh*)
posted by taz
on Feb 8, 2005 -
Dr Richard Lord
has shown in a controlled experiment that the extreme bass sound known as infrasound produces a range of bizarre effects in people including anxiety, extreme sorrow and chills -- supporting popular suggestions of a link between infrasound and strange sensations.
Here's the Reuters Story
He's done some other cool stuff
as well at the National Physical Laboratory
I can't help but think of The Brown Note
, am I so imature?
posted by Blake
on Sep 7, 2003 -
"A sonic inhabitation of the Silo #5 grain elevator in the Old Port of Montréal ... Silophone makes use of the incredible acoustics of Silo #5 by introducing sounds, collected from around the world using various communication technologies, into a physical space to create an instrument which blurs the boundaries between music, architecture and net art." This is, without a doubt, one of the coolest
things I've seen on the net in ages.
posted by tpoh.org
on Oct 22, 2001 -