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Soundworks

The Soundworks Collection gives a behind-the-scenes look into the work of talented sound teams working on feature films, soundtrack scoring, and video games with a compilation of exclusive interviews, awards shows / event panel coverage and sound stage / studio room videos. Vimeo Channel. YouTube Channel. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jul 1, 2011 - 8 comments

Bizarre scifi movie sounds and the instruments that love them

The bizarre musical instruments behind classic scifi movie sounds. Includes the Waterphone, Theremin and Blaster Beam.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Jun 25, 2011 - 26 comments

Online Ear Training Games

Theta Music Trainer — Train your ear with fun music games. Sharpen your sense of pitch and tone. Unlock the hidden patterns in music. Strengthen your music theory skills.
posted by netbros on May 25, 2011 - 13 comments

Physics tricks could create one-way soundproofing

Physics tricks could create one-way soundproofing. Materials that genuinely discriminate between the direction of light or sound might be possible, according to a new study. That could make for true one-way mirrors or for directional soundproofing—imagine, for instance, a wall through which sound can enter but not escape.
posted by Leisure_Muffin on Apr 28, 2011 - 35 comments

Nifty Audio Projects

Nifty audio projects from Paris Smaragdis, including fascinating method of extracting individual audio samples (say a guitar solo) from a mix by humming the part. [6.4 mb mp4] [via AskMe]
posted by odinsdream on Apr 2, 2011 - 12 comments

In the beginning was the Word

Canadian horror flick Pontypool (trailer) is a modern zombie tale quite unlike any other. Loosely based on a dense, complicated novel by Tony Burgess and inspired by Orson Welles' War of the Worlds, it tells the story of Grant Mazzy, a grumbling yet likable radio host (played by veteran character actor Stephen McHattie) whose penchant for philosophical ramblings gets him booted from Toronto to the sleepy winter pastures of Pontypool, Ontario. One bleak morning, as the outspoken Mazzy chafes against no-nonsense producer Sydney Briar, disturbing news begins rolling in of a series of bizarre and violent incidents sweeping the town. Trapped in their church basement broadcasting booth, Mazzy, Briar, and intern Laurel-Ann Drummond struggle to understand the odd nature of the crisis and warn the wider world before it's too late. But this is no ordinary virus, and they find their efforts may be causing far more harm than good. You can watch the film on YouTube horror channel Dead By Dawn (1 2 3 4 5 6 7), but if you're pressed for time you can also experience it in its more logical form: as a one-hour BBC radio drama voiced by the original cast. And after the credits, make sure not to miss the film's playful non-sequitur coda.
posted by Rhaomi on Feb 25, 2011 - 49 comments

Rotten Sounds Hollow is a very strange video

This man really likes eating hamburgers. So much so that the hamburgers felt they had to stage an uprising. Or Olympic games. It all becomes a little confusing. (Music video for Rotten Sound's "Hollow")
posted by DanielZKlein on Feb 17, 2011 - 15 comments

Wait Until Dark

Modern mainstream video games tend to be about framerates and millions of polygons per second. But it is possible to play games that have hardly any graphics at all: audio-only games like Papa Sangre, designed for iOS devices, being the most recent example of the genre (and with binaural audio, probably the most ambitious). There are others: In The Pit for Xbox 360 (or a PC with a 360 wired controller) [previously], the (sadly incomplete) Cadet 277 for PC and Mac, and SoundVoyager, released in 2006 for the Nintendo. More at the Experimental Gameplay Project.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul on Feb 12, 2011 - 14 comments

radio k'bvh;b

radio k'bvh;b is on the air. A three day Internet radio experiment by Catalin Ilie and Letitia Calin, radio k'bvh;b presents field recordings, noise, experimental stuff, and live performances direct from Berlin. It only goes until Sunday midnight CET, so tune in to the odd noises while you still can.
posted by sixohsix on Jan 28, 2011 - 17 comments

Clang Jingle Clang

While the self-appointed task of one creative act per day continues to exist, I present the sonic explorations of Clang Jingle Clang . Highlights of Kerrith Livengood's early morning posts include a Goomba attack, political musings, and a fable from Aesop.
posted by Bistle on Jan 14, 2011 - 2 comments

"Another Green World" - Brian Eno BBC documentary

Earlier this year, the BBC's Arena produced and aired an excellent documentary on Brian Eno entitled "Another Green World" containing "a series of conversations on science, art, systems analysis, producing and cybernetics". [more inside]
posted by item on Dec 26, 2010 - 20 comments

Put Your Camera to Work

Vimeo Video School is a fun place for anyone to learn how to make better videos. Start by browsing the Vimeo Lessons, or find specific video tutorials created by other members.
posted by netbros on Dec 20, 2010 - 4 comments

You are a chord

10 things you didn't know about sound. Among them: "You are a chord." A TED talk by Julian Treasure and responses by him to some of the opinions about his talk.
posted by nickyskye on Oct 12, 2010 - 38 comments

The Books, Annotated

The Books is a collaboration between musicians and found sound archivers Nick Zammuto and Paul de Jong. If you're not familiar with their music, allow me to recommend giving their newest album, The Way Out a listen over at NPR (where you can no longer stream the album in its entirety, but individual tracks are still available for your listening pleasure). Two videos are already available—the summer camp hit A Cold Freezin' Night and We Bought The Flood, which was 'directed' by archival image researcher Rich Remsberg. Since The Way Out's release Nick has been proceeding track by track through the album, explaining and annotating the techniques, instruments, and ideas used on each song—and resulting in a collage of thoughts as powerful and varied as The Books' collage of sound. [more inside]
posted by carsonb on Aug 2, 2010 - 20 comments

old new music

Acousmata 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 - 16 comments

Tone-Quester Fail.

"Tone-Quester" is generally a musician (more than likely a guitarist) who purchases/modifies amps/pedals/cabinets in search of a certain sound. They fiercely pride themselves on being able to distinquish the differences between pickups, tube amps vs. transistor amps. With this in mind, Wolfe McCloud, a pickup designer, decided to challenge My Les Paul forum members. [more inside]
posted by KevinSkomsvold on Jun 18, 2010 - 34 comments

Cochlear Implant

Jonathan's Cochlear Implant Activation. An 8-month-old deaf baby has his cochlear implant turned on and hears sound for the first time (SLYT). [Via]
posted by homunculus on May 29, 2010 - 113 comments

The fine collection of curious sound objects

The fine collection of curious sound objects [via]
posted by Ogre Lawless on Mar 30, 2010 - 3 comments

sound in the mail

If an ad agency sent me this, I would be impressed.
posted by archivist on Mar 19, 2010 - 34 comments

``Diabolus in musica''

Who's the man behind the sounds you hear, every time you startup and use your Mac? Jim Reekes (via)
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Feb 26, 2010 - 27 comments

Instant Post Title!

Hi, I'm Instant Billy Mays! You may remember me from such front-page posts as Instant Rimshot and Sad Trombone. Well, if you liked them, then you're gonna love what we have for you tonight! Does your joke need a little humor enhancement? Try Instant Ed McMahon for all your sidekick needs! Did your joke go over like a lead rock? Use Instant Crickets or a good ol'-fashioned Instant Nelson! [more inside]
posted by WCityMike on Feb 26, 2010 - 30 comments

Old car horns sound off

Old car horns sound off (via)
posted by nitsuj on Feb 19, 2010 - 21 comments

Sometimes You Can See Sound

Sonic Boom in a Sun Dog (SLYT) [more inside]
posted by bwg on Feb 17, 2010 - 45 comments

Music Is the Weapon of the Future.

Acoustic Levitation. (wiki) [more inside]
posted by Lutoslawski on Jan 22, 2010 - 9 comments

silent listening: Ice Recordings

Andreas Bick's blog post about "dispersion of sound waves in ice sheets" made the rounds a few days ago. Now he has taken the opportunity "to draw the attention to some other very interesting webpages concerning the sound of ice".
posted by soundofsuburbia on Jan 17, 2010 - 19 comments

All we hear is radio ga ga.

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 - 209 comments

Modal Phenomena

Cymatics is the study of visible sound and vibration, typically on the surface of a plate, diaphragm, or membrane. Directly visualizing vibrations involves using sound to excite media often in the form of particles, pastes, and liquids. The apparatus employed can be simple, such as a Chladni Plate or advanced such as the CymaScope, a laboratory instrument that makes visible the inherent geometries within sound and music. Hans Jenny (1904-1972) is considered the father of cymatics. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Dec 18, 2009 - 8 comments

For me, it was an away game.

Jaap Blonk, Namesake of the blonkorgan, performer, sound poet. AaaaaAAAøøøøøøøøøAEEEeeeiiiIIIIIiiiüüüüüüüüüüieeeeooooOUUUUUooooooo. [more inside]
posted by idiopath on Nov 23, 2009 - 26 comments

Art of Noises

Luigi Russolo was a futurist painter, experimental composer, and instrument builder. In his 1913 manifesto "The Art of Noises" he declaimed the death of traditional Western music and foresaw the dawning of a new music based on the grinding, screeching, moaning, crackling and buzzing of mechanical instruments. He and his assistant Ugo Piatti built the Intonarumori to bring these new sounds - "the palpitation of valves, the coming and going of pistons, the howl of mechanical saws, the jolting of a tram on its rails, the cracking of whips, the flapping of curtains and flags" - to life. Listen to them, then and now.
posted by fire&wings on Oct 28, 2009 - 10 comments

Lunar Jamming

Moon Music: moonbell generates sounds based on lunar topography. (via) [more inside]
posted by Korou on Sep 3, 2009 - 13 comments

The Present Sound of London

The Present Sound of London -- "I’ve been lured to London by money at the hottest, stickiest time of year. Every time I visit, I’m struck by the noises—not necessarily their volume, but their strangeness and variety in comparison to the quiet humdrum of the provincial town where I live. So this time I’m equipped with an audio recorder." By Giles Turnbull.
posted by nthdegx on Jul 21, 2009 - 8 comments

Dinosaur Jr. apparently too old (not really)

[musicnewsfilter]: European copies of Dinosaur Jr.'s new album Farm have been recalled after duplication software "doubled the sound layers, resulting in a 3 dB increase in the overall sound volume." [more inside]
posted by auralcoral on Jul 12, 2009 - 61 comments

Oldest recorded voice

Last year we discussed a recently discovered 10-second audio recording from 1860 that was thought to be the oldest known recorded human voice, a girl or woman singing the 18th century French folk song “Au Clair de la Lune”. Turns out, it was being played too fast - slow it down and it's the voice of the inventor himself. As well, a number of other recordings have been found, pushing back the oldest recording to 1857. Hear it all on NPR (5-min). [more inside]
posted by stbalbach on Jun 1, 2009 - 24 comments

Have You Heard The Hum?

"For decades, hundreds of people worldwide have been plagued by an elusive buzzing noise known as "the Hum". "
posted by Aetius Romulous on May 24, 2009 - 52 comments

Trimpin: Musical Sculptor

Seattle-based German artist Trimpin makes sculptural musical instruments. He was profiled in a mini-documentary by Washington public TV station KBTC a couple of years ago. Here are videos of some other works of art he's created, Fire Organ, Liquid Percussion, Cello, Sensors and Record Players, Contraption at Seattle-Tacoma Airport, MIDI-controlled Player Piano and Sheng High. Kyle Gann wrote an essay by that placed Trimpin in the tradition of John Cage, Harry Partch and other avant-garde American musical inventors. The audio of a nearly hour and a half long 1990 interview with Trimpin by Charles Amirkhanian can be downloaded from the Internet Archive. Another, more light-hearted interview in connection to his show at this year's SXSW, where a documentary about him premiered (trailer).
posted by Kattullus on May 4, 2009 - 5 comments

Friday Flash-ish Spaß!

Friday Flash JavaScript Fun! Balldroppings (ha.) is a gravity-based game where balls drop at regular intervals from a particular point in the screen and you draw lines to make them bounce. The excellent part: every time the balls bounce off a line, they sing. [more inside]
posted by LMGM on Mar 20, 2009 - 19 comments

What language is music?

Western musical intervals are derived from speech tendencies, according to Duke scientists. Specifically, "most of the 12 chromatic scale intervals correspond to peaks of relative power in the normalized spectrum of human vocalizations." A somewhat more layperson-friendly summary of the study is here. [more inside]
posted by univac on Mar 15, 2009 - 42 comments

Preceded by silence... followed by more silence

When Resul Pookutty won the Oscar for Sound Mixing last weekend, it's probably the first time an Oscar acceptance speech, or really any U.S. network television broadcast, has mentioned the "primordial syllable," Om, which is very important to Hindus, Jains, and Buddhists.
posted by aught on Feb 24, 2009 - 16 comments

Free Sound Archive

Your alarm goes off, you get up to attend to your morning ritual, have a coffee, take a shower, head off to work, get on to Metafilter, and there you discover the wonders of the Free Sound Project! (previously)
posted by leotrotsky on Feb 2, 2009 - 17 comments

That calls for a Wilhelm Scream

Ben Burtt... heard the name? Well if you've ever watched a Star Wars film you've heard what he does. [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Jan 27, 2009 - 26 comments

Structures Sonores

In 1952, Bernard and François BASCHET reveal a new acoustic principle. They manage to amplify the internal vibration of metal, thus founding a new acoustic instrumental family : The Sound Structures [more inside]
posted by Grangousier on Jan 21, 2009 - 4 comments

Now maybe people will stop stealing the Doom door sound

SFXR by Tomas Pettersson - Ever needed a skilled Foley artist and an audio lab for making sound effects? No, probably not, but even the most amateur game designer needs sound effects for his game. Now, thanks to Tomas Pettersson the long tradition of stealing sound effects from other games is finally over. It doesn't do much more than little 8-bit bleeps and bloops, but it sure feels nice to have original, royalty-free sound effects for your game, or just for fun. [previously]
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia on Jan 10, 2009 - 15 comments

Eternally Surprising And Self-Generating Artworks

The bespoke generative design system at the heart of Forever will spawn unique audio-visual films everyday, forever. [more inside]
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Dec 6, 2008 - 17 comments

Bbrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr GAH phpbphpbphppbp / Words without meaning

Phil Minton | Jaap Blonk | Ami Yoshida | Maja Ratkje | Henri Chopin | The Littlest Sound Poet
posted by Beautiful Screaming Lady on Dec 3, 2008 - 8 comments

iSerenity

Like a little serenity? "Ambient sound environments at your desktop for relaxation, privacy and solitude". Soothe yourself with the sound of purring or some birdsong , rainforest, storm, sounds of the beach to go with your tea and contemplation. You might pretend you're taking a train trip, on a plane, visiting NYC. Or for fun you could mix them up, pencil writing and windchimes. Each soundscape has a visual to accompany it as well.
posted by nickyskye on Nov 20, 2008 - 37 comments

I have no idea what perceptual insight is, but this is pretty interesting

An Introduction to Sine-Wave Speech Play the first sound and you'll probably hear nothing but squeaks and bleeps. Play the second one and then go back to the first. Cool!
posted by TheDonF on Nov 16, 2008 - 63 comments

Tubular bells?

"Next-generation loudspeakers could be as thin as paper, as clear as glass, and as stretchable as rubber." Making sound from heat and vice versa is nothing new, but a flat loudspeaker sure would be cool, provided nothing goes wrong. [previously.]
posted by arcanecrowbar on Nov 5, 2008 - 14 comments

Genius

Walter Kitundu is one of this year's MacArthur Fellows, a musician and artist who invents and builds new instruments from turntables, strings and the interactions of the elements. His recent invention, the Ocean Edge Device, uses the flow of the rushing tides to provide energy for on-board accordion and turntable instrumentation.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Sep 25, 2008 - 7 comments

That giant fountain projection thing

Primal source at GLOW (video), Burble London (an implementation of Open Burble) (video), Evoke (video) - the transformative artworks of Haque Design and Research. Interview with Usman Haque. Previously.
posted by Artw on Sep 21, 2008 - 6 comments

Whalesong and ocean sounds

The Jupiter Foundation and the Whalesong Project are both organizations which record humpback whale songs from floating buoys; some of their archived recordings can be found here, here, and here. (Warning, last two may resize your browser.) DOSITS hosts a more comprehensive collection of oceanic sounds, with seals and fish along with its whales and dolphins. It also has a couple of nice sections on how animals use sounds in the ocean. (Previously.) [more inside]
posted by Upton O'Good on Sep 7, 2008 - 9 comments

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