223 posts tagged with sound.
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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


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


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

Rat Sound, the original punk rock sound company

Rat Sound Systems is the original punk rock sound company. Started in LA in the early 80s, it was a stalwart of the early LA punk scene (posters: it did happen). Starting in the 1990s, Rat Sound has been supplying sound for some of rock's biggest acts. They even went corporate, with a client list including Paris Hilton. Since May 2006, founder Dave Rat, who mixes the Red Hot Chili Peppers for the audience, has been keeping a tour blog. [more inside]
posted by Monday, stony Monday on Aug 29, 2008 - 10 comments

Listen Explore Discover Create

SoundJunction is all about music. You can take music apart and find out how it works, create music yourself, find out how other people make music and how they perform it, you can learn about musical instruments and voices, and look at the backgrounds of different musical styles. Over 40 musicians talk on film about their experiences. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Aug 21, 2008 - 3 comments

You're Not My Father

You're Not My Father [more inside]
posted by defenestration on Apr 16, 2008 - 55 comments

Heck of a job, Creative

A geek named daniel_k wanted to help his fellow Vista users. He created a set of drivers that would get their Creative sound cards working under Vista -- something beyond the ken and expertise of Creative's engineering team. Creative VP Phil O'Shaughnessy, however, took umbrage. The results? A PR disaster with hundreds of users pledging to boycott.
posted by ed on Mar 30, 2008 - 66 comments

That Crouton Looks Like Aunt Marge!

Things That Look Like Other Things. Also known as pareidolia, it's the phenomenon in which our brains perceive familiar things (especially faces and human forms) in random places. See also The Pareidolia Museum and the Flickr pareidolia pool. [Previous pareidolia-related threads here]
posted by amyms on Mar 28, 2008 - 40 comments

Researchers Play Tune Recorded Before Edison See also Phonoautograph

Researchers Play Tune Recorded Before Edison
The Phonoautograph
The history of the Phonoautograph. A technology in which you can still buy stock.
posted by y2karl on Mar 27, 2008 - 34 comments

Early Electronic Instruments

Elisha Gray could have been known to us as the inventor of the telephone. Instead, he goes down in history as the accidental creator of one of the first electronic musical instruments, the "Musical Telegraph." There are many other examples of early electronic instruments, including: the Teleharmonium, the Audion Piano, the Optophonic Piano, the Trautonium, the Ondes Martenot, the Rhythmicon, the Theremin Cello and the better-known Aetherphone (aka Theremin) to name a few. MetaFilter discussed odd music previously.
posted by terrapin on Mar 25, 2008 - 7 comments

The Sound Of Clothes

The Sound Of Clothes features the precise sound of fashion materials such as feathers, sequins, glass crystals and beads, nylon, taffeta, leather, velvet, jacquard, zips and metallic chains, recorded in an anechoic chamber. Videos linked from the page might be NSFW.
posted by jack_mo on Mar 12, 2008 - 26 comments

Not With Reynols

I Am Not Sitting In A Room With Reynols. [more inside]
posted by jtron on Feb 25, 2008 - 13 comments

Put your headphones on

New Scientist has a feature on 5 great auditory illusions. (via Mind Hacks)
posted by Lezzles on Feb 21, 2008 - 49 comments

(NSC) - RIP Ron Murphy, master vinyl cutter.

Ron Murphy cut records, but not just any records. Responsible for cutting the actual vinyl master plates of much of the now revered Detroit Techno including Jeff Mills, Carl Craig, Underground Resistance's seminal Knights of the Jaguar, and much more - he demonstrated impeccable craftsmanship and skill in both mastering records for sound and aesthetics at company known as Sound Enterprises source link AKA National Sound Corporation. Schooled in Motown, dubplates and jukeboxes, he is the bespoke-crafted, analog link between the digital future and analog past that is the roots of Techno music and modern techno DJ culture. [more inside]
posted by loquacious on Feb 13, 2008 - 15 comments

Edward Samuel's Illustrated History of Copyright

Edward Samuel's Illustrated History of Copyright A fascinating illustrated historical tour, looking at how different technologies have shaped how we think about copyright and intellectual property.
posted by carter on Jan 31, 2008 - 4 comments

Music to (both) your ears.

What do you call capturing sound the way the human head hears it, that is, three-dimensionally? Nope, not stereo. Binaural recording. Holophonics. Dummy head (no, not you) recording. [more inside]
posted by artifarce on Jan 29, 2008 - 14 comments

The Death of High Fidelity

The Death of High Fidelity
posted by chunking express on Jan 5, 2008 - 97 comments

Audible Illusions

Holophonic sound is an audio recording technique which operates on a principle similar to Holography. The result has been reported to be realistic and life-like three dimensional sounding audio recordings. [more inside]
posted by sambosambo on Dec 13, 2007 - 34 comments

See For Yourself - Optical Illusions

See For Yourself - Purves Lab's optical illusions web page with empirical explanations of familiar and unfamiliar illusions.
posted by nthdegx on Nov 16, 2007 - 6 comments

AEROTONE. | Hello!

AEROTONE. | Hello!
posted by hama7 on Nov 10, 2007 - 16 comments

Serein v3

Serein v3
posted by hama7 on Nov 9, 2007 - 50 comments


David McCallum's Warbike, which chimes away as it passes by (and detects) stray wifi signals. Torontonians can ride the Warbike for free until the beginning of December as part of Interaccess. [more inside]
posted by myopicman on Oct 10, 2007 - 18 comments


posted by hama7 on Oct 7, 2007 - 37 comments

Stainless Steel Ondine

Steve Mann's hydraulophone with sculpture gallery and performance video snippets: [1] [2] [3]
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Aug 27, 2007 - 9 comments


There are good beeps and there are bad beeps. Beep beep beep beep beep. Previously: 1, 2, 3.
posted by jiiota on Aug 26, 2007 - 30 comments

I've got moves you haven't even seen yet

What is the relationship between the optical groove in a record or wax cylinder and sound, and how can we use this to recover analog recordings from the past? Dr. Carl Haber explains IRENE (.pdf; begin at slide 44 for audio samples).
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Jul 16, 2007 - 25 comments


posted by hama7 on Jul 7, 2007 - 26 comments

(kggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhh.....) AH! AH! **-->BAGPIPES, MONKEYS, TERROR<--**

Powernap MP3s.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Jun 21, 2007 - 16 comments

The Sancho Plan

The Sancho Plan "create live audiovisual performances and installations for your listening and viewing pleasure." Spacequatica, recently performed at Martyn Ware's Future of Sound event, is an intriguing mix of live sound and animations triggered by electronic drums -- worth a few minutes on a Friday.
posted by diastematic on Jun 8, 2007 - 5 comments

Found cassette sounds.

Tape Findings. Every week RJ from Sweet Thunder posts excerpts from one of a kind cassette tape recordings he finds at garage sales. Found due to Week 15 [better recording]. Other greats: Week 49, Week 73, Week 86. Dog damn.
posted by 6am on May 19, 2007 - 13 comments

Sound toys galore

A veritable plethora of online sound toys to tinkle your fancy.
posted by Twang on May 5, 2007 - 17 comments


Abnormal Behavior Child's got some interesting things to look at and watch or play with. Site self-describes as "visual poetry". {second link's got flash/sound}
posted by dobbs on Apr 17, 2007 - 6 comments

Golden Ratios

Did the roof of the Pantheon influence Copernicus? Are the planets of the solar system aligned in accordance with a nearly-forgotten hypothesis known (unfairly) as Bode's Law? A fascinating wide-ranging discussion on BLDGBLOG with Walter Murch, the visionary editor and sound designer for such films as The Conversation, Apocalypse Now, The English Patient, THX1138, and many others. [Murch's film work has previously been discussed here and here.]
posted by digaman on Apr 7, 2007 - 20 comments

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