♫ doot-doot ♩dooot ?
April 21, 2015 8:26 PM   Subscribe

We're sorry, the FPP you have posted has been replaced by an intercept message. Please check the URL and try again, or contact your moderator for assistance. This is a recording.
At the tone the time will be...
posted by not_on_display (23 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite
We apologize for the inconvenience
posted by charlie don't surf at 8:46 PM on April 21, 2015

< reorder tone.mp3 >
posted by mikelieman at 8:52 PM on April 21, 2015

I had no idea it was two different people.
posted by double block and bleed at 8:57 PM on April 21, 2015

I give this post
Two ringie-dingies.
posted by clavdivs at 9:37 PM on April 21, 2015 [2 favorites]

From one of the links: Rod Serling with a PSA about crank calls (. MP3 - NSFW)
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 9:37 PM on April 21, 2015

OMG! WWVH, the NIST clock in Hawaii [(808) 335-4363], has a woman's voice! Jane Barbe's, per the "at the tone" link. I'm so accustomed to the sound of the WWV broadcast from Colorado that this is a complete revelation.

This is a wonderful, wonderful post. So glad to know a little bit more about Barbe & Fleet! Now I'm curious who the men are who voice the NIST WWV [(303) 499-7111] and Naval Observatory [(202) 762-1401] time services.

(And speaking of WWV, the timecode that you can hear under the voice announcements is pretty nifty, too.)
posted by Westringia F. at 9:39 PM on April 21, 2015 [3 favorites]

Having grown up with Southwestern Bell (now the new at&t) as the local telephone company, it is Pat Fleet that brings back the memories. To me, Barbe sounds like a pale imitation. I'm sure it is precisely the opposite for many people.

Allison, the voice of Asterisk, recorded some fairly amusing things for the project, including something about weasels taking over the telephones.

Apparently Pat Fleet did some, too. (please excuse the terrible website, it's the first source that popped up and I'm using my phone ATM.)
posted by wierdo at 10:12 PM on April 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

We're sorry, but all your base are belong to us
posted by not_on_display at 10:17 PM on April 21, 2015

OMG! WWVH, the NIST clock in Hawaii [(808) 335-4363], has a woman's voice! Jane Barbe's, per the "at the tone" link. I'm so accustomed to the sound of the WWV broadcast from Colorado that this is a complete revelation.

I guess this is the one moment where I self-link...
posted by mykescipark at 10:19 PM on April 21, 2015 [5 favorites]

Anyone know who this voice [MP3] belongs to? Is it artificial?
posted by buzzv at 11:42 PM on April 21, 2015

Fred Covington is the voice of the USNO Master Clock, as I just discovered. NPR story (text and audio).
posted by Westringia F. at 11:48 PM on April 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

I know this marks me as deeply weird, but I've long wanted to have Jane Barbe or Pat Fleet's job recording those intercept messages, or to be Susan Bennett (the voice of Siri). Heck, I'd love to figure out how to be the female Don LaFontaine.

I do a passable version of the voice of the warning system from Aliens: "You have twenty minutes to reach...miminum safe distance."
posted by magstheaxe at 5:04 AM on April 22, 2015

There's an 'audio tour'/documentary segment about WWV and WWVH here, in a mid-1999 edition of Radio Netherland's Media Network programme.

(Part of an enormous and growing online archive of more than twenty years' of Media Network, which is a very addictive resource for anyone interested in the history of international broadcasting from the end of the Cold War to the victory of the Web...)
posted by Devonian at 6:22 AM on April 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

Just going to throw in a link to Evan Doorbell's Phone Trips.
posted by kiltedtaco at 6:41 AM on April 22, 2015 [2 favorites]

In the mid-90's I had a college roommate who, beset upon all sides by bill collectors, changed his answering machine message to a recording of the intercept message, and only told his closest confidantes to 'wait for the beep'.

On the upside, it seemed to work - the phone was dropped from calling lists by bill collectors. On the downside, it was the mid-90's and his phone was the phone for the whole house. You can imagine how this worked out, and, no, he didn't tell us he was doing it before he did it. He was gone by the next semester.
posted by eclectist at 9:55 AM on April 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

Time Zones.
posted by MartinWisse at 11:18 AM on April 22, 2015

Wow, I didn't know Barbe recorded horoscopes!

Some of these are bittersweet to me. Many times when I was young, far from home and desperate to hear from someone, Barbe's voice greeted me instead. It was never her fault that she made me want to cry sometimes.
posted by Countess Elena at 6:42 PM on April 22, 2015

These recordings are so iconic, their exact vocal phrasings, pauses, intonations. I wonder about the very first recordings of these and how they decided on the tone, etc of the performance. Imagine if you'd never heard a recorded operator, or a voicemail/phone menu recording, and having the power to create that omnipresent cultural artifact.

I once did some recording for a phone menu ("You have reached ___... Press one for account information," etc) and found myself basically doing an impression of these voices. It was impossible to talk normally while saying these set phrases. It's like they're not even words, they're almost a song that you can only sing in the phone-recording vocal persona.
posted by LobsterMitten at 7:12 PM on April 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

OMG! WWVH . . . has a woman's voice! . . . I'm so accustomed to the sound of the WWV broadcast from Colorado that this is a complete revelation.

Depending on:
  • Where in the world you are.
  • What frequency you're listening on.
  • The sensitivity of your receiver.
  • The gain of your antenna.
  • The state of the ionosphere.
  • Luck.
. . . you can often hear both Ft Collins and Kekaha simultaneously on the same frequency. Using different voices helps you tell which is which. The announcements aren't identical, so they don't quite talk over each other.

Back when I was a nerdy kid, I used to spend New Years Eve recording various radio stations' countdowns of the top hits for the year ending (do they still do that?). One year, I decided to tune to WWV instead just before midnight to see what they did /said differently at the change of the year.

It turned out to be nothing at all. Just the straight top of the hour announcement. Not even a "Happy New Year from the National Bureau of Standards". Joyless bureaucratic buzzards.*

Canadian Content rules require that I mention the Canadian time signal station CHU.

CHU went on the air in 1923 and in 1964 began the classic bilingual announcements -- starring Harry J. Mannis (English) and Miville Couture (Francais), both of the CBC -- alternating even minutes announcements of the form:
"CHU Canada, eastern standard time fourteen hours forty-four minutes" . . . "Quatorze heures quarante quatre minutes” BEEP
with odd minutes announcements of the form:
"CHU Canada, heure normale de l 'est quatorze heures quarante cinq minutes" . . . "Fourteen hours forty-five minutes" BEEP
We used to hear a ton of other time stations on shortwave, though it wasn't always easy to tell whose station it was. Pretty sure we heard Soviet, Chinese, and Japanese time stations, and maybe some from South America.

*It's ok, I think the #1 song that year was "Sugar, Sugar" by the Archies and we -- by which I mean every living soul on the planet -- were already tired of hearing it by the end of the year.
posted by Herodios at 6:52 AM on April 23, 2015 [3 favorites]

Just going to throw in a link to Evan Doorbell's Phone Trips.

Oooooooohhhhhh. I've read about these phreaks back in the golden age of system exploration through the phone lines; fantastic to hear them in action. So nicely produced.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 12:52 PM on April 23, 2015

I was going to include the Evan Doorbell tapes in this FPP, but decided it was too off-topic to include within the structure I chose for the FPP. I'm glad kittedtaco linked to it in-thread.

Originally the post was inspired by the Doorbell tapes page, as I'd been Googling for vintage sounds of busy signals, dial tones, etc. When I found the intercept-messages pages via the Doorbell tapes page, the intercept-messages won out. Especially after seeing the last-linked-to video where Dick Clark introduces Jane Barbe's voice as being heard 25 TRILLION TIMES A YEAR, back in the late 80's/early 90's.

posted by not_on_display at 4:00 PM on April 23, 2015

back in the late 80's/early 90's.

Early 80's was where I cut my teeth hand scanning local exchanges for loops. Even if the statute of limitations has run, that's all I'm going to say...
posted by mikelieman at 3:53 AM on April 24, 2015

The above comment reminded of this: our local exchange had an intercept message loop anytime you dialed an invalid number (like all 1's for instance). When the intercept message paused for about 10 seconds before repeating, you could hear at very low volume anyone else who was listening to the same intercept message. So for a year or two in the early eighties, the intercept message served as an anonymous party/chat line for all the teenagers in the 535 exchange.
posted by not_on_display at 8:43 AM on April 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

« Older If you can beat level 1, please tell me how kthx   |   Their fire has gone out of the universe Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments