*krrrk krrk krrk click*
April 9, 2018 8:49 AM   Subscribe

Conserve The Sound, an online museum for the sounds made by vanishing and endangered technology.

A project by Chunderksen (a Hamburg/Essen based production & design company), so the focus is technical artifacts found in Germany. Examples: a walkman, an analog typewriter, a View-Master, the crank handle for the window on an Opel Astra F, an 8mm film projector.
posted by zamboni (20 comments total) 44 users marked this as a favorite
Modem sound? .... yep modem sound.
posted by RolandOfEld at 9:01 AM on April 9, 2018 [4 favorites]

Can you hear the flip and fast-forward in a song where on the opposite side of the tape you reached the uneven nature of cassettes and you needed to get to the end of the tape? So that there is a slight stutter and key change in every song as you listen to the tape again and again. And, if you recorded it on pisspoor hardware, you'd hear the cah-chunk-chunk of starting the recording.

'I made you a playlist' is so much less of a commitment than 'I made you a mix tape'... it wasn't just the recording of each song and calculating out the minutes left on the tape to minimize blank space at the end of each tape... you also had the opportunity to decorate - which in my case meant retyping all the songs and lyrics, and printing them in a word document with very strict boundaries, then cutting that out, and either drawing or gluing a ton of magazine clippings onto the back to make a surreal picture running the entire length of liner... I mean... I even mixed in audio from scenes from movies recorded on VHS occasionally from songs... A mix tape was hours of work.
posted by Nanukthedog at 9:12 AM on April 9, 2018 [10 favorites]

I could never have imagined the emotions the modem sound would stir in me today.
posted by chimpsonfilm at 9:14 AM on April 9, 2018 [4 favorites]

Mix tape? Word document? Good lord.

By hand, using felt tip markers.
posted by dowcrag at 9:18 AM on April 9, 2018 [8 favorites]

The one sound I want is the creak created by the iron stepstool that my blacksmith-grandfather built, rubbing on the concrete floor of the garage going into my grandparents' house. I'm sure that would easily transport me back 50 years to those lazy summer vacations in rural Iowa.
posted by achrise at 9:23 AM on April 9, 2018 [4 favorites]

Credit card imprinter.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 9:31 AM on April 9, 2018 [7 favorites]

By hand, using felt tip markers.
posted by dowcrag at 12:18 PM on April 9

I had horrible penmanship. If we hadn't had a computer by the time I was in 5th grade, I'd have done it on our typewriter. I envied kids with good handwriting.
posted by Nanukthedog at 9:39 AM on April 9, 2018 [1 favorite]

the expression for certain kinds of horrible sound "fingers down a blackboard" must vanish with my generation, but i wish there was a modern substitute for describing this horrible type of sound
posted by maiamaia at 10:06 AM on April 9, 2018 [2 favorites]

The sound of the internal combustion engine deserves better representation than that Opel Astra. I recommend a nice rev-matched downshift in something equipped with a straight six, followed by hard acceleration.
posted by sfenders at 10:41 AM on April 9, 2018

Kodak Carousel
posted by Lanark at 11:50 AM on April 9, 2018 [1 favorite]

fingers down a blackboard

And the sound of a metal ice-cube tray scraping across the refrigerator's small undefrosted freezer box. (Oh, and wasn't defrosting it a pain.)

I miss typewriters and film projectors. And record players (Not just the more recent turntables, but the huge cabinet-enclosed turntables that played 78s, 33s & 45s. And 16 rpm!)

(Meanwhile I've actually been figuring out out how to dispose of a bunch of old tech. Another aspect of living some decades, how quickly you amass outdated stuff from multiple decades!)
posted by NorthernLite at 12:54 PM on April 9, 2018 [2 favorites]

This is great fun.
The expression for certain kinds of horrible sound "fingers down a blackboard" must vanish with my generation, but i wish there was a modern substitute for describing this horrible type of sound.
Fear not. I make that sound at least once a week in rooms filled with young adults, using new chalk on a badly maintained blackboard. But. . . now that I think about it, I've never actually heard anyone put fingernails on a blackboard. Why would anyone do that? It's been just the name for a particular kind of sound since I was a kid in the 80s, despite a lifetime spent among blackboards. I don't even know if fingernails really make that sound.
posted by eotvos at 1:22 PM on April 9, 2018

What about the sound of one of those IBM Selectric typewriters with the ball thing instead of individual heads for each letter? Preferably a typing-pool full of the things.

Or the sound of a single record dropping onto the turntable of a crappy portable record-player (a Dansette?) from the bottom of a small stack of singles?

Or a steam-train? Maybe that would be more smell than sound perhaps.

Or a horse-drawn cart on cobbles? As a country child, I remember lying in bed at my grandmother's and delighting in the dazzling urbanity of hearing the milkman's cart go by on the paved road outside her house.

Actually, scratch the horse-drawn cart. Three or four times a year a horse-drawn funeral hearse passes my house on the way to Highgate Cemetery. Black horses with black plumes, the lot. Once it was a New Orleans-style jazz funeral, with a band led by a man marching/dancing in front waving an umbrella. Sometimes we get police horses going by too, so the horse-noises are still current.

I still feel older than God now, though.
posted by Fuchsoid at 1:30 PM on April 9, 2018

oh wow, the Viewmaster. That thing was a palantir as far as I was concerned, age 4 or 5.
posted by thelonius at 3:07 PM on April 9, 2018

This is so awesome. It’s not likely to become outdated any time soon, so not worthy of inclusion on this list just yet, but I got an ultrasound on my leg veins the other day and reveled with the sonographer about how damn cool the Doppler sounds of blood flowing are. I want to make music with them.
posted by invitapriore at 8:10 PM on April 9, 2018

My iPhone's ring tone is a recording of a 56k modem connecting because I have the superpower of being able to tune out all sounds except for "bo bee twaaaah tweeeeeeeeee."
posted by jamaro at 8:46 PM on April 9, 2018 [5 favorites]

I think about this stuff all the time.

For years I ran phototypesetters, mostly CompuGraphic and Quadex high-end machines capable of incredibly beautiful compositing. The sounds they generated were magical and created a specific aural texture. Operating them at times felt like playing a musical instrument. As a line of type was generated and justified (spaced to fit the width of the copy) it would be printed onto photo paper in a burst of strobe flashes aimed through a spinning drum on which was mounted strips of film which contained the font. Those bursts had a unique, indescribable sound which was immensely satisfying.

There are a lot of noises I miss. From an old Royal Manual to an IBM Selectric, the old keyboards had wonderful mechanical sounds. The pounding of a teletype machine featured in the background of old news programs during the 60s as did the clattering of typewriters and their justification bells, a distinctive office soundscape now lost.

I once stumbled on a hands-on exhibit of old typewriters in a small museum in the Adirondacks; the mere sound of a 1970s-era portable Smith Corona powering up brought me to tears.

Nothing, however, haunts me quite like the sounds made by a CompuGraphic Editwriter 7500. There’s a museum in Massachusetts that has one and I hope some day to visit the thing, if only to hear it one last time.
posted by kinnakeet at 2:53 AM on April 10, 2018 [6 favorites]

The satisfying 'thunk' of the library stamp just filled me with a flood of great memories.
posted by Faintdreams at 4:21 AM on April 10, 2018 [1 favorite]

The Burroughs adding machine. My first job was in a very old-fashioned family-owned pharmacy and the owner had me doing her billing with the aid of an ancient Burroughs adding machine. I got to be extremely proficient with it, and I always found the sound and feel of it to be very satisfying.
posted by usedsongs at 4:11 AM on April 14, 2018 [1 favorite]

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