Insert your own Spinal Tap joke here...
August 15, 2019 1:31 AM   Subscribe

Mini model of Stonehenge could reveal how the ancient monument SOUNDED.

Scientists at the Acoustics Research Center at the University of Salford in the UK have created a 1:12 scale model of Stonehenge to understand exactly how sound would have behaved around it at the time of its original use.

"Having placed the model in a special acoustic chamber, the researchers are using a technique used in video game and VR sound creation, one dubbed 'auralisation'."

(If you don't get the post title, this video should help.)
posted by Nat "King" Cole Porter Wagoner (31 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
I really think you're just making much too big a thing out of it.
posted by J.K. Seazer at 2:02 AM on August 15, 2019 [8 favorites]


Longer Stonehenge video.
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:05 AM on August 15, 2019


F*** the napkin!
posted by thirdring at 2:48 AM on August 15, 2019 [1 favorite]


Surely it's in the Rock genre.
posted by fairmettle at 3:26 AM on August 15, 2019 [5 favorites]


a 1:12 scale model

"This one goes to twelve."
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 3:51 AM on August 15, 2019 [6 favorites]


No no... just make 10 louder.
posted by Nanukthedog at 4:14 AM on August 15, 2019


They probably broke the lab's anachronometer when they recorded Bach played on a sax in a model of Stonehenge for the Daily Mail.

Also: "And here I am in the model of Stonehenge, an auralisation of what I would sound like if I went back to 2200 BC [and I was 72 feet tall and Stonehenge was actually Plastichenge] and talked within the monument."
posted by pracowity at 4:18 AM on August 15, 2019 [4 favorites]


Does anyone know who they are... or, what they are doing?
posted by grumpybear69 at 5:00 AM on August 15, 2019 [6 favorites]


Scientists at the Acoustics Research Center at the University of Salford in the UK have created a 1:12 scale model of Stonehenge

Said the lead researcher: “Nigel gave me a drawing that said eighteen inches. Now, whether he knows the difference between feet and inches is not my problem,” adding, “I do what I’m told.”
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:01 AM on August 15, 2019 [6 favorites]


How does it sound in Doubly?
posted by briank at 5:40 AM on August 15, 2019 [2 favorites]


Needs a "fordwarves" tag.
posted by DigDoug at 6:07 AM on August 15, 2019


That's just terrific. When we get the PDF... when we get the actual research paper, it'll ... it'll follow exactly these specifications, I mean even these LaTeX packages and everything?
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 6:33 AM on August 15, 2019 [1 favorite]


What is this? A henge for ants?
posted by Jon Mitchell at 7:07 AM on August 15, 2019 [6 favorites]


A Stonehenge monument that's in danger of being crushed... by a dwarf.
posted by SansPoint at 7:51 AM on August 15, 2019


Spoiler: it sounds cool.
posted by suetanvil at 9:15 AM on August 15, 2019 [1 favorite]


This post and thread is highly relevant to my interests!
posted by TwoWordReview at 9:23 AM on August 15, 2019 [3 favorites]


Acoustics must be good. I heard it's a good place for children to dance to the pipes of Pan.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 9:24 AM on August 15, 2019 [1 favorite]


Trevor Cox is also the guy who recorded the world's longest echo with an RT30 of about 75 seconds!
posted by TwoWordReview at 9:32 AM on August 15, 2019 [3 favorites]


spinal tap (and zoolander) reference opportunities aside... who thought this was worth worth doing? there have been very few studies of this kind FOR A REASON.

i call boondoggle.
posted by rude.boy at 10:14 AM on August 15, 2019


Don't be a sourpuss, archaeoacoustics is a thing even though you don't think it's worth studying.
posted by peeedro at 11:02 AM on August 15, 2019 [3 favorites]


Here's why it is worth studying:

Greeks and Romans: Let's build huge amphitheaters out of countless tons of rocks!
Celts: What if we just stood up a few stones and got the same result?
posted by b1tr0t at 12:02 PM on August 15, 2019 [2 favorites]


I've got an armadillo in my trousers.
posted by kirkaracha at 12:05 PM on August 15, 2019


Does it amplify the dewdrop’s cry and the cats meow? If not I’m not interested.
posted by billiebee at 1:10 PM on August 15, 2019


i'm with you peeedro and b1tr0t. i guess i was riffing a bit on pracowity's comment about how the scale and the plastic (and the anechoic chamber) might create some results that are not really applicable.
i agree that as a data point, this could be a valuable piece of the puzzle, and i certainly did not intend to come off as a sourpuss (nor did i intend to discredit the practice of archaeoacoustics).
posted by rude.boy at 2:29 PM on August 15, 2019 [1 favorite]


The videos are good, but where are the dancing dwarves?
posted by kozad at 2:49 PM on August 15, 2019


if you don't want to give the dailyfail clicks, like me, you can use this newscientist link.
posted by numaner at 3:35 PM on August 15, 2019 [1 favorite]


I'm not an acoustic engineer or scientist, but I have done some work with high performance computing and separately enjoy playing with experimental electronic music.

There is a good reason why there has not been much work like this until now: Moore's Law. More specifically (no pun intended), computers are a lot more powerful, and a lot less expensive. Additionally, you can buy a vector supercomputer at your local Best Buy (or similar) and put up to four of them in your machine. They are sold as "GPUs".

The latest generation of GPUs support hardware for real time ray-tracing, a graphics technique that traces a ray from a pixel in the screen (the "eye") until it either hits a light emitter or leaves the scene. Even if the ray tracing units don't help this research, the ability to buy a desktop vector supercomputer for hundreds of dollars unlocks a lot of possibilities in math-heavy research like this.

More prosaically, you can also easily buy a high quality 16+ input audio interface and it will work with any recent MacBook. Two decades ago, getting 4 channels of audio into your computer at high resolution was a challenge, much less storing it.

Data processing is getting cheaper every year and it will unlock interesting fields of study that were previously "impossible".
posted by b1tr0t at 6:32 PM on August 15, 2019 [3 favorites]


Petra Haden's cover of "Stonehenge" sounds pretty great.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:04 PM on August 15, 2019


Nowhere near as good as "Shark Sandwich."
posted by El Brendano at 6:38 AM on August 16, 2019


The review you had on "Shark Sandwich," which was merely a two word review, just said "Shit Sandwich."
posted by kirkaracha at 7:53 AM on August 16, 2019 [2 favorites]


kirkaracha: Where did they print that? That's not real, is it?
posted by SansPoint at 8:10 AM on August 16, 2019


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