Electronic instrument design tends to be all about interface: since we can generate arbitrary signals in software, the question becomes how we shape the signal given our human minds and bodies. How do we transfer and explore our musical intent from mind to instrument?… Continue Reading
Open now until November 22 at Carnegie Mellon’s Miller Gallery, “Aftersound” explores the notion of the afterimage, or the lingering psychoacoustic effects of sonic experiences on the human mind and body. If you’re able to get to Pittsburg for this, it looks like one of the most Cooking With Sound exhibits ever.… Continue Reading
If you thought acoustic levitation was nifty, wait till you see this: moving a small bead in arbitrary directions with a holographic sound field.
Say what? By varying the phases of an array of 64 ultrasonic transducers, researchers at Spain’s Public University of Navarre were able to create ‘acoustic objects’: three-dimensional patterns of air compression that can push against a lightweight object. … Continue Reading
OK, this is one of my new favorite hacks ever: a modular synthesizer rack made out of the ENUDDEN Ikea toilet paper holder. It appears that the width of the opening is the perfect height for standard Eurorack modules. All you have to do is remove the toilet roll holder part on top. … Continue Reading
The 1971 Fisher Price Change-A-Record Music Box is a classic children’s toy that comprises plastic ‘records’ and a mechanical music box in the ‘needle’ arm. The bumps in the disc pluck the tines of the music box, producing the sounds you hear.… Continue Reading
Seeing something float magically in nothing but air is always a breathtaking sight, but there aren’t too many ways to do it. You could use a really thin string, like a magician, or maybe some powerful electromagnets. But what if you could levitate objects with nothing more than the air itself?… Continue Reading
Microsoft’s new anechoic chamber at Building 87 in Richmond has broken the Guinness World Record for “Quietest Place on Earth”, achieving an insane sensitivity of -20.6 dbA, which is only a few times louder than Brownian motion, or the noise that moving gas particles make. … Continue Reading
Suppose it’s 2 million years ago and you’re a humble A. africanus or P. robustus. You hear the sounds of the forest in sharp detail around you. You hear with critical clarity every nuance of a bird’s call, every grunt and whistle of your hunting party—and the slightest, subtlest cracking of a twig caused by your prey.… Continue Reading
If you’re going to build dikes that need to stand up to the ocean, you’re going to need a way to test them: so you build a gigantic wave machine. This one can produce waves almost 15 feet high—do you think they’d let me surf on it? … Continue Reading
If you’ve ever tried googling for help with a Puredata patch, you may have found that it’s not necessarily very effective: you might type in something like ‘pd wire delete’ and get a bunch of results about car wiring.