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Links etc. collected by Rob Walker.

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    NPR just released a fascinating video that does a fantastic job of explaining something called Schlieren Flow Visualization or Schlieren Photography: a photographic trick that allows you to see density changes in air and, therefore, actually capture sound waves on camera.

    (via Explaining the Fascinating Photographic Trick that Lets You See Sound Waves)

    — 3 months ago with 5 notes
    #Sound  #Visualization 
    
Every Tuesday at noon in San Francisco, California, a siren rings out, after which a voice provides some modicum of comfort by explaining that the siren was a test, only a test. The siren is part of the city’s Outdoor Public Warning System. Brian Scott of Boon Design decided to treat the siren as a symbol for the city — that is, what R. Murray Schafer would have called a “soundmark,” or the sonic equivalent of a landmark — when he responded recently to a call for posters by AIGA SF, the local branch of the professional association for design. The poster project, titled AIGA InsideOutSF, explains itself as follows: “A curated exhibition and silent auction of original posters by some of the most influential San Francisco Bay Area and international creatives, revealing their personal impressions of San Francisco.”
Brian put together a small crew for his poster, which appears up top. 

Details: This Poster Is a Test. It Is Only a Test.

    Every Tuesday at noon in San Francisco, California, a siren rings out, after which a voice provides some modicum of comfort by explaining that the siren was a test, only a test. The siren is part of the city’s Outdoor Public Warning System. Brian Scott of Boon Design decided to treat the siren as a symbol for the city — that is, what R. Murray Schafer would have called a “soundmark,” or the sonic equivalent of a landmark — when he responded recently to a call for posters by AIGA SF, the local branch of the professional association for design. The poster project, titled AIGA InsideOutSF, explains itself as follows: “A curated exhibition and silent auction of original posters by some of the most influential San Francisco Bay Area and international creatives, revealing their personal impressions of San Francisco.”

    Brian put together a small crew for his poster, which appears up top. 

    Details: This Poster Is a Test. It Is Only a Test.

    — 7 months ago
    #Sound  #Sound Objects 

    POLARSEEDS musicologist Jonathan Perl explains the mysterious musicology behind his custom-built climate “sonifications.”

    City College of New York music professor Jonathan Perl partnered with CUNY earth and atmospheric science professor Marco Tedesco to represent albedo ratio data as sound. The albedo ratio is a measure of how reflective or white a surface is (albedo means ‘white’ in latin). In this case, more snow cover means a higher albedo. So Perl took different albedo measures and transformed them into specific instruments and sounds — bells, droplets, etc.— to give glacier activity a voice.

    In one sonification, a choir sounds almost angelic singing in a high airy tone, but as the albedo level drops—mirroring ice melt over the years—the choir starts to sound like an evil chanting cult.

    You can hear Perl’s actual “sonifications” here.

    — 1 year ago with 1 note
    #Sonification  #Soundscapes  #Sound 
    aesthetics of joy » Blog Archive » The personalities of colors →

    Back in the 60s, a voiceover artist named Ken Nordine recorded a series of short beat poems about colors, backed by free-form jazz. The poems began as advertisements for the Fuller Paint Company, but when radio listeners began to call in requesting to hear them played again, Nordine decided to record an album of them. Once I started listening this weekend, I couldn’t stop — they’re just so delightfully odd.

    More: Here’s the link to listen to the full album on Spotify

    — 1 year ago
    #Color  #Sound 
    BLDGBLOG: Sound Signature →

    Electrical networks emit such a constant, locally recognizable hum that their sound can be used to help solve crimes.

    A forensic database of electrical sounds is thus being developed by UK police, according to the BBC. “For the last seven years, at the Metropolitan Police forensic lab in south London,” we read, “audio specialists have been continuously recording the sound of mains electricity. It is an all pervasive hum that we normally cannot hear. But boost it a little, and a metallic and not very pleasant buzz fills the air.”

    — 1 year ago with 1 note
    #Sound  #Soundscapes  #Forensic Sound 

    A CBS News report tells the story of the earliest known example of recorded music and voice, a demonstration of Edison’s phonograph recording device in 1878. Recorded onto a sheet of tinfoil, the recording features a cornet solo followed by recitations of “Mary Had A Little Lamb” and “Old Mother Hubbard.”

    — 1 year ago with 2 notes
    #Sound  #HIstory 
    Household-Product Sounds Are a New Strategic Branding Feature - WSJ.com →

    The small sounds consumer products make—whether a snap, click, rustle or pop—can be memorable and deeply satisfying, often suggesting luxury, freshness, effectiveness or security.

    Companies, in their endless drive to motivate customers to buy, are paying more attention to these product noises and going to great lengths to manipulate them. Sound is emerging as a new branding frontier.

    — 1 year ago with 1 note
    #Sound  #Branding  #Murketing 
    pheezy:

sound of ice melting. (paul kos installation // PNCA) by marcusfischer http://instagr.am/p/P796nUH6aC/

    pheezy:

    sound of ice melting. (paul kos installation // PNCA) by marcusfischer http://instagr.am/p/P796nUH6aC/

    (via darklyeuphoric)

    — 1 year ago with 9 notes
    #Sound 
    Book Review: Music, Sound, and Technology in America - WSJ.com →

    Measuring the cultural importance and metaphysical weirdness of that change is part of the project of “Music, Sound, and Technology in America,” an anthology of fascinating artifacts whose prosaic title belies its insights into the early years of the recorded-sound era.

    Ranging from 1878 to 1945, the book’s primary-source offerings—essays by inventors, memos for industry tycoons, reports from the pages of Talking Machine Journal and so forth—survey the evolution of the phonograph, the radio and sound-assisted cinema, tracing the way a few fantastical ideas became ubiquitous elements of mass culture. What emerges is a rollicking sense of early listeners’ wonder, puzzlement, confusion and glee.

    Book sounds interesting, thoughtful review by the erudite Andy Battaglia. 
    — 1 year ago
    #Books  #History  #Listening  #Sound 
    
Ever wonder what !!!!!! sounds like? Royal College of Art graduates Blanche de Lasa and Stina Gromark are developing a new, crowdsourced site called the Sound-Word Index. The index organizes the various Ahhhhh, OoOoOoOoOoO and other Yehaaaas that people use to help express their typed emotions into a handy reference guide. You can add your interjection to the project, or just send the page along to your less savvy friends so they’ll finally know what you’re talking about.

(via OBlog: Design Observer)

    Ever wonder what !!!!!! sounds like? Royal College of Art graduates Blanche de Lasa and Stina Gromark are developing a new, crowdsourced site called the Sound-Word Index. The index organizes the various Ahhhhh, OoOoOoOoOoO and other Yehaaaas that people use to help express their typed emotions into a handy reference guide. You can add your interjection to the project, or just send the page along to your less savvy friends so they’ll finally know what you’re talking about.

    (via OBlog: Design Observer)

    — 1 year ago
    #Sound  #Visualization 
    The Listening Life - On The Media →

    In his 84 years Tony Schwartz produced over 30,000 recordings, thousands of groundbreaking political ads, media theory books and Broadway sound design, invented the portable recorder, delivered hundreds of lectures and had full careers as an ad executive and a pioneering folklorist. And he did it all without leaving his zip code. In a piece that originally aired in 2008, the Kitchen Sisters, look back at his life spent listening.

    — 2 years ago
    #Listening  #Sound 
    What Does a Brand Sound Like? →

    Does the start-up sound of a computer have an emotional meaning to its user? Why are ringtones more popular than ringback tones? Is the commercial jingle a relic in our supposedly media-savvy age? How does a retail space decide upon its playlist? Do bars and restaurants really sell more drinks when the music is played louder? Why do some stores hide their speakers, while others make them prominent features of the interior design? Should websites have scores, or background music, the way that movies and TV shows do? Should ebooks? Should movies and TV shows, for that matter? Why are voice actors famous in some countries and largely anonymous in others? What have online MP3 retailers learned from brick’n’mortar stores — what have they unlearned, and what have they forgotten? How do darknet filesharing services promote themselves in secret? What does the relative prominence of social-network functionality say about Apple, Bandcamp, eMusic, Rhapsody, SoundCloud, and other online services? When and why did musicians stop being perceived as sell-outs when they licensed their songs to TV commercials?

    What, to put it simply, does a brand sound like?

    These are some of the questions we’ll explore in a course I’ll be teaching this autumn at the Academy of Art in San Francisco (academyart.edu).

    Wish I could attend ….

    — 2 years ago with 3 notes
    #Murketing  #Sound  #Branding  #Music  #Criticism 
    What Does Sweetness Sound Like? | Food & Think →

    Recounts experiments with sound and food; includes short audio clips.

    If you’re like the participants in the study, the second soundtrack—the one with higher pitches—made the toffee taste sweeter than the first “bitter” soundtrack. But the treats were exactly the same. It was the sound that tasted different.

    Do we prime ourselves for sweetness when we hear the ice cream man’s familiar high tinkling jingles because of the legacy of soda fountains and the cross-sensory marketing genius (perhaps inadvertent) on the part of a crier who first wielded a set of bells? Or is it because of a deeper symbolism associated the pitch of our voices? Either way, the association helps explain why ice cream trucks still stick to their sprightly high-pitched tunes. These atmospheric sounds really do play a role, creating an expectation that appears to sweeten the treats themselves.

    The fourth in a series on sound and food. Read about jingles here, food truck tunes here, and the origins of noise ordinances here.  We’ll be back to your regularly scheduled programming next week.

    — 2 years ago
    #Sound  #Food  #Brain 
    
By decoding patterns ofactivity in the brain, doctors may one day be able to play back the imagined conversations in our heads, or to communicate with a person who can think and hear but cannot speak. 

Translating Brain Waves to Reconstruct Sounds and Conversations You’ve Heard | Popular Science

    By decoding patterns ofactivity in the brain, doctors may one day be able to play back the imagined conversations in our heads, or to communicate with a person who can think and hear but cannot speak. 

    Translating Brain Waves to Reconstruct Sounds and Conversations You’ve Heard | Popular Science

    — 2 years ago with 13 notes
    #Sound  #Voice  #Brain 
    
Issue 5 brings together our two most personal obsessions: the games we play, and the sounds that make them whole. While the bright lights and colors catch our eyes, the secret attraction in every game is its sound: the soundtracks that excite us, the atmospheres that haunt us, the hooks we remember from our childhood, and the interactive music that points to the future.

(via Kill Screen Magazine - Issue 5: Sound)
It’s a good issue.

    Issue 5 brings together our two most personal obsessions: the games we play, and the sounds that make them whole. While the bright lights and colors catch our eyes, the secret attraction in every game is its sound: the soundtracks that excite us, the atmospheres that haunt us, the hooks we remember from our childhood, and the interactive music that points to the future.

    (via Kill Screen Magazine - Issue 5: Sound)

    It’s a good issue.

    — 2 years ago with 28 notes
    #SOund  #Video Games