February 13, 2014, is the official release date for my 33 1/3 book on Aphex Twin's 1994 album Selected Ambient Works Volume II, available at Amazon (including Kindle) and via your local bookstore. • F.A.Q.Key Tags: #saw2for33third, #sound-art, #classical, #juntoElsewhere: Twitter, SoundCloud, Instagram

Listening to art.
Playing with audio.
Sounding out technology.
Composing in code.

tag: sounds-of-brands

SOUND RESEARCH LOG: Armadas of Hydrophones

On the sonic aspects of naval intelligence:

“Basically, any instrument that can digitally eavesdrop on the military’s stuff is of concern, including seismometers, which measure vibrations so low most wouldn’t typically consider them sound.”

From an article by Matthew Braga at theatlantic.com, via the great 5 Intriguing Things email list by Alexis Madrigal, an editor at The Atlantic.

This entry cross-posted from the Disquiet linkblog project sound.tumblr.com.

Also tagged , , , , / / Leave a comment ]

SOUND RESEARCH LOG: On Gyrosurveillance

That fly on the wall could be the vibration of your cellphone:

“In the age of surveillance paranoia, most smartphone users know better than to give a random app or website permission to use their device’s microphone. But researchers have found there’s another, little-considered sensor in modern phones that can also listen in on their conversations. And it doesn’t even need to ask.”

From an article by Andy Greenberg at wired.com.

This entry cross-posted from the Disquiet linkblog project sound.tumblr.com.

Also tagged , , , , , , / / Leave a comment ]

SOUND RESEARCH LOG: Is Voice the Uncanny Valley?

There may have been no better place than io9.com to keep track of Comic-Con, and this popped up in a summary of the Person of Interest panel. That’s the CBS series with an admirably long-game approach to narrative. It’s about an AI coming into sentience. That AI has become more of a character, and as the series enters season four it now is up against a competitive AI:

“Pressed for an answer about whether or not the AIs would get voices, Jonathan Nolan responded, ‘We’re working on the voice thing. But you may not like where it goes.’”

Full coverage at io9.com. It’s rarely advisable to read comments, but there are some strongly worded concerns in the resulting thread about lending voices to the AI, worth checking out if only as an expression of a point of view.

This entry cross-posted from the Disquiet linkblog project sound.tumblr.com.

Also tagged , , , , , , , / / Leave a comment ]

SOUND RESEARCH LOG: The Sound Design of Typing

“The Qwerkwriter has a very unique sound signature, due to its chrome accent as well as the mechanical switch, and the way the key caps are constructed.” That’s the pitch at the start of this video of a three-pound, tablet-friendly keyboard that combines Bluetooth connectivity with an old-school mechanism. It is unlikely anyone who worked in or near a corporate typing pool in the pre-computer, post-war era misses the cacophony, but for personal use the gadget no doubt has its charms. From the tech spec: “Cherry MX Blue switches (a modern switch that emulates the typewriter clicky feel).”

Hosted at vimeo.com and the kickstarter.com campaign, which passed its goal of $90,000 by almost 50 percent. More at qwerkytoys.com. Found via Richard Kadrey.

This entry cross-posted from the Disquiet linkblog project sound.tumblr.com.

Also tagged , , , , , , / / Leave a comment ]

SOUND RESEARCH LOG: Sound Design: That Sounds Hot

A lot of the class that I teach about the role of sound in the media landscape focuses on exploring the sonic aspects of organizations, enterprises, and products. This following bit is a good example of a company doing just that:

How does hot water differ from cold water, sonically. NPR listened in as the British firm Condiment Junkie set out to answer the question, in the service of a Twinings Tea advertisement.

Here is a set of examples of their research:

NPR’s summary:

The marketers wanted to know: Would it be possible to make that noise itself more appealing? Can people hear the difference between a hot cup of tea being poured and, say, a cold beer? And is it possible to make a hot drink sound hotter or a cold drink sound more refreshing?

So they did an experiment. They played sounds of hot and cold water being poured into glasses and asked people to guess: hot or cold? The results were kind of insane. Ninety-six percent of people can tell the difference between hot and cold, just by the sound.

Scott King of Condiment Junkie on the takeaway:

“There tends to be more bubbling in a liquid that’s hot,” he explains. “As you have more bubbling, you tend to get higher frequency sounds from it.”

The firm has also developed “interactive music boxes” for Selfridges and sound design for an Adidas spot. More at condimentjunkie.co.uk.

This entry cross-posted from the Disquiet linkblog project sound.tumblr.com.

Also tagged , , / / Leave a comment ]