New Disquietude podcast episode: music by Lesley Flanigan, Dave Seidel, KMRU, Celia Hollander, and John Hooper; interview with Flanigan; commentary; short essay on reading waveforms. • F.A.Q.Key Tags: #saw2for33third, #field-recording, #classical, #juntoElsewhere: Twitter, SoundCloud, Instagram

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

This Week in Sound: Mics and Jacks

+ neural-net voicovers + quiet fireworks + ...

A lightly annotated clipping service (some of these go back quite a bit further back than last week):

Neural NeTTS: I’ve long wondered why the CGI in movies keeps getting better, allowing for more realistic human (and humanoid) characters, but they still use human voice actors. This piece at on WaveNet (“a deep generative model of raw audio waveforms”) shows how neural-networks are rapidly improving test-to-speech (TTS) technology. (Found via Kyle McDonald & George Kelly.)

Ears Only: Sony is introducing something called the Xperia, which looks like one of those Bluetooth in-ear devices that don’t work like you want them to, but does far much more:

Who Says I Don’t Read the Sports Pages?: In a key example of unintended consequences, the addition (via of a roof to Arthur Ashe Stadium has “created an echo chamber and a much louder experience for everyone.”

Mic Off: has an interesting piece on the slow pace of microphone innovation. (The link was broken in the This Week in Sound email newsletter. Sorry.)

Mic On: But … the future of hearing aids (and microphones) may benefit from insect studies:

Quiet Fireworks: They exist (via This is a good thing. “Today, quiet fireworks are part of everybody’s inventory,”says one professional.

Sonic Demilitarization: The Pentagon is downsizing its bands. The U.S. military “fields more than 130 military bands worldwide, made up of about 6,500 musicians” at an estimated annual cost of $437 million:

Train, Train: A “fleet of the future” here in San Francisco may make commuting less of a threat to hearing:

Sound Social Science: Apparently playing upbeat music in the office “fosters cooperation” — though maybe not in an office where people write about maudlin ambient music:

Apple Did Something: In case you’ve been living under a rock-shaped outdoor speaker, you know that Apple has removed the headphone jack from its latest iPhone. Jonathan Sterne, author of MP3: The Meaning of a Format, talks about planned obsolescence:

This first appeared, in slightly different form, in the September 9, 2016, edition of the free Disquiet “This Week in Sound”email newsletter:

By Marc Weidenbaum

Tag: / Leave a comment ]

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>


Subscribe without commenting

  • about

  • Marc Weidenbaum founded the website in 1996 at the intersection of sound, art, and technology, and since 2012 has moderated the Disquiet Junto, an active online community of weekly music/sonic projects. He has written for Nature, Boing Boing, The Wire, Pitchfork, and NewMusicBox, among other periodicals. He is the author of the 33 1⁄3 book on Aphex Twin’s classic album Selected Ambient Works Volume II. Read more about his sonic consultancy, teaching, sound art, and work in film, comics, and other media

  • Field Notes

    News, essays, surveillance

  • Interviews

    Conversations with musicians/artists/coders

  • Studio Journal

    Video, audio, patch notes

  • Projects

    Select collaborations and commissions

  • Subscribe

  • Current Activities

  • Upcoming
    December 13, 2021: This day marks the 25th anniversary of the founding of
    December 28, 2021: This day marks the 10th anniversary of the Instagr/am/bient compilation.
    January 6, 2021: This day marks the 10th anniversary of the start of the Disquiet Junto music community.

  • Recent
    July 28, 2021: This day marked the 500th consecutive weekly project in the Disquiet Junto music community.
    There are entries on the Disquiet Junto in the book The Music Production Cookbook: Ready-made Recipes for the Classroom (Oxford University Press), edited by Adam Patrick Bell. Ethan Hein wrote one, and I did, too.
    A chapter on the Disquiet Junto ("The Disquiet Junto as an Online Community of Practice," by Ethan Hein) appears in the book The Oxford Handbook of Social Media and Music Learning (Oxford University Press), edited by Stephanie Horsley, Janice Waldron, and Kari Veblen. (Details at

  • Ongoing
    The Disquiet Junto series of weekly communal music projects explore constraints as a springboard for creativity and productivity. There is a new project each Thursday afternoon (California time), and it is due the following Monday at 11:59pm:

  • My book on Aphex Twin's landmark 1994 album, Selected Ambient Works Vol. II, was published as part of the 33 1/3 series, an imprint of Bloomsbury. It has been translated into Japanese (2019) and Spanish (2018).

  • disquiet junto

  • Background
    Since January 2012, the Disquiet Junto has been an ongoing weekly collaborative music-making community that employs creative constraints as a springboard for creativity. Subscribe to the announcement list (each Thursday), listen to tracks by participants from around the world, read the FAQ, and join in.

    Recent Projects

  • 0511 / Freeze Tag / The Assignment: Consider freezing (and thawing) as a metaphor for music production.
    0510 / Cold Turkey / The Assignment: Record one last track with a piece of music equipment before passing it on.
    0509 / The Long Detail / The Assignment: Create a piece of music with moments from a preexisting track.
    0508 / Germane Shepard / The Assignment: Use the Shepard tone to create a piece of music.
    0507 / In DD's Key of C / The Assignment: Make music with 10 acoustic instrument samples all in a shared key.

    Full Index
    And there is a complete list of past projects, 511 consecutive weeks to date.

  • Archives

    By month and by topic

  • [email protected]

    [email protected]

  • Downstream

    Recommended listening each weekday

  • Recent Posts