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. • Disquiet.com 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: Toilets, Virtual Sound, NSFW

A lightly annotated clipping service

These sound-studies highlights of the week are lightly adapted from the January 24, 2022, issue of the free Disquiet.com weekly email newsletter This Week in Sound (tinyletter.com/disquiet).

As always, if you find sonic news of interest, please share it with me, and (except with the most widespread of news items) I’ll credit you should I mention it here.

Office privacy update: “Info-Masking technology developed to cover the human voice in unwanted areas with a sound level that’s 8 dB less than conventional systems and environmental audio with four types of sound that is mixed to the speech sound masker.”
mytechdecisions.com

Excellent interview with editor Michael Block on the role of quiet in setting a scene when working on the film Watcher: “A lot of this was approached through sound design, which presented unique challenges. Watcher is often a very quiet movie and takes place in a big empty apartment. So, what does ‘quiet’ sound like when you’re trying to express the correct emotion? What was tense quiet vs lonely quiet vs calm quiet?”
filmmakermagazine.com

For 19 years, a legal battle’s been waged in Italy by someone who felt their neighbor’s toilet was too loud. “The sound of flushing — ‘aggravated by frequent night use’ — compromised their quality of life.” They won. Per a local journalist covering the story: “If Franz Kafka had been an Italian citizen of today he would not have written ’The Trial,’ he would have written ‘The Toilet’ to describe justice in our country.”
washingtonpost.com
(Thanks, Mike Rhode)

Trade magazine for event producers focuses on “audio-centric activations.” Mentions the FX network, Bowie’s estate, Sara Auster’s sonification of a Sherwin-Williams paint line, and others.
eventmarketer.com

What role will sound play in the reboot of virtual reality we’re now calling the metaverse? A run through factors (synthetic voices, latency issues) and companies (High Fidelity, Vivox, Voicemod) involved.
protocol.com
(Thanks, Lucas Gonze!)

Cheryl Tipp on “sound archives, how they are managed and the ways in which animal studies scholars might use them in trying to research animals.” Tipp is the British Library’s Curator of Wildlife & Environmental Sounds.
theanimalturnpodcast.com

Four UK cathedrals are among the historic locations that are part of the acoustic models that make up the Acoustic Atlas project. “Now anyone can dial in via the Acoustic Atlas app and hear their voice reverberate as if they were acoustically present in selected heritage sites,” says Dr. Cobi van Tonder, a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research Fellow at the University of York’s Department of Theatre, Film, Television and Interactive Media.
yorkshirepost.co.uk

Alex Moshakis surveys efforts to keep the quietest places on our planet that way. Says Gordon Hempton, famed field recording artist and audio ecologist, reflecting on the impact of the pandemic: “Quiet is no longer a word that has no experience. The whole world got to experience what we’d been missing. And initially, of course, it was alarming: ‘Why are things different?’ ‘What’s going to happen next?’ But now we’re beginning to emerge, we can reflect on how there were aspects of that quiet that made us healthier, made us more aware of who we are and what we believe in, what we want to do.”
theguardian.com
(Thanks, Bruce Levenstein!)

Profiles of Caroline Spiegel, CEO of the audio porn service Quinn: “‘It was created to give women an alternative to the standard, visually-dominated porn that is normally consumed by men,’ she said.”
theinformation.com
nypost.com

Wired magazine’s Vincent Acovino thinks “rhythm games” may be due for comeback (remember Guitar Hero and Rock Band).
wired.com

The researchers Joel Frank and Lea Schönherr have developed a unique defense against voice deepfakes, drawing from TTS (text-to-speech), vocoders, and neural networks.
biometricupdate.com

“Sonic weapons have been considered as a way of deterring people seeking asylum from crossing the Channel, it has been reported.”
kentonline.co.uk
news.sky.com

Directional audio (now “Smart Beaming,” from the company Noveto) is being upgraded: “It works by sending ultrasonic waves directly into your auditory system — while everyone else experiences no more than a whisper.”
tomsguide.com

By Marc Weidenbaum

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