This Week in Sound: Benjamin Franklin, Jackson Lamb, Sensory Gating

A lightly annotated clipping service

These sound-studies highlights of the week are lightly adapted from the April 11, 2022, issue of the free weekly email newsletter This Week in Sound (

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.

“Filtering acoustic information according to its relevance, a process generally known as sensory gating, is crucial during sleep to ensure a balance between rest and danger detection.” Read a study from Nature’s Scientific Reports on neurological research into sleep-deprived rodents. ➔

Apparently many deepfake detection systems are trained on catalogs of pre-existing deepfakes. A new system, developed by researchers at University of Federico II in Naples and the Technical University of Munich, “looks only at real videos of a subject, and then uses those videos to create a biometric profile of that individual.” ➔

Farts are a central component of the sound design that depict the character of Jackson Lamb, as depicted by Gary Oldman in the new TV series Slow Horses. (I’ve read all the novels in the series. The show is a fairly solid adaptation so far, if lacking the books’ signature digressions into atmosphere.) ➔

There was a glitch that had Android’s Google Assistant reading Brazilian Portuguese to people in Portugal, and vice versa. ➔

“Sound, timing, feeling, instinct; we both rely on all of that. That’s because we use ambience to tell the story. It’s more important than music.” Akritchalerm Kalayanamitr, sound designer for such Apichatpong Weerasethakul films as Tropical Malady and, more recently, Memoria (which, no, I haven’t seen yet but very much want to) talks about the role of audio as a narrative and emotional tool. The interview is by Lukasz Mankowski. ➔
(Via Cormac Donnelly)

A special “Sonic South” issue of Southern Cultures has been edited by Outkast scholar Regina N. Bradley, who wrote an detailed exegesis of video of Sandra Bland’s arrest back in 2015. ➔
(Thanks, Rob Walker!)

Duncan Geere shares details of a sonification tool he is building for the free virtual modular synth program VCV Rack: “What I’m trying to do is create a virtual module which loads a CSV file containing data, allows the user to pick a column, then jumps from datapoint to datapoint every time it receives a trigger, spitting out control voltages based on the data that you can send other modules that actually make sounds.” ➔

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *