Tetris

Love this video, great idea well implemented! If you ever need a bunch of empty cans again, don’t hesitate to let me know

creature media

For my final film for this module I decide to make a stop motion Tetris video. the film was comprised of over 70 individual still images. one of the bigger problems i faced was deciding on what was going to be used for the blocks themselves after a few test runs i decided it would be best to use empty drinks cans.

To get some colour separation between the cans i tried to make each block have a distinctive colour for example the square blocks are coke cans, Some of the more complex blocks needed to be made from cutting apart can and taping it to the other one. Because I wanted to keep the colour and it was all still images I decide to use the basic camera on my HTC One as it had all the features I need for this film. To edit the film I uploaded…

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Why do we sound different in our heads?

Every vocalists worst nightmare

jackwrostron

So there is nothing worse than hearing yourself back on a recording… but why is it that we sound so different?

The sounds we hear are waves of pressure that move through the air, when these sound waves reach our ear they travel down the ear canal and strike the ear drum, this starts to vibrate. The vibrations travel to the inner ear where they are translated into electrical signals which are sent to the brain.

So why is it so different? The inner ear as well as processing sounds from outside the body, it can also be stimulated by vibrations that travel through the body. So when you talk you hear both sets of vibrations, you hear the sound from your mouth combined with the transmitted vibrations that travel from your vocal cords. Bones in the neck, and your skull help to enhance low frequencies, so in most cases…

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Where Does Live Music Sound Best? (And Does It Matter?)

As I write this post on the train between Manchester and York, I can’t help but look out of the window towards the Etihad Stadium on the skyline. Fear not, Manchester City may have sealed the Premier League title yesterday (date this article…), but this isn’t a post about football. For me, the stadium conjures up memories of 2007, where I was lucky enough to witness Foo Fighters live on their ‘Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace’ UK tour. As a huge Foo Fighters fan, particularly of the tour’s namesake album, I was ecstatic at the opportunity to finally see the band live. The icing on the cake as far as I was concerned, was the fact the gig took place at a stadium.
By this point I had already attended a number of gigs, in venues ranging from clubs to arenas to festivals. However, barring perhaps the Kaiser Chiefs at Elland Road, this was my first gig at a proper stadium (Elland Road has a concert capacity somewhere in the region of 37,000, whereas the Etihad’s live music capacity is somewhere around a whopping 60,000 fans). For many people stadium gigs are impersonal affairs, egotistical displays of a band’s ability to charge £50+ to punters by the thousand, easily a lesser option when compared to intimate shows where audience and act stand face to face. And they’re right, of course. Can anyone really justify spending huge amounts just to sit at the opposite end of a football field to their favourite band? Probably not. Will the distance between the audience and the PA system play absolute havoc with the quality of the sound each listener receives? Most definitely. And yet, people still turn up in their hundreds of thousands each year to witness stadium concerts, and there are no signs they’re going to stop.
As a student of Acoustics, I would expect myself to be troubled by the fact stadiums can never accurately represent how a band sounds. Wind, rain, stadium shape, crowd absorption and sheer distance are all factors that work against sound quality, resulting in a sound that is really never likely to be anything above mediocre. With indoor concerts there are far fewer factors negatively affecting sound quality, and at a festival the sheer variety of acts and activities more than makes up for the obvious PA deficiencies. Yet, I must admit I am someone who believes stadium concerts are the absolute pinnacle of live music, despite the both the aural and financial costs. As far as I’m concerned there is nothing quite like dusk falling around a stadium illuminated by lighters and cameras, the only place where one has the opportunity to take a look around and witness 60,000 fans chant every word in unison. Sure it doesn’t sound great, but when you accept that fact and let yourself focus on the experience does that really matter? As I found out that night as ‘Everlong’ rang out across the Mancunian skyline, it doesn’t to me.

But that’s just me. If you have a totally different view of what the ideal gig situation is, or if you think there’s anything I’ve missed out vote in the poll or let me know in the comments! For more blogs about how aesthetics affect our perception of music, check out some of my favourite blog posts below:

‘Beats by Apple’ – Ben Southgate
‘The Myth of the Stradivarius’ – Trevor Cox
‘Takes A Bit Of Change’ – Robert Bungay

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Could an Acoustic Weapon Make Your Head Explode?

Scary stuff, but it’s amazing to see what acoustics is capable of!

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Cosmic B♭

Interesting post, not usually one to pay attention to Uberfacts but this is a good one!

Notes from an Acoustician

I read this on Twitter this morning.

I think it’s a bit hard to justify this as a sound, for two reasons. Firstly, a frequency of 57 octaves below middle C would be far to low for the human ear to detect – a single oscillation of takes about 9.5 million years. Secondly, in the vacuum of deep space there would be no medium for the sound to propagate through, again meaning we wouldn’t be able hear it.

Even so, that’s very low! It’s caused by the inflation of bubbles of plasma in the centre of the Perseus galaxy cluster and oscillates at the frequency of a B♭. The note was discovered by Cambridge University professors in 2003 using…

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Pyracoustics

More evidence of acoustics applied in ways we wouldn’t expect – Well worth a read!

Pretty Sound

After seeing this video last week, it is definitely on my list of things to do this year! I’m currently unsure on my exact design, or whether I will create a Ruben’s tube instead, but nonetheless it is still a really cool idea (and probably the most interesting visualisation of acoustics)!

One of my current ideas is to create a few smaller Ruben’s tubes of varying lengths, each driven by a driver playing the same source. Because of their different lengths, they will resonate at different frequencies, each causing a different pattern of flames as the same source is played. If these were placed together (maybe in a stacked pyramid style) as music is played they would make a really cool music visualisation.

What do you think of the pyro board, have you seen anything like it before? If so, let me know or also if you have…

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Acoustic Levitation

Great post, if anyone asks what I’m studying at Uni I’ll show them this…

Cameron Maskew - Acoustics - Interests - Topical Discussions

At some point in GCSE or A Level physics you will have come across the standing wave experiment, the only experiment related to acoustics that you will study (well, it was with my curriculum). This not very inspiring experiment is actually very important and a lot of acoustics research is based purely on that principle! I feel that it isn’t a very fair representation of acoustics so I thought I’d blog about one of the many applications of standing waves, acoustic levitation.

Firstly if you need to remind yourself about standing waves and what they are, this video gives a great demonstration.

The important point to take from this video is about the nodes, these are crucial in the process of acoustic levitation. It is important to remember that with sound waves, the nodes will be points of minimum pressure and the anti-nodes are points of maximum pressure. Once this concept is…

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