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Acoustics

The acoustic cloak was constructed from several sheets of plastic plates dotted with repea...

Metamaterials are already being used to create invisibility cloaks and "temporal cloaks," but now engineers from Duke University have turned metamaterials to the task of creating a 3D acoustic cloak. In the same way that invisibility cloaks use metamaterials to reroute light around an object, the acoustic cloaking device interacts with sound waves to make it appear as if the device and anything hidden beneath it isn't there.  Read More

The world's first one-way acoustic circulator controls the direction of sound waves, allow...

A team of researchers at the University of Texas At Austin's Cockrell School of Engineering has effectively disproved the adage that, “if you can hear you can be heard” by creating the world's first one-way acoustic circulator. The simple, compact device, which controls the direction of sound waves, allows the user to hear without being heard.  Read More

Guitarist Mike Rowell plays the Bouillez acoustic

If you go shopping for an acoustic guitar, the chances are you'll be greeted with many variations on the same theme – a contoured wooden box with a hole between the bridge and the high end of the neck. The Bouillez (pronounced Bull-yah) dares to be different. Its creator Dan Bouillez has lopped off the fixed soundboard of a cheap, kick-about acoustic and replaced it with a floating one that gives the instrument a striking look and unique tone. With a great-sounding prototype in the bag, the self-taught musician and engineer has just started to build the very first production model.  Read More

The Aristides 070 guitar will debut at NAMM 2014

Ask just about any seasoned guitarist what gives an instrument that special something and you'd be lucky if the reply wasn't "wood." Yet manufacturers have made numerous axes over the years with claimed great tone, but without so much of a splinter of exotic tonewood in sight. Few have been so bold as to say that their material of choice doesn't just equal vintage wood, but improves on it. Aristides Instruments out of the Netherlands is one such upstart, and will be showing off its latest seven-string Arium creation at the NAMM 2014 show in January.  Read More

Tel Aviv University's new building, featuring its EcoWall (Image: Axelrod-Grobman Architec...

A new building at Tel Aviv University features a standalone EcoWall that aims to provide vertical garden space and research facilities for its faculty. The university's Porter School of Environmental Studies (PSES) hopes that its new green building design will not only join the small number of LEED certified buildings in the country, but will also highlight sustainable methodologies for future buildings in Israel.  Read More

Paul Vo with his Vo-96 Acoustic Synthesizer

Back in November 2012, we brought you news of a new pickup harmonizer technology dubbed LEV-96 in prototype testing over at Moog Music. Sat in the sound hole of an acoustic guitar, the device took precise control of string vibrations to offer an expansive, colorful and rich harmonic backdrop to what was being played. Paul Vo, the inventor of the newly-renamed Vo-96 Acoustic Synthesizer, has since made some improvements to electronics, user interface and mechanical design, and has now launched a crowdfunding campaign to get what he calls the "most fundamental and radical innovation in the music industry today" into the hands of musicians.  Read More

Lullabies are heard either through special “listening pipes” located near the hospital can...

Great Ormond Street Hospital is a children’s hospital based in London, UK, which recently received an installation dubbed “Lullaby Factory,” courtesy of architectural firm Studio Weave. Spanning a total of ten stories in height, and 32 meters (105 feet) in length, Lullaby Factory enlivens a formerly dull space while producing gentle lullabies which can only be experienced from within the building.  Read More

The Smart stethoscope is designed to let clinicians know if a patient's kidney stone treat...

When kidney stones can’t be dissolved using medication, the next step is usually a procedure known as shock wave lithotripsy. This involves focusing a series of high-intensity acoustic pulses onto the stones, until they break apart to the point that they can be passed in urine or dissolved by drugs. Using current monitoring techniques, however, it can be difficult to tell when and if that point has been reached. A new device known as the Smart stethoscope lets clinicians know, by listening.  Read More

Moog Music is currently beta testing its LEV-96 prototype sensoriactuator

Marking something of a diversion from the company's more familiar analog synths, tonesmiths at Moog Music are in the early prototype stages of a novel technology capable of activating and controlling the natural harmonics and resonant frequencies of the strings of an acoustic instrument, and placing them at the disposal of the player. The LEV-96 sensoriactuator is currently installed at the sound hole of an acoustic guitar for beta testing, and features touch-enabled sliders and buttons for precise sonic tweaking and adjustment.  Read More

Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University have developed a system called acoustic barcod...

For many of us, pointing a device at an object and retrieving data about it has become part of our daily lives. The vast majority of our purchases will sport the ubiquitous barcode; an increasing number of printed magazine adverts, online articles and even television shows are using QR codes for access to more information; and most recently, near field communication technology is opening up new ways to interact with the world around us. A team of researchers from the Human-Computer Interaction Institute and Heinz College Center for the Future of Work Carnegie Mellon University has been looking into an alternative object tagging system called acoustic barcodes. The system takes the sound of a finger, pen or phone scraping across a series of parallel notches etched, embossed or cut into a surface or object, and converts it into a unique binary ID.  Read More

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