Photokina 2014 highlights

Sound

The RC car fitted with SoundRacer's Electric Vehicle Sound Module, EVSM-2

Having already given the tamest of family cars a hefty dose of testosterone – at least auditorily – Swedish company SoundRacer looks set to turn up the volume of electric vehicles – this time on the outside. Having garnered interest from several electric car and scooter manufacturers, the company decided to demonstrate its system at CeBIT by making some big noise with an RC car.  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

Re: Sound Bottle is able to record, remix, and play back everyday noises as a musical numb...

The idea of catching a sound in a bottle in order to listen to it later is one that many of us have toyed with, especially as kids. Unfortunately it isn't possible in the real world, at least not with a real bottle and nothing but a real bottle. However, Re: Sound Bottle is more than what it first appears to be, and its internal components means this particular bottle is capable of recording, remixing, and playing back sounds captured from all manner of different sources.  Read More

The Theremin Mini Kit

Purveyor of geek-friendly toys and gadgets ThinkGeek is now offering the Theremin Mini Kit, a miniature assemble-it-yourself theremin which is marketed toward those looking to get started with the instrument.  Read More

Music sounds better with bacteria: a scientist has swapped graphs for music in order to re...

Scientists often need to find creative ways to present data visually so others can interpret it more easily. Peter Larsen, of the Argonne National Laboratory in the U.S., decided to do something a little different: he represented microbial data with sounds. More specifically, he sonified data relating to bacteria collected from the western part of the English Channel.  Read More

iBatsID is a free online tool that automatically identifies bats based on their calls (Pho...

Everyone knows that it’s possible to identify different species of birds by their vocalizations, but did you know that it’s also possible to differentiate between different types of bats based on their echolocation calls? Well, now you do. So far, however, there hasn’t been a standardized system of doing so – it’s been left up to individual human listeners to decide on the closest match. That may soon no longer be the case, though, as the new online iBatsID tool comes into use.  Read More

Research has shown the popular music has become louder and more homogeneous over time (Pho...

If you suspect that songs today tend to sound the same, it turns out you're right. A group of Spanish scientists looked at a huge database of songs and analyzed their trends, publishing their results in the scientific journal Nature. What they found was proof positive that, over the last few decades, songs have progressively gotten louder, decreased their pitch transitions, and generally become more homogeneous.  Read More

EyeMusic is an experimental system for the blind, that translates visual information into ...

Sensory substitution devices work by converting one type of sensory input into another – examples would be systems such as CASBLiP and EYE 21, which allow the blind to “see” by assigning sounds to images. Now, a team of researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have created a similar wearable device, known as EyeMusic. It “employs pleasant musical scales to convey visual information,” and could one day help the visually impaired more easily perform tasks that the rest of us take for granted.  Read More

Fans of kung fu games and movies trying to emulate their heroes can now add authentic soun...

Imagine if you could accompany all those cool new moves you've just learned from Mortal Combat or reruns of Bruce Lee's finest celluloid moments with some genuine sound effects ... it would be like actually being in the game or movie. With a Dragon Grip in your Fist of Fury, that's precisely what's on offer. The joystick-like device is pre-loaded with fighting sounds inspired by the cheesy-but-classic kung fu movies of the 1970s like Enter the Dragon, that had all the kids in our neighborhood running around barefoot and shirtless with red lipstick wounds painted across their chests.  Read More

The spectrogram display shows low frequency at the bottom and high at the top, time is lef...

If you've ever dabbled in the creation of crazy sound effects for home movies, other-worldly audio to complement the battle sequences in a new alien gaming app or strange new loops for digital dance music, you quickly start to appreciate just what a complicated process sound design can be. What with noise generation, pulse and velocity modulation, parallel and series filters, and various other filters, oscillators and envelopes to contend with, the process can hardly be described as fun. A new sample-based synthesizer suite from iZotope seeks to change all that. Both a powerful tool for design pros and an enjoyable and easy way for newbies to dive in and experiment, Iris allows users to manipulate, tweak and layer sounds using the kind of visual editing tools you might find in graphic design packages and discover otherwise hidden sonic treasures.  Read More

Looking for something? Search our 28,552 articles