We’re Far Enough From Heaven Now We Can Freak Out – Noise made me do it – sound,music and things that tickle your ears

You’ve probably seen the commercial.    The one about those wireless speakers?  The one with R&B artist Janelle Monae and her friends dancing to that catchy song?   Yeah, you’ve seen it.  How many of you were like who in the world is the artist that is performing that song?  I know I am one of those, and for whatever reason I just now decided to find out.  They are a duo calling themselves Deep Cotton, and the song is called “We’re Far Enough From Heaven Now We can Freak Out.”  Oh and the name of those wireless speakers that this commercial is supposed to be selling are called Sonos.  Below is that song:

And as a sure sign that I need to get out more, I am now more aware of Ms. Monae and her music too (a big thank you Sonos for helping me out in “finding” “new” music, I guess I should buy their speakers now) here is one from her newest album called ArchAndroid.  The song is called “57821,”  it is a definite change of pace from Deep Cotton’s above, but I really do like the serene feeling of it:


Stefan Lessard’s bass wedge – Noise made me do it – sound,music and things that tickle your ears

I’m not sure if you’ve ever noticed, but Stefan Lessard, the bass player for The Dave Matthews Band has this little wedge that he stands on when he plays:

Well, as a bass player myself, I found the explanation quite interesting when I found out what the heck it was. Ian Kuhn, the band’s monitor engineer explains:

“When they were recording the album, he enjoyed sitting on the drum throne and having just the kick drum sent to him through it for monitoring purposes.

Last year, when we started the tour, he said, ‘Man, it would be cool to have a box with one of these that I could put my foot on during the show.’ My partner Greg [Botimer, the band’s monitor tech] and I built this ultra low-profile wedge with a bass shaker and a little power amplifier in it. I feed it power, kick drum and bass guitar, and it’s its own mix. We roll it off about 400 Hz, but it’s got a really fast response, so when the kick drum happens, you feel it instantly and then it goes away.

It provides energy through the stage for the area around it, too, so it helps keep things quieter up there by exciting your ears through bone conduction instead of sound.”

When I play live, I find it almost impossible to hear the kick drum, and so I focus all of my attention on the hihats. This is a great solution to this problem!


Minimalist DIY turntable – Noise made me do it – sound,music and things that tickle your ears

Livia Ritthaler had just moved to London to finish her bachelor degree for a graphics program. Because she couldn’t afford the money nor the space for a record player, she decided to build one herself.

She ended up using three materials: paper, wood and metal. Using these materials she build a hand-operated, minimal turntable that is operates and amplifies without any type of power other than that produced by her own hands.

This is one instance where form preceeds function, and in my opinion it is a simple yet elegant work of art in it’s own right. See it in action here:


Joy Division Dress – Noise made me do it – sound,music and things that tickle your ears

And something for the ladies…  Joy Division released the album Unknown Pleasures in 1979.  The album itself didn’t do very well until “love will tear us apart” was released a year later, but I’ve always loved the graphics on the album.

The front cover images comes from an edition of the Cambridge Encyclopedia of Astronomy.  I was originally reversed (black lines on a white background). Drummer Stephen Morris loved the image so much that they decided to put it on the cover of the album.

Now, I had always thought that the image was a 3D frequency plot of audio data, but after researching it for this post, I discovered that it actually represents successive pulses from the first pulsar discovered, PSR B1919+21— which was often referred to in the context of this album by its older name, CP 1919.

The other interesting thing about this album is that the original LP release contained no track information on the labels, nor the traditional “side one” and “side two” designations. “Side one” was labeled Outside and showed the image on the album cover, while the other side was labeled Inside and showed the same image with the colorrs reversed (i.e. the original color of the encyclopedia picture)

Now, Etsy user CelebFashion has “borrowed” the logo and turned it into a very cool dress.  You can see the dress below, as well as a couple of other interesting uses of the logo on some some other items, a handbag, and even a full back tattoo – now that’s a dedicated fan!

The dress itself sells for just $15.99 right here.


Phantom of the floppera – Noise made me do it – sound,music and things that tickle your ears

People have made floppy drives sing before, but this is George Whiteside’s take on it.

It features two 3 1/2″ drives and two 5 1/4″ drives connected to a PIC18f14k50 microcontroller. I wonder how many people will never see a floppy drive? If your’e interested in more of the technical details of how it works and how it came together, you can take a look here.

Bach’s Toccata & Fugue has never seemed so cool.


Dial-up modem sound slowed 700% is 100% creepy – Noise made me do it – sound,music and things that tickle your ears

You know how when you slow a Justin Bieber song down by 800%, you get a neat ambient track? Well if you do this kind of thing with the most horrible sound in the world… OH MY GOD I CAN NEVER SLEEP AGAIN

The audio you hear in the video was created with a program called PaulStretch.   It can stretch audio out pretty much as long as you want without affecting pitch, with the result sounding pretty smooth. It’s the audio of a modem connecting and exchanging a small amount of data.


Largest musical instrument in the world – Noise made me do it – sound,music and things that tickle your ears

This is a picture of the largest musical instrument in the world. It’s the pipe organ in the Municipal Auditorium in Atlantic City.

The organ It was designed by Emerson L. Richards in 1930. It has 7 keyboards and 33,112 pipes ranging in length from 6 mm to 19.4 meters. It is the largest organ in the world, as measured by the number of pipes.

Here’s a picture of the pipes:

The auditorium that it sits in is huge (149 × 88 × 42 m) and has a floor area of 13,000 m². Consequently, the organ runs on much higher wind pressures than most organs in order to achieve a volume loud enough to fill the hall.

The organ has a number of entries in The Guinness Book of World Records:
Largest pipe organ ever constructed”
Largest musical instrument ever constructed”
Loudest musical instrument ever constructed”

The Municipal Auditorium pipe organ is one of only two organs in the world to have an open 64′ stop.


The Why Cry Baby crying analyzer – Noise made me do it – sound,music and things that tickle your ears

The Why Cry Baby Crying Analyzer is a device that claims to listen to your babiy’s cries, and tell you why they are crying with a 90% accuracy.

It can figure out if the baby is hungry, in pain, bored, or even just overtired. Apparently, it actually works – the Amazon reviews are all glowing, excpe t for the one who says:

“I have always been able to work out why my baby cries without this machine. I can do this because I AM HER FATHER.”

I tend to agree. Awesome technology aside, how in the world have things gotten to the point where we need a machine to tell us why a baby is crying?


Dialup modem dubstep – Noise made me do it – sound,music and things that tickle your ears

Check out this dubstep song, via muzik4machines, made solely from the noises from a dialup modem. Skip to 11:57 if you want to skip “the making of”, and get right to the song.

I have heard that dubstep sounds like a dialup modem, so I decided to test if the modem could sound like dubstep. Every sound is from the opening handshake – there is no synth and no samples used, even the drums are all based on parts of the modem sound. The bass is pretty clearly shown in the intro from modem buzz to brostep wobble.

Very cool.


Audio of exorcism performed in Germany, 1976 – Noise made me do it – sound,music and things that tickle your ears

“The first person to recognize that Anneliese Michel was possessed by demons was an older woman accompanying the girl on a pilgrimage. She noticed that Anneliese would not walk past a certain image of Jesus, refused to drink water from a holy spring and smelled bad — hellishly bad. An exorcist in a nearby town examined Michel and returned a diagnosis of demonic possession. The bishop issued permission to perform the rite of exorcism according to the Roman ritual of 1614.”

The problem was, of course that it was 1976. After 6 months ad 67 exorcisms, Anneliese was dead at the age of 23, presumably from starvation or malnutrition.  Her last one was the last exorcism sanctioned by the Catholic Church.

Later the whole ordeal was made into a movie, The Exocism of Emily Rose.  The movie focused mainly on the court case which pitted faith vs secularism, with the main argument used being “if the bible is true, the she must be possessed. Unfortunately, this was all happening in a very secular Germany that prided itself on logical thinking.

The spoiler is of course that her parents and two priests were convicted of negligent manslaughter.

According to court findings, she experienced her first epileptic attack in 1969, and by 1973 was suffering from depression and considering suicide. Soon she was seeing the faces of demons on the people and things around her, and voices told her she was damned.

Under the influence of her demons, Michel ripped the clothes off her body, compulsively performed up to 400 squats a day, crawled under a table and barked like a dog for two days, ate spiders and coal, bit the head off a dead bird and licked her own urine from the floor.

67 Exorcisms were performed on Anneliese by priests, with 42 of them recorded to tape.  This is one of them, taken from a 3-disc collection called “Okkulte Stimmen – Mediale Musik: Recordings Of Unseen Intelligences 1905-2007″ compiled by the German label Supposé.  Don’t blame me if you can’t sleep at night after this:

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The full story of the case is also worth reading, it’s a story of faith vs secularism in the German courts.